Splish Splash you’re ready for baby’s bath! …Or are you?!
One of the things I hear most often as a doula is “My baby hates the bath!” And for many, this is their truth. If we pull back to basics, we can remember a few things: baby has spent months in a nice soothing soak. Baths are calming and relaxing, even for us. Bath time can be a fantastic indication that bedtime routine has begun. Do not attempt a full immersion bath until baby’s umbilical cord has fallen off.
So, how do we create this serene environment with a seemingly unhappy baby?
- Invite bath time at a time of the day that baby is happy and content. A tired baby will be over getting fussed with no matter how cozy the bath is to them.
- Turn on the bathroom fan for white noise. The great humming of the vent will provide ambiance and rhythmic comfort.
- Fill the baby bathing basin with warm temperature. Many baby tubs now have thermometers, and there are cute water temperature dictators as well. The water will cool down in the duration of the bath, having the water be a nice warmer comfortable temperature for your baby will allow them enjoy the experience.
- Put a warm wash cloth over the baby’s body while you are bathing them. This will give the pressure of a loving hand, as well as help keep baby warm as you move through the motions of bathing. Periodically, dip the washcloth in the bath water to keep the towelette wet and warm.
- The power of touch! Once you have carefully retrieved your precious slippery bundle out of the water, a nice infant massage is the perfect ending! Whether its using baby lotion, an oil, or nothing at all, the act of physical touch as you stare into each other’s eyes radiate Oxytocin.
The bottom line is, if you are confident, it will show to the baby. Having the helping hands of a postpartum and infant care doula can help you navigate!