Bathing your little one should be an interactive time of love and care and enjoyed by all. Don’t worry if at first you feel a bit nervous and anxious – it is quite natural. Just remember your baby has lived in water for the past nine months, so water is not a strange experience for him. Instead, it’s almost a familiar experience.
The bathing environment
Bath your baby in the bathroom. After all, carrying heavy loads of water can lead to back problems and because the bathroom is designed to be splashed with water, tidying up afterwards won’t be a problem.
A baby bath is not a necessity. You can use your normal bath or even the bathroom basin. If you want to use a baby bath, choose one that is big enough for your baby to enjoy the freedom of the water. Also, try to get a baby bath that fits over your bath. This type of bath allows you to run water from your taps and when unplugged, the water simply flows into your bath and down the drain.
When to bath your baby
1. Morning or evening
The dilemma around whether babies should be bathed in the morning or early evening stems from the fact that babies tend to sleep longer and sounder after a bath. Having said that, it’s advisable, particularly in the first few months, to bath your baby in the morning and leave the evening free for the other things on your “to do” list.
2. Before or after feeds
When your baby wakes up, his first need is food. So if you delay his feed and bath him first, neither of you will enjoy the bathing experience. On the other hand, if you bath your baby immediately after his feed, all the movement might make him bring up his food, or if he is full, he might fall asleep. Therefore, try giving your baby a half feed before bathing him. In this way, his hunger will be satisfied and he’ll be able to enjoy his bath. Finish the feed after bathing.
Preparing for bath time
Make sure you have everything you need before starting the bathing process. Undress your baby in the bathroom, removing his nappy last for practical reasons. If your baby has a dirty nappy, clean his bottom before bathing. For the sake of baby’s safety, lay him down on a bath mattress with sloping side to prevent him from falling. Babies wriggle around when being changed and the sloping mattress contains their movement. Remember, never leave your baby alone, not even for a minute because he could fall.
Your baby will love a shallow bath filled with soothing warm water that envelopes his tiny body. To ensure the water temperature is suitable, place the inside of your wrist in the water – this area of the body is the most sensitive area to temperature, or use a thermometer. The temperature should be around 38-40.8C. You may add a few drops of Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Baby Oil to baby’s bath water.
Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Baby Oil can be used in your little one’s bath water to ensure your baby’s delicate skin stays beautifully soft and conditioned. It is Consultant Dermatologist and Paediatrician approved. You can be sure you are giving your baby’s skin the best possible loving care.
Start with shampooing your baby’s hair. Wrap your baby in a towel. His arms should be tucked away so you have control over him and he can’t wriggle or escape. Hold him firmly between your elbow and hip, controlling his head with your hand. Seal off his ears with your thumb and middle finger and gently wet his hair.
Apply a small amount of Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Special Shampoo to your hand and massage your baby’s head with firm fingers. Rinse off very well.
Dry your baby’s head with the corner of a towel. Then soap his body all over, leaving his hands soap free as he may put them in his eyes and mouth. Rinse and dry your hands before picking up baby to make him less likely to slip.
Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Special Shampoo has a gentle, soap-free formulation and is suitable from birth. That’s because it won’t burn your little one’s eyes or irritate sensitive skin. It gently cleanses your baby’s hair leaving it soft, shiny and smelling like a baby should. It is also a wonderful bath time wash that cleans your baby’s skin and leaves it petal soft and smooth
Pick up your baby in a good grip – your left wrist under baby’s head and left hand around the top of baby’s left arm. Your right hand under baby’s bottom and fingers around baby’s left thigh. Place baby in the water. Release your right hand and rinse baby. Let baby enjoy the water as he quietly explores the environment. Rinse your baby’s tummy by letting baby lie on his back with your hand supporting his head. Bathing aids like a splash bather stand are available to leave your hands free and give baby freedom in the water.
Change your baby from a backward to a forward position to rinse baby’s back.
When you’re ready to take your baby out of the bath, hold him firmly then lift him and place him on a towel on the bating mattress. Use a clean facecloth or cotton wool, dampened with warm water, to clean his face. Use a figure of three movement on either side, and wipe his eyes, and wipe his eyes from the inside out. To prevent the possibility of eye infection, use separate areas of facecloth or a fresh piece of cotton will for each eye.
To dry your baby, wrap him snugly in a towel, cuddle and pat him dry and enjoy this bonding time. Remember to check that he is totally dry, particularly in all the creases. You can pat some Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Cornstarch Powder all over his body to help absorb excess moisture and prevent chafing and nappy rash.
Caring For Your Newborn Baby
Clean your baby’s umbilical cord area with a cotton bud or ball dipped in surgical spirits. Clean the base of the cord where the separation will eventually occur. The more frequently you clean the cord, the quicker it will dry and the sooner it will fall off.
If you haven’t just bathed baby, clean the nappy area and dry well, particularly in all the creases. Then apply a small amount of Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Petroleum Jelly, Barrier Cream or Nappy Rash Cream.
Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Barrier Cream is specially formulated to protect your baby’s delicate skin against nappy rash. It is gentle and easy to apply. Each time you change your baby’s nappy, simply pat Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Barrier Cream on your baby’s clean, dry bottom so as to create a soothing protective barrier against baby’s wet or soiled nappy and helps prevent nappy rash.
Put baby’s nappy on, ensuring a close fit around baby’s tummy. Rub some Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Aqueous Cream or Lotion over baby’s body to keep baby’s skin smooth and supple.
Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Aqueous Cream is non greasy and easily absorbed to help keep your little one’s skin soft and smooth. What’s more, because it forms a protective film on the skin, it protects and moisturises your baby’s skin from the drying effect of your climate. Use as a moisturising body wash and/or after bath time cream – you’ll find it leaves your baby’s skin feeling soft and smooth. Available in Fragrance Free and Good Nights with Almond variants.
If your baby is prone to chafing, then smooth some Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Baby Powder over baby’s body, especially in the creases (remember to shake the powder into your hands first and not directly onto baby’s body). Your baby is now comfortable and dry and ready to be held and cuddled.
Your Loving Touch
Taking time to massage your baby is a wonderful way of showing your love.
We experience and learn so much through the power of touch; it is one of the most powerful means of communication. Although you can learn more about different massage techniques, if you proceed with love, respect and confidence, there’s no reason why you can’t massage your baby without any formal training. Regular massage establishes a foundation of trust and opens a channel of communication that you and your baby will benefit from for a lifetime.
The benefits of massage for babies are well documented; here are some of the main benefits:
Regular massage improves circulation and provides you with the perfect opportunity to observe your baby’s body and notice any problems as they arise
Massage helps baby relax and induces sleep. If it is part of a set routine, it can help “cue” baby to the fact that it is bath- or bedtime, which reassures baby greatly
Babies who are massaged feel loved and start developing a sense of respect and trust for those around them
Massage keeps skin in tip top condition, and can also help baby overcome possible tactile defensiveness
There are benefits to you as a parent too:
Improves ability to read infant cues
Promotes bonding and communication – both verbal and non-verbal
Increases confidence in parenting
Before you get started, here are some do’s and don’ts:
Place baby on a soft but firm surface
Make sure that the room temperature is comfortable – not too hot and not too warm
Massage baby half way between two feeds. Hungry babies will be grumpy and wanting to be fed, while babies that have just fed may throw up due to the massage.
Get the product you will be using for the massage ready. Different products can be used, such as Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Baby Aqueous Cream or Lotion, Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s baby oil or you can use Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Good Nights Baby Oil Lotion or Baby Oil Gel which have been specifically formulated for baby massage.
Gently massage your baby’s entire body with firm, even strokes. Make sure you massage in a clockwise direction on the abdomen to help with digestion.
Don’t continue massaging if your baby seems unhappy with it; remember that this is his body, and he has the right to say “no” too. Try again when he is in a better mood
Always keep one hand on baby as you massage to reassure him, and maintain eye contact to reinforce the trust between you.