Is Co-Bathing With Your Baby Safe?
The bond between a mother and her child is very special. Mothers love to spend time with their newborn babies and wish to get to know them better in every way possible, which is why some mothers wonder if they can bring their little ones to the bath with them as well and indulge in some nice ‘clean’ fun together! Babies love water, and being with their mothers can make them feel safe and secure as well. So, is it recommended to take a bath with a baby or should mothers avoid it? Let’s learn all about co-bathing with the help of the article given below.
Can You Take a Bath With Your Baby?
It is more than recommended that you take a bath with your little one, the moment it becomes possible for the both of you. Bathing is one of the perfect ways to increase complete skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby. The presence of water and your body can be calming for the child since it might remind him of the safety of the womb. In a few cases, lactation can improve in the presence of warm water, making it easier for you to breastfeed even.
Precautions to Take While Bathing With Baby
It is necessary to remember that your baby is still getting used to the world around them. So, they need all the support they can get, especially during the bath. This is extremely important since you will also be engaged in bathing. Here are some precautions to take while bathing with a baby.
1. Begin At the Right Age
Babies who are just a few days old don’t need a proper bath and, in fact, giving them one can lead to problems. The umbilical cord stump of the child needs to heal completely and fall off and the wound around the navel needs to heal completely to avoid any chances of infection.
2. Appropriate Water Temperature
The skin of your little one is quite sensitive in the early stages and their response to the smallest peaks of temperature can be quite extreme. When preparing the bath for your child, make sure the water is just room temperature, or maybe a tad warmer if it is winter time.
3. Prepare in Advance
The worst things that could happen is that you get in the water with your child and realize that you’ve left the soap on the counter or the towels are still in the other room. Therefore, it is best to keep everything at an arm’s reach before you take the baby for the bath. In case you do miss out on anything, don’t ever leave the baby alone in the bathroom even for a moment.
4. Don’t Enter the Tub With Your Baby
Trying to enter the tub while holding your baby in your arms is a fatal idea: what if you lose your footing and slip? You’ll neither be able to protect yourself and much less your baby. Keep your baby in his mini-seat next to the tub, enter the tub properly by yourself, and then take your baby from his seat. Else, you can have someone (a relative, or your spouse) bring the baby for you.
5. Keep a Grip Mat in the Tub
Even if you are fully secured and are having fun with the baby, any random movement by your baby or by you could cause either person to lose their balance and hit the tub headfirst. Opting for a grip mat at the base of the tub can make it easier to maintain yourself inside it.
6. Let Your Baby Stay Warm
Bath time with your baby will not be a short one since you will enjoy your time together in the tub, playing around in the water. Therefore, it is essential to keep pouring a little water on your baby’s head from time to time, so that his upper body and the head stays warm.
7. Get Out of the Tub in a Safe Way
Remembering the way you got into the tub in the first place, follow the exact steps in reverse order when you are getting out. Ask your partner to take the baby or keep him in his mini-seat next to you. Then, step out of the tub, making sure you have a good grip to hold yourself. Then work towards drying up your bodies.
8. Don’t Over Do
According to research, babies do not need to bathe every day. Though, three times per week is recommended. Babies naturally have balanced skin which can easily dry out if bathed too much.
9. Avoid Soap
Avoid using scented soaps, or even soap in general, in the early weeks and months after pregnancy if you are co-bathing with your baby. The baby’s skin is quite delicate, and you should avoid using soap on it. If you wish to wash yourself in the bath, do so before the baby gets in, and switch the water so that it’s not soapy after your wash.
When to Avoid Co-Bathing With Baby?
Bathing with your little can be all fun and games if things are done correctly. But co-bathing is best avoided in case of certain scenarios.
1. When the Water Is Soiled
Your baby might urinate or poop in the water during your bath. If that happens, get him out immediately and end the bathing session there itself.
2. Water Temperature Is Extreme
Extreme winters might make it necessary for you to have a nice hot water bath. But that temperature might be a little too much for the newborn baby. In such cases, it is best to bathe separately.
3. Difficulty in Entering or Exiting the Tub
If you don’t have a person to help you out with your child or are still recovering from the delivery, it is recommended not to risk having your child with you in your bath until you can take care of yourself completely.
4. If You Are Tired/Exhausted
Failure to focus on the bathing session can put your child at risk and cause you to take wrong decisions instead.
5. While You Are Menstruating
Bathing with your child when you might be at the risk of bleeding in the water is not exactly a hygienic proposition.
6. If the Umbilical Cord Stump Is Still Present
Sponge baths are the only way you should clean your body until the cord stump dries and falls off. The area is very sensitive and needs to be taken care of.
7. Immediately Following a Circumcision
Certain cultures might circumcise their boys after birth. These wounds need to be healed completely before your little one is exposed to water.
1. When Should I Stop Bathing With My Baby?
Although, bathing with your baby stops eventually, as there is no particular time to stop doing this. But look out for the signs that say your baby wishes to shower alone now. For example, if your child feels shy to bathe in front of you – this can be your cue to stop.
2. How Frequently Should I Bath My Baby?
It is not required to bathe your newborn baby every day. You can give them a bath three times a week.
Bathing together with your child can be quite an experience and making it a regular activity will work wonders for the both of you. The stronger a bond between a mother and a child, the easier it is for the little one to be open to exploring newer aspects of the world, and grow up rapidly.
1. Bath time with your baby! Don’t miss this opportunity!; kidswim.org; https://kidswim.org/kidswim/bath-time-with-your-baby-dont-miss-this-opportunity
2. Co-Bathing: A Useful Technique to Restart Breastfeeding; llli.org; https://llli.org/co-bathing-a-useful-technique-to-restart-breastfeeding/
3. HOW TO BATHE YOUR NEWBORN; aad.org; https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/newborn-bathing
4. Bathing Your Baby; healthychildren.org; https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/bathing-skin-care/Pages/Bathing-Your-Newborn.aspx
5. Infant and toddler health; mayoclinic.org; https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/healthy-baby/art-20044438