Top 5 Tips For a Stress Free Bathtime
Updated: Apr 6
Whenever I’m working with a new or expectant parent, one of the things they’re most worried about is dropping the baby in the bath. And I always reassure them this is a totally normal thing to worry about! Babies can be super wriggly, and once you add in water and maybe some bubble bath - watch out! But before you rush out and buy that swanky adjustable height bath with attached changing table, or that special thermometer for the water, or heater for the bathroom in case the air is too cold (yes this is a thing!), let’s take a look at how to set yourself up for bathtime success - whether or not you have all the kit.
Take the pressure off. If you really can’t face bathing baby today, they’ll probably be ok until tomorrow. As long as their nappy area is clean and dry, everything else can wait. There are no hard and fast rules on how often you should (or shouldn’t) bath your baby, though many baby gurus will have included guidance in their books or websites. In the end it’s a personal choice.
Get everything ready before you put baby in the bath. Planning ahead is key here, as you don’t want to be trying to fish a towel out of the airing cupboard, unplugging the bath with your toes, and hunting for a nappy all at the same time as trying to hold onto your slippery fish of a baby. So set up the bath, with your sponge or cloth and whatever products you’re using within arms reach. Make sure you have a towel nearby. Then sort out what you’ll need after the bath - nappy, pyjamas, bum balm, whatever you’re using, get it ready in the place where you’ll need it.
Get comfy. Find an extra towel or mat that you can fold up and put under your knees or bottom so you can sit or kneel on the floor next to the bath. I guarantee if you try to crouch for the entirety of the bath your joints will seize up and not only will you make some horrendous bone crunching cracking noises, but you also won’t be particularly stable when you try to stand up while lifting baby.
Make bathtime fun. Some babies hate bathtime, others love it. Either way, try to think of bathtime as a time for some fun bonding activities. Sing songs, play peek-a-boo, read a story, or just chat to your baby. If you find this awkward or you’re not sure what to do, why not try singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes as you wash each body part? Or just talk out loud about what you’re doing. This is a great time to expose your baby to new language in a low key way.
Try a shower instead. If your baby hates their body being submerged in the water (or even if they love it) why not try a shower instead? Strip off, hold baby close to you, and step under the shower together. Try to avoid directing the spray onto their face, and make sure it’s not too powerful. Some babies actually prefer being in the shower to having a bath, so it’s worth testing it out. You could even go for a mixture and do what I do - give baby a bath then let them hold the shower head with the spray on low so they can explore the water in their own time.
Obviously throughout all of this please remember the number one rule for any kind of water play - never leave your child unattended, not even for a second, as there is a very real risk of drowning even in small amounts of water.
How to bath your baby is included in my Newborn Care Class, so if you’re feeling a bit nervous why not get in touch to find out when the next classes are running? If your baby is already here and you would like some support, then my Postpartum Doula Services are what you’re looking for.