Baby’s bath, everyday routine or necessity?
When we attended prenatal classes, we were told that babies do not need a bath on a daily basis, that they are clean anyway. Immediately after birth baby’s skin is generally covered and protected by vernix (mechanical removal of this layer is not recommended) and, if you follow a simple daily routine cleaning, a general bath twice a week is more than enough. By simple routine I mean that we need to properly clean baby’s face, ears, all the key points where you can find dead skin (the skin folds) and finally the diaper area. It is recommended to use cotton wool and water, nothing else. You must have everything ready before you start the procedure, have everything you need at your fingertips, make sure that your attention is constantly directed to your baby. This simple routine was essential to us and I am glad I was advised before Robert was born. He was not a small baby that you are afraid to turn or wash. But it was still hard for me to give him a bath more often, because I did not know how to make it more funny for him. I was nervous for a long time, I had the feeling that it was an unpleasant moment, that he was not very excited. Then, up to 4 months, we were doing fine, the bathing place was in the room and nothing seemed to announce any change. But then, when he discovered what he could do with his feet, we were forced to move to the bathroom. I believe that every parent can identify with the moment when a common bath turns the room completely, as if the hurricane had passed there, even a whale would act milder than them (figurative speaking).
Since we started weaning and he’s getting dirty, we tried to introduce bath time as a routine, at night, to make sure he does not get dirty anymore. I have recently noticed that if bath misses one day he does not sleep very well at night. There were times when we avoided. He had only one ugly cold in eight months, it was quite difficult and I thought the bath could amplify his symptoms. I put him in the bathroom once a day, set the shower on hot water for a maximum of 10 minutes and let the steam blow off his nose. It worked great, especially because you do not have any alternatives and the drops in our case had no effect. I think nothing compares with the annoyance of a baby who can not breathe normally until he learns to breathe through his mouth. I was amazed at his instinct of survival, even in the deepest sleep cycle he began to cry if he felt something was wrong.
Generally we can schedule the bath for any time of the day. We only have to make sure that it does not overlap with sleep time, that the baby is not hungry and the room temperature is optimal. For the bath it is recommended to have a temperature of 24 degrees, and I did not manage to raise it to that point. The ideal water temperature is 37 degrees, if you do not have a thermometer you can test the water by introducing the elbow, it must be warm, not hot.
Babies love routine, they love to anticipate what is going to happen, it gives them security. At some point, Robert had grown accustomed to using the sleeping bag, was enough to see it and he was beginning to show signs of fatigue, he knew what to do next. I read about babies waiting to hear the same book before sleep, associating the story with sleep time. It’s incredible how they learn to guide themselves after key moments.
How often have you bathed your baby and how do you think that helped you? Is it part of your daily routine or maybe you make a bath whenever it’s needed?