From breakfast to bedtime, having a routine in place can make your life as parents, and your little one’s day-to-day life, a whole lot easier. And the same goes for bath time too. A consistent and relaxing routine in the tub for your babe can be a fun and calming ritual, not just for them, but for you too.
Not only does it put your baby in the mood for a snooze, preparing for a peaceful night’s slumber, but it’s also a great time to bond. It’s all about the experience – did you know your touch and interaction with your bub during their bath also supports their healthy development? So, fun in the tub is actually a lot more than just keeping your little one nice and clean.
It’s a given – some little ones come along as natural-born lovers of the water, whilst others may take a while to warm up to the idea of tub time fun. Whatever your babe’s habits, likes and grumps, we’re on hand to set you up with the perfect bath time routine. Stick with us and before you know it, your little one will be splashing about happily in no time.
How often should I give my baby a bath?
Bathing your little one 2 to 3 times a week, for 5 to 10 minutes, is enough to keep them squeaky clean. However, if you’ve got a water baby on your hands who loves baths, you can bathe them once a day. Any more than this and it can dry out your babe’s delicate skin, so don’t go overboard with tub time!
The perfect bath time routine
The idea of bathing your baby and how to do it can feel daunting for parents. Fear not though! Once you get the hang of it, it will become an enjoyable experience for both you and your little one. Plus, there are lots of bath time essentials out there to help parents wash their little wriggly munchkins.
So, what’s the secret to creating the perfect bath time routine? Here, we’ll break it down for you step by step:
- Utilise the time
The bathroom isn’t just about bath time, it’s about potty training too. Helping toddlers to use their potty is all about positive reinforcement and developing good habits. So, take advantage of this time for your older babies to build their independence so that they can go to the toilet on their own. There are lots of cute and practical potty ranges out there to kit out your babe’s potty-training experience.
- Set a schedule
Whilst it’s up to you how many times you give your little one a bath, we recommend once or twice a week. It’s a good idea to have a schedule in place for when you’re going to give your babe a bath. A routine like this means your baby will know what to expect every week, which means more fun in the water and less wriggling to get out! Remember though – you’ll need to top-and-tail daily to keep your bub’s skin clean and free from those pesky, skin irritants.
- Choose a good time
Remember – bath time is when you and your sweetness get to relax and bond together. So, pick a time of the day where you know you won’t be interrupted. After all – you need to devote this time all to your little angel with no distractions. Our experts recommend bath time when your baby is alert, content and happy. In-between feeds, or before bedtimes are the most ideal time for some water fun, so that they’re neither hungry nor full. Trying to give a bath to a hungry little munchkin, or likewise one with a full belly is no fun – trust us! If you bathe your bub before it’s time to snooze, it can make them sleepy and ready for sweet dreams.
- Make sure everything is at hand
It’s important to set up all bathing essentials next to you before you begin washing your bub. For example, a towel, washcloth, bath toys, lotion or shampoo, clean clothes and a clean nappy. This way you can always keep your eyes and hands on your little one during bath time.
- Keep your baby warm
Run a nice warm bath that’s around about 37 to 38 degrees. Make sure to swill the water well to get rid of those hidden hot patches. You’ll also need to test the temperature with a baby thermometer or your wrist/elbow before you put your babe in for splish-splash fun. Babies lose heat from their bodies quickly so make sure your bathroom is also nice and toasty (24 to 27 degrees).
- Help your baby enjoy tub time
Having a wet and wriggly little monkey on your hands takes practice, so making bath time enjoyable is essential. Some babes love splashing about, whilst others may find it a little scary. For newborns, chat away or sing nursery rhymes to them, and for older babies use bath toys like cups or rubber ducks to keep them entertained. Plus, toys help their sensory development so bath time is also an educational experience!
Five minutes of water fun is enough as babies can get cold very quickly. Once you take them out of the bath, they may cry when the cold air hits their skin. If this happens, just make sure you have a cosy towel ready to cocoon them in and pat them dry.
To dry your sweetheart, wrap and cocoon them in a soft towel and pat them gently. Make sure to give your bub a little TLC around the creases of the neck, arms, legs, bottom and between their teeny tiny fingers and toes. This is because these areas can get sore if they’re not dried properly.
- Pre-bed massage
Baby massages have many benefits to them. Firstly, it’s a great way to bond with your little one – especially for dads, and mums who aren’t breastfeeding. This is a fantastic way to get in that all-important skin-to-skin contact with your babe. Did you know massage can help boost immunity in babies? It can make them feel more relaxed which is perfect for supporting a dreamy night’s sleep.
Make sure you buy vegetable-based massage oils which are free from mineral oils, perfume and colours. After your babe’s bath, when you’ve wrapped them in their towel somewhere safe, rub a small amount of baby oil in circular motions. Do this over their back, tummy, arms, legs, fingers and toes. For their delicate face and other dry parts such as the scalp and nappy area, switch to a baby moisturiser instead. This ritual will not only make you feel calmer, but your sweetheart will also pick up on this, helping them to unwind and relax too.
Now that you know all the top tips to setting up the perfect bath time routine for your little angel – you can expect endless tub-time fun! One thing’s certain – cleaning a wriggling, slippery babe takes practice. However, there’s really no need to worry as it will get easier each time. Before you know it, you and your bundle of joy will be on your way to leaving your water woes behind, and enjoying more and more of your special bonding time.