In this parenting tips video learn some tips and techniques for when you are bathing your baby.
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How to Bath Your Baby
Host: Rubber duckies and water! At the Colby house, bath time is simply fun.
Jamie Colby: Alexis is 10 months only. She’s a very playful, cheerful little girl. Alexis loves taking her baths. It’s fun and relaxing. It gives us quality time together at night.
Host: Jamie makes sure all is in place. For her, a tub ring adds reassurance.
Jamie Colby: I bathe her in the bathtub with one of the rings. The bath ring helps a lot for both of us. It just keeps you from having to lean over and hold her up the entire time to keep her safe from tipping over.
Host: When bathing a child, keep water levels low. Also, a parent’s comfort is important. If you’re straining your back, chances are you’re not in a good position to help your child. And, when it comes to positioning, NEVER leave a toddler unattended, even if the child seems secure in a bathtub ring or any other positioning device.
Joseph Hagan: It’s very important to remember that a toddler – although big enough to sit by themselves and even do some of their own bathing – should never be left alone in the bathroom because it doesn’t take very long for them to slip, submerge and drown. It happens and it’s a tragedy that can be prevented. You don’t turn your back on them. If the phone rings, let it ring. Let the answering machine pick-up.
Host: For new parents, the thought of bath time is often intimidating. They’re so little!
Fortunately, until the umbilical chord falls off, a washcloth and some mild soap is all that’s required. As baby gets bigger and baths are needed: the next stop is a basin, sink or tub.
Joseph Hagan: First off prep your space. You want to make sure the rooms not cold, no draft. You want to make sure the water is prepared. Water should be lukewarm. When you’re testing water DON’T use your fingertips. Our fingertips have gotten less sensitive to heat. It’s best to use your wrist or elbow, some place that’s more sensitive to heat. It should feel neither hot nor cold maybe a little bit warm.
Host: Here are some more tub tips to avoid troubles: set your water heater at 120-degrees or lower. High temperatures can scald a baby’s skin right out of the tap. DON’T run dishwashers or washing machines during bath time. They can draw cold water and quickly change tap temperature. Clear sharp edges from the area. Block or warn kids about electrical outlets. Make sure they know never to touch them with wet hands. Add texture to the tub with adhesive rubber strips or a rubber mat. Avoid bubble baths and soaking in suds. Both can be irritating to the skin and can even cause bladder problem for girls. And, when it comes to soap selection, use mild bar soaps and baby shampoos. Adult soaps are too harsh. If your child has dry skin, too many baths could be the culprit.
Joseph Hagan: For dry-skinned babies, the number one recommendation is do less of it. For the most part, in the U.S. in the wintertime, one or two baths a week is plenty. Because when the air becomes cooler, air becomes drier and frequent bathing removes the body’s natural oils, they’re trying to fight off that dryness that can lead dry skin rashes. In the summertime – much more frequent based on perspiration.
Host: While you want to pull the child out of the water if they starting looking like a prune, it’s good to let them have a little fun.
Joseph Hagan: Bathing should be fun for a toddler. Most toddlers will enjoy sitting in a tub, doing water play. Playing with boats, playing with rubber duckies, playing with squirt guns, so what if the floor gets wet, have fun!
Host: And, when all is said and done, you have a cleaner, happier child. Mission complete!