Welcome to parenthood. You grow this life for 9 months, you deliver, you cry, you hurt in ways you never imagined, you may have watched someone else give life to your baby, you may have gotten a call at 3am telling you that your baby was born and is waiting on you to come get them..... So, you think "I did the hard stuff, lets go home". The nurses check the car seat and tell you good job. You snap that expensive piece of baby equipment in your car and off you go.
Then you get home and think "what have I done". You realize you have no idea what you are doing. The hospital and doctors did not prepare you for crying that causes your ears to ring for hours, all the poop, the rashes, the patting, the pacing around for hours, and they certainly did not prepare you for the first real bath. I remember bring my first daughter home and feeling like I was the toughest parent in the room. Honestly, I was the only parent in her room at that moment. As the first few days went by I realized I had no idea what I was doing. I quickly discover the simplest of tasks were much harder than I ever thought. It is burned into my memory the day Kori's ambilocal cord came off and it was time for her first real bath. I was so excited to clean her and soak in that fresh baby smell from soap and lotion.
So, I pulled out her baby bath tub and then the questions started. What temperature should the water be? How do I wet her hair without it getting in her eyes? Why is she crying? How do you get her to stay still enough to bathe? Her back and butt are on the tub; so, how do you get her clean without picking her up and getting myself soaked? Of course, I wondered how do I keep her warm! That was just the questions I had in the first two minutes of bath time. I am still learning every day how to be a parent. I will share some tips I have learned over the past couple of years that might help you with the legendary first bath!
1. Take a Deep Breath Mom/Dad.... You Have Got This Under Control
Sometimes it is okay to take a step back (before you put baby in the bath) and take a breath. Think through all the items you will need for bath time. For us, the essential bath time supplies are tub, soap, shampoo, lotion, washcloth, thick hand towel, temperature duckie, cup, and a hooded bath towel. Once you have everything gathered and you are feeling confident go get your Little One.
2. Run the water and put in some bubbles.
Of course, we love the TruBaby products for bath and after care. I personally loved the ducks that tell you when the water is the perfect temperature. I run my baths way too hot so it was hard to decide what was the perfect temp for my baby. I seemed to either get it too warm or too cool. The ducks taught me what the water should feel like. I stopped using them after a couple of months. Adding bubbles helps your baby get clean since they are literally sitting in bubbles.
3. Add in the baby.
When putting your new baby into the water, it is best to hold them against your chest while putting them down slowly. This gives them a sense of security and comfort. Once in the tub, put the hand towel over their chest and belly. After the towel gets wet with the warm water, it helps them stay warm too. Every few minutes pour some fresh warm bath water over the towel to keep it from cooling off. If your Little One likes a pacifier, I would recommend letting them have one while in the bath. Again, it is all about comfort and soothing this new human.
Use a ultra soft baby rag on your infant. I thought it was silly to purchase baby bath clothes. I quickly learned, they are vital to a good experience. Use a small amount of infant soap. We use the TruBaby Soothing Skin Body and Hair Wash. Be careful not to use products that contain chemicals and artificial fragrances. Remember, a new baby's skin is ultra sensitive. The last thing you want is for your new baby to get a rash or have an adverse reaction to nasty ingredients. Wash the areas that need cleaning the most! You do not know how long your baby will stay in the tub; so, it is best to do the necessities first. After gently cleansing your baby, rinse them by using a cup. Pour the water slowly and try to keep soap from their eyes. Although TruBaby wash is tear-free, there is no need to add any addition new sensations if you can avoid it.
5. Dry and Love
Congratulations, you are done with the first bath. Your baby probably cried. You might have cried with them..... I cried. We promise it gets easier and more fun from here on out. Dry them with that soft hooded towel and hold them for a while. I never rushed to put on fresh clothes or jammies. Instead, I enjoyed rocking my clean baby in her towel for a while to settle her down and make her feel comfortable.
We know being a new parent is hard emotionally and physically. Just remember, you can do this! I never understood the phrase "days are long but the years are short" until I became a mommy. Now, I would give anything to give my tiny new baby another bath.
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