How and when to bathe your baby
For a first-time parent, bathing a baby can be daunting task as there are too many questions. You wonder if a baby needs bath everyday or every other day, should a baby be bathed before or after a feeding? Or is it better to bathe a baby in the morning or at night?
This ritual can be intimidating, but with preparation and the right set-up, the experience can be joyful and stress-free, especially for new mothers.
According to experts, the timing of bathing a newborn is up to the parents. It can be morning, afternoon or night, as long as you’re both upto the task. Some prefer morning baths, when their babies are awake and alert while others may choose to make it part of a soothing bed time routine.
It’s best to pick a time when you are not in a hurry. In India, parents often hire a maid to bathe their newborn, which is fine. But they are missing out on a great bonding exercise. Physical closeness can create an emotional connection, and the moment can be the highlight of your day. Moreover, a mother’s touch can do wonders for the growth and development of the child.
You also have to be mindful about your baby’s schedule. Generally, in India, babies are given a bath early in the morning. However, if your child sleeps in late then there is no point in waking your baby up for a bath. The experience can be stressful for both you and the baby. Be flexible and take your time to figure out the pattern. Recognize your baby’s existing cues and take into account the loose routine, the child’s already keeping. Remember, schedule changes as the child grows.
Experts also feel it’s best to avoid bathing a baby when its hungry or immediately after a feed. A hungry baby will cry incessantly while bathing and be too tired to eat after, and if you want to bathe the baby after a feed, consider waiting for 30 minutes or an hour, to allow the tummy to settle down.
At the end of the day, it’s up to the parents to decide what’s right for their child. What works for one baby may not work for another. In fact, the situation keeps changing as the child grows. A baby, who was accustomed to taking a bath before a feed as a newborn, may require one after the meal. It’s important to figure out a bath time routine that works for both you and your baby.