There’s an old adage that says, “Don’t through the baby out with the bath water”, and while that certainly is wise advice, it’s not really helpful if you’re trying to figure out the safest and most efficient way to bathe your baby, even though the overall sentiment still applies especially when frustration sets in of figuring out how to hold those slippery little suckers still while scrubbing their cherubic. While nearly every parent, novice or seasoned, knows never to leave a baby alone in the bathtub (and if you don’t know, now you know). Making bath time fun and safe can seem like an oxymoron, but you can learn these hacks to take the guess work out of it.
Bath-time hacks for baby
Hack #1 : Given that you don’t ever want to take your attention away from your child the they’re in the bath, literally ever, make sure you have everything you need within arms reach before you start. Baby wash, wash cloth, towel, clean diaper and clothes to change into, all of it. You should aim to keep a hand on your baby at all times, because accidents happen in a split second, and a baby can drown in as little as an inch of water.
Hack #2: Infants should not be bathed in a large bath tub. Everyone is on the same page here, correct? Great. Instead of using the sink, which is totally old school and not even close to easy in reality, get an infant tub. Once you progress from the first few weeks of sponge baths, an infant tub will make your life a lot easier. Usually it's is an angled plastic tub with a sling of mesh to support the baby. You can set this into the larger tub and utilize the convenience of the large tub. Sometimes it’s just a mesh sling that sets in the tub. Regardless of what style you chose you’ll be glad you skipped trying to reenact that scene from the baby wash commercial and went with the real-life solution.
Hack #3: Once your adorable little angel is sitting up, things can get a little more…interesting at bath time. Unexpected occurrences like pooping in the tub aside, the more wiggly and mobile babies get the more challenging bath time can become. A tried-and-true approach to keeping kids safe at this age is to simply lay a bath towel in the bottom of your tub and only fill the water a couple of inches deep. The towel will give them a non-slip space to sit but still enjoy the fun that comes with splashing and playing.
Hack #4: For a true bath time “hack” you can set a laundry basket into the tub and let your little one sit in the more confined space of the basket sides. The openings in the sides of the basket allow the water to flow through but keeps your baby from moving around too much. It’s also great for keeping bath toys within reach, preventing them from floating too far across the tub. This is a great hack for babies and toddlers.
Hack #5: Another safety tip that takes a lot of the stress out of bath time for babies are faucet protectors. These are a modern version of a rubber duck, but with a purpose. The adorable rubber characters fit right over the faucet, providing a soft cushion where in the days of yore the rest of a us hit our heads, backs, and squishy little bottoms when maneuvering around the tub.
Hack #6: Babies don’t need perfume. On that note they don’t need dyes or harsh chemicals on their body either. You’re not washing off beauty products and deodorant (or at least you shouldn’t be) so you don’t need an aggressive soap or shampoo for your baby. You don’t need anything antibacterial, either. Use a gentle hair and body cleanser made for babies and children, the more natural the better, with a cotton wash cloth – that’s it.
Hack #7: Don’t give your baby a bath too often. Babies do not have the same body oils and odors as us stinky adults. The reality is, babies don’t need to be bathed every day. Unless you’ve got a serious diaper explosion on your hands or lunchtime spaghetti eating became a competitive sport, giving your baby a bath every two or three days is plenty. IN fact, because babies have such delicate skin, bathing them too often can actually increase the chance for dry skin, irritations, and eczema. Cleaning their hands and face after meal times and their bottoms during diaper changes is sufficient for keeping your baby clean and healthy on a daily basis.