Unfortunately today’s mamas leave the bathing of the baby to a maid or to their mother/mother-in-law. Yet, the bath time is one of the most important interactions that will ever happen between the two of you. CHRISTINA VIEGAS talks about how you, ducky and baby can have a blast during bathing…
Initial interaction with your baby is probably the most important of all that will ever happen between the two of you - when you will begin to notice your baby’s distinctive personality. It is a known fact that babies thrive on physical contact. An excellent time during which your baby can be wholeheartedly attended
to and cuddled, is the ‘bathing time’. Childcare books tell us that they don’t need to be bathed daily till they start moving and crawling about. Yet, it is absolutely beneficial to babies, when a daily bathing ritual is followed and whether a cumbersome job or an enjoyable experience, depends on how you go about it.
MOST IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS ARE:
Right place – this can be the kitchen sink, a plastic tub, or a washstand. Make yourself comfortable by sitting on a high stool at the sink. The atmosphere should be warm.
Toiletries at reach – all essentials needed for washing, drying and dressing should be within reach. Baby oil can be used to massage the baby prior to bath after which a warm towel should be wrapped around the little one, especially if a new born. During this time, you can clean your baby’s eyes, ears and diaper area with cotton balls. Keep the time baby is undressed to the minimum.
Temperature of water – dipping your elbow in can help determine the appropriate warmth of the water. Additional hot water should never be added while the baby is in; it is extremely dangerous and can results in burns for the little one.
Soap – any mild soap is satisfactory though there is a variety in the market. Choose one that suits your baby’s skin. And if your mother or grandmother has a suggestion of washing your baby’s body with some natural cleanser such as gram flour mixed with milk, rose water etc, go for it. There is a truth in the cliché ‘Grandma knows best’. We have doubted their intelligence and this has resulted in an unhealthy present generation.
The Bath itself – washing baby’s body first followed by the head is advisable as the head should not remain wet for long. They love splashing around, so you can float some colourful toys in, like ducks, and use this opportunity to wipe their hair (highly irking for a baby) as they are well distracted.
Pampering after bath – Doctors say that baby lotion is not required but if you enjoy doing it go ahead, as your baby will enjoy the massage. Powder your baby but not in the nappy area as it cakes when wet. It is best to clip the little one’s nails after bath as they are soft.
It is criminal to leave the father out during this very important period of bonding with the baby. In the beginning, men might feel wary of handling the infant, fearing that they might hurt them, but encourage your partner and you will be witness to the intense bonding between daddy and your dearest.
However, what is of utmost importance during the bathing ritual is to chat and smile constantly with the baby, and make as much body contact as possible as this is greatly beneficial to the little one’s growth and well being. Never ever leave the child alone in a tub!