Baby Bath Time Tips

Read these 12 Baby Bath Time Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Baby Gifts tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What do I need for bath time?

Don't Forget the Essentials

You've spent the last nine months running around, trying to make sure everything's ready for your new baby. Now that she's here, you can finally relax and enjoy your time together. Some of the things people forget most often, however, are the practical things; they're distracted by the big purchases like a crib and the cute little things like baby jewelry. But when you give your baby her first bath, don't be caught without baby towels!

Come bath time, make sure she's comfortable and dry with a personalized velour polka-dot hooded towel. Or for those with edgier tastes, wrap her up in a gothic skull hooded towel. At PrettyBabyGifts.com, they have all kinds of bath time products to make sure you get her clean and comfy in style--your style!

Keep bath time from becoming stressful by preparing in advance. PrettyBabyGifts.com offers many personalized items for baby so that simple baby towel can be transformed into a keepsake for long after your baby has outgrown it. From a personalized baby fish poncho bath towel to a Tillie the Turtle Bath Time Gift Set, you can be sure to find the most adorable baby towels for your most adorable new addition!

   
What do I do with the baby when I want to get in the shower?

Bath Time For Mommy

Psst! New mom. Yeah, you. It's been three days now. Don't you think you need a bath? Your partner's off to work and you're not sure of what to do with the baby while you're in the shower. If you put him in the crib, he's going to cry and that'll just make you feel guilty. For obvious reasons you can't leave him alone on the couch. Even though the newborn isn't able to roll over yet, you definitely don't feel comfortable leaving him lying on the living room floor with a toy mobile and the cat to entertain him. So what are you going to do? It's time to lather up and shave those legs!

First of all, it's okay to put the baby down in the safety of his crib. Sure he might fuss a little, but you're not going to be gone all day. If it makes you feel better, bring the baby monitor into the bathroom with you. Just make sure not to sing in the shower. Like cell phones, your conversations and American Idol moments can sometimes be heard by other people.

Still not convinced? If you don't want to put the baby in his or her crib, put him into a car carrier and bring the whole thing into the bathroom with you. That way baby will be safe and sound, and close enough that you can peek around the shower curtain to check on him.

   
Should I buy a baby shower gift suitable for a boy or girl?

Gender Friendly Baby Gifts

What mother doesn't want to receive a complete set of green and/or yellow baby sleepers, blankets, bibs, and baby socks? Not all parents wants to know if the baby is going to be a girl or a boy, and if they know, they might not want to disclose that information. That leaves everyone else scrambling to find an “appropriate” color scheme to buy. You might find the perfect pink frilled baby bonnet or other female gender-friendly item, but you don't dare to buy it. What if the baby is a boy? What if the father of that baby completely freaks at the idea of dressing his son in anything other than testosterone-building blue?

Instead of buying clothing for the baby, why not set your sights elsewhere? Diapers aren't cheap and they're definitely going to be put to good use. What about a baby night light, a nice set of quality crib sheets, or a digital thermometer? The next best thing to dressing a baby is buying clothes for the baby. However, if you're bored with the idea of wrapping up a pair of gender-neutral jammies, avoid the baby clothing section completely.

Baby bath time products are always a sure thing. Create your own baby gift basket filled with baby shampoo, baby soap, baby bath towels and a few toys. It doesn't matter if the parents get one gift basket like this or twenty. The products will get used and you don't have to worry about them being gender friendly.

   
How can I make sure my partner buys a sensible baby shower gift?

When A Man Shops For A Baby

Warning: The following suggestion has been performed by trained male specimens only. Do not allow any male, unversed in the lingo of baby gift-giving, anywhere near a baby boutique. Failure to comply may result in purchases not necessarily appropriate for the baby. This could include:

  • Calling the free t-shirt that comes with a case of beer a gift for the baby. Caution: The male may try to rationalize this gift by saying it'll work as a baby towel until the child actually grows into the shirt.
  • A twelve inch sliding mitre saw. No, he can't “hang onto it” until the baby is in junior high taking wood shop.
  • A boxed DVD set of The Simpsons.
  • A set of “really cool” temporary tattoos. Uh, no.
  • A hockey bag that “doubles as a diaper bag”.

Preparing a man to purchase a baby gift takes considerable time and patience, but it can be done. Like an actor in a really bad Kung-Fu movie, have him practice a mantra. “I will rise to this challenge.”

Maybe you're working shifts, busy with your own children, or have to be away on business. Whatever the reason, you just can't make it to the store to buy a baby gift for that upcoming baby shower. Don't worry! Talk to your significant other about optimal baby gift choices. Make a few suggestions. Give him a few specific stores to shop and send him with a list of good baby gift choices. If price is a consideration, give him a minimum and/or maximum price range to stick with. Just a little bit of clear communication will ensure that your best friend's baby doesn't get a power tool to cuddle.

   
What is cradle cap and how is it treated?

Bath Supplies For Cradle Cap

Television commercials always show baby bath time as a soothing, bonding experience between parent and baby. There's usually cooing involved (not necessarily from the baby), smiling mommies who don't have blood-shot eyes, and soft music playing in the background (to cover the barking of the little pooch who used to be the baby of the family). What these commercials don't show, is the horrified expression of the parent who discovers their little darling has…gasp….cradle cap.

Relax! It's not a personal slight to your hygiene habits, it's a common skin condition caused by a buildup of sticky oils on your baby's scalp. Yes, it's a little gross, but you can treat it by gently rubbing the scalp with baby oil and using a soft bristled brush to loosen the scales.

Regular baby shampoo can then be used to wash them away. If you're having a hard time getting rid of the problem, talk to your doctor for more advice. Basically, this is a condition that usually clears itself up by the baby's first birthday.

If you're going with “bath time” as the theme for the baby shower gift, make sure you've got all the essentials covered including:

  • baby oil
  • good quality baby brush designed for tender scalps
  • a safe, chemical-free baby shampoo
  • a baby towel
  • gentle soap
When the mom-to-be opens the gift, don't tell her it's for that gross cradle cap the new baby is probably going to have. Just smile and say, “You're welcome.”

   
How can I entertain a fussy baby in the tub?

Splish-Splash I Forgot I Was In The Bath

Baby bath toys can be as simple as a measuring cup and spoons, or as elaborate as an overpriced designer rubber ducky. Naturally, it's important to find baby bath toys that are safe and suitable for the child's age, but you also have to consider your own amusement. After all, you're going to be crouched down by that tub the whole time your little darling is splish-splashing the germs away.

Sure you could use that time to multi-task and do lunges while keeping an eye on the babe, or you could roll up your sleeves and have some fun. Kids are a lot like animals when it comes to bath time, some like to get wet and others don't. For the kids who put up a fuss, try some interactive games that incorporate fun with actually getting clean.

For example, you might want to buy a cloth hand-puppet (or make one yourself) that you can use to “talk” your baby through a more enjoyable bath time. Play some fun music in the background if that helps make the process more pleasant.

The secret to successful baby bath toys is their appeal and safety. Battery-operated bath toys are out. Brightly colored bath boats are in.

Try to find toys that keep them busy and focused on something other than the fact that you're pouring warm water over their ears (babies hate that). Even a stress-buster squishy ball can keep baby miraculously intrigued, at least long enough to rinse their hair!

   
What's the best way to bath a baby?

How To Bath A Baby

Here's something nobody tells new moms: bathing a newborn is scary. Those little bodies are very slippery and even though they're snuggled into a tiny baby bathtub, it's still a scary process. The question is, how do you make it a little easier? Try to find a baby bathtub that has a good grip on the bottom. Whether you fit the tub into the regular bathtub or on the counter, you want something that's not going to slide around.

If the new mom-to-be doesn't think she needs a baby bathtub, dig out the old photos of you and your siblings being washed in the kitchen sink. Hmm…let's see….no support, protruding sink taps…Bad idea.

New baby bathtubs are ergonomically designed to contour the baby's body in a safe, semi-reclining position so that the head is supported. These are designed for newborns who won't entertain the thought of catapulting their little bodies up and out of the tub. Don't leave them unattended though! Bathing a newborn should involve very little water, very little time, and absolute safety. It's not like they've been out rolling in the dirt all day. You just want to keep their little bits and pieces clean. Use a mild alcohol swab to clean around the umbilical stump and just a little bit of gentle soap in the water.

   
Can't I just use a regular adult-sized towel for my baby?

Babies Need Bath Towels

So you're shopping for the perfect baby shower gift and you come across the baby bath towels. Are they really necessary? You could just use regular towels, or could you. Imagine wrapping a little baby in one of your own worn out, adult sized, bath towels. Hey, why not wrap the baby in an old wool blanket? There wouldn't be much difference.

Baby bath towels are designed to fit baby's body. They're soft, come in fun colors, and they're absorbent. Many baby bath towels come with little hoods that look like farm animals. Don't you think that new little baby would like sweet with bunny ears? First of all, you want to buy the kind of baby bath towels that inspire lots of picture taking. You'll either look at the pictures in years to come with a smile, or with the intention of blackmailing your unruly teen.

The baby is going to need baths, and he or she is going to need a nice soft cocoon to get wrapped in afterwards. Babies are happiest when they feel warm and protected, as they should. The best time to snuggle the baby is right after the bath when they're warm and relaxed. Just make sure to put a diaper on the little one before sinking back into the rocking chair with him unless, of course, you like surprises.

Sit back with your swaddled baby, tuck that bunny-eared little head into the crook of your neck, and enjoy a little quiet time.

   
How can I get my child to settle down at night?

Bath Time And Bedtime Baby Routines

It's no secret that bedtime is the last part of a consistent night time ritual. However, getting kids to sleep through the night isn't always the easiest thing to do. You've seen those reality shows where parents spend hours trying to get their tearful off-spring into bed for the night. It's true that there will be times when the routine is off, but if you can incorporate a relaxing wind-down ritual into your days, you're going to find bedtime a whole lot easier at night.

Quiet time isn't such an issue for newborns. At that stage, they pretty much dictate the schedule and demand that you stick with their routine. As they get older, however, you can start guiding the downtime by making sure they're not watching loud TV shows, playing over-stimulating video games, etc. Whatever ritual you choose, include it in bath time to help unwind after a long day. Dim the lights if you can, buy aromatic baby products that aid in relaxation, and incorporate some light baby or toddler massage into the routine.

You might even consider investing in a mobile crib that plays soothing music. Just remember that the calmer you are, the calmer your baby will be. If you're rushing around trying to hurry the bedtime routine, it's not going to work. You can't fake quiet time so if it means spending a little time to yourself before diving into the routine…so be it.

   
How can bath toys educate my baby?

Bath Time Learning

Most of us think of bath time as a chance to clean off the grime of the day, but did you know that baby bath time can be a time to encourage learning? Just don't expect your little wonder child to emerge from the bath speaking three languages and reciting mathematical equations. What you can expect is a clean baby who's had some time to practice a little manual dexterity and logical thinking.

Almost any toy that requires hand-eye coordination is a good investment in your baby's learning. Items such as bath tub building blocks, sticky alphabet letters for the side of the tub, and any bath toys that require matching, building, stacking, squirting, assembling or disassembling, aid in your child's development.

So relax! You're not prepping your baby to play for the Philharmonic Symphony, you're helping him prepare for really important things, like holding a fork and bringing it to his lips, not his eyes.

Let your baby experiment with as many different kinds of toys as possible, both in and out of the tub. Your job is to provide the toys and the opportunity, your child's job is to do what comes naturally: play.

   
How old is too old to bath with your child?

Family Time In The Tub

There's been some controversy over parents and children sleeping in the same bed together, but what about families who bath together? Imagine you, your partner, and your two kids crammed into your standard sized bathtub and you might give yourself a good laugh. There wouldn't be enough room for the water let alone the baby and bath toys. You probably wouldn't have enough room to move your arm to reach the baby shampoo!

The reality is, spending quality time with the baby in the tub is a great way to get the job of cleaning done, while making sure the baby is safe. Controversy comes into play when you start questioning how old is too old to invite your child into the tub with you. Most people take the approach that when the child is old enough to point at body parts (yours) and laugh, they're too old to join you in the tub. Trust your instincts. You'll know when you're no longer comfortable sharing a bath with your child.

As your child gets older, he or she is naturally going to have questions. Of course they're going to be curious. If you can handle the questions in an honest, age-appropriate way, then you should feel okay to continue bathing with the child. If you're not up to the challenge, respect your own need for privacy.

   
Is it important to allow my other child to help out with the care of the new baby?

Sibling Bath Time Involvement

Admit it, you inwardly cringed the first time your little four-year-old said, “I want to help wash the baby!” Images of your toddler swinging the newborn over his head like a rag doll come to mind. You can't imagine how your first-born could possibly understand the nuances of gently bathing a baby. Still, you understand that a little sibling involvement can help alleviate jealousy. So, with a few simple instructions, hold your breath and let your little one have a special bath time job to do.

Some baby bath time responsibilities you can give your toddler include:

  • asking him or her to make sure the baby bath towel is unfolded and spread out for after the baby's bath;
  • asking him or her to line up the baby bath shampoo and other bath products nearby where you can reach them;
  • let him or her gently lather up the back of baby's head (make sure he doesn't have sharp or jagged nails first);
  • have him or her dangle some toys in front of the baby to help keep the baby engaged and happy during bath time.

The point is to make your toddler feel that the job they're doing is important. A little hands-on sibling involvement goes a long way to keeping peace in the house.

   
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PJ Campbell