Is there anything sweeter than giving your baby that first bath? I remember it so clearly. There are so many “firsts” when you have a new baby, but there is something about that first bath that is truly special. Those first few days, you keep that little love wrapped up so tight. When bath day arrives, you finally have the opportunity to really check out all of those little fingers and toes!
I waited such a long time to hold my baby. Once she was finally in my arms, I did not want to let her go. For the most of those first days and weeks, I did not let her go. To me this was like an actor winning the Academy Award or a baseball player winning the World Series. My dreams had all come true, but part of me still could not believe it was real.
While on bed rest, I had plenty of time to research all things baby related. I had to know everything. From medical research articles to baby books to polling all of my mom friends, I had to get the down low. Plus, I’m a planner. Thus, I had everything planned out for my daughter’s first bath long before she arrived.
One thing I have learned about becoming a parent, is that things are not always going to go as planned. However, planning does help you feel more calm and prepared as a new parent. So, if you are getting ready for you baby’s first bath, here are some tips to make this experience both safe and a sweet memory.
How to Make Baby’s First Bath Sweet and Safe
*This post is sponsored by Honest Company. I was not compensated in any form and all opinions are 100% my own. The following also contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information.
Before Baby Arrives
Before your little one even arrives, you scrutinize every baby product on the market. When my husband and I first went to Babies ‘R Us to begin our registry, we left after two hours in a stupor and we had not actually added a single thing! It is so overwhelming! It all looks great, so what is the best?
Like me, you will probably devour every baby book ever written, but you will also rely on your mom friends. Your mom friends know you, but they also have probably learned quite a bit through trial and error. One thing that stood out to me when shopping for baby products was whether or not an item is multi-functional. The last thing I wanted it to spend my hard-earned dollars on something that we might only use for a few weeks or months.
I decided to purchase a baby bath tub that converts from a newborn tub to a toddler tub, like the one below. The sling really helped so that baby did not slide around and also helped keep her upright. I used this component long past the infancy stage! Then, it becomes a toddler tub for when your little one is too big for the sling, but still too little for a regular bath tub.
Getting Ready for Baby
Another task you may want to consider before baby arrives is washing all of your clothes, swaddles, blankets, towels, and wash cloths. I don’t just mean those cute little onesies for baby, I mean everything. Your baby is going to spend a considerable amount of time nestled in your arms…which means their little face will be resting against the fabric of your clothes, too.
I washed everything in the house with frangrance-free, chemical-free Laundry Detergent like this one from Honest Company. My husband thought it was overkill, but I was on bed rest and the washing machine did most of the work for me. Then, family members began to visit and my daughter’s skin would break out after being held. I made everyone visiting wash their clothes in this laundry detergent or cover themselves in a pre-laundered blanket and the problem was solved!
The First Few Days: The Sponge Bath
The nurses in the hospital will clean baby up after delivery and place your little bundle of joy into your arms. They will tell you to be careful of the umbilical cord stump until it falls off. Once upon a time, parents were told to clean the stump with rubbing alcohol, now doctors tell you to just keep it dry and leave it alone.
Keep your baby’s diaper folded down while the umbilical cord stump heals and try to keep it from getting wet when giving your baby a sponge bath those first few days or weeks. I mostly made sure my little one’s diaper area was washed up per day, as she had very little opportunities to get dirty while bundled in her swaddle. Just let the stump fall off on its own and when it does, it’s bath time!
The Big Day: Getting Ready for Baby’s First Bath
The day of my daughter’s first bath, I was feeling both excited and nervous. Bath time is such a sweet ritual and this would be a very first time. However, I was also a bit anxious! I was still in the “Oh my goodness, it is my responsibility to keep a tiny human alive” phase of new motherhood. Water was a brand new danger.
I filled up part of the tub with water and checked my Bath Tub Thermometer about a million times. The thermometer reads green if the water temperature is just right, blue if it is too cold, and red if it is too hot. This is genius because I am constantly freezing and probably cannot really gauge if the water is too hot.
Once the water was just right, I unswaddled my little one and gave her kisses all over. Her little fingers and toes were wiggling in every direction as she looked at me, curious about what was going to happen next. I gathered her in my arms and whispered, “It’s Bath Time!”
Baby’s First Bath
As I gently placed my daughter in the bathtub, I gave her a moment to investigate her surroundings. She was not quite sure what to think about this whole contraption. Although she did not cry, she was very perplexed. We made it a family affair with Mama, Dada, and even our dog, Gracie. I think she felt safe, so the strange sensations and new environment did not seem so scary.
During the bath, I used a fragrance-free shampoo and body wash. Honest Company has a brand-new line of frangrance-free products perfect for baby’s first bath. I learned right away that my daughter’s skin was very sensitive and in order to keep it baby-smooth and soft, I had to be careful in my selections of the productst that would touch her skin.
Honest Company’s fragrance-free shampoo and body wash is free of any parabens or other harmful chemicals. Why is this important? Well, parabens are compound used in beauty products to prevent the growth of bacteria. However, studies have shown that parabens can interfere with normal hormone production and have been even linked to cancer! These are not ingredients you want touching your baby’s precious skin!
Read More About the Effect of Parabens on The Scientific American Here.
What this new line from Honest Company does include are ingredients like: aloe, chamomile, coconut oil, and jojoba. Notice that these are ingredients that you have most likely heard of and that you can actually pronounce! These ingredients help to both cleanse and moisturize baby’s delicate skin without tears! Remember that “tear-free” shampoo from when you were a kid? My eyes sting just thinking about it!
As you are gently bathing your perfect little baby, you can “talk” and sing songs. This will make baby feel safe and happy. Allow your little one to feel the water run through their tiny fingers. Start making bath time a fun and joyful experience right from the beginning.
After the Bath
Another puchase I am forever grateful for is a set of Hooded Baby Towels. Again, I looked for one that could be used in infancy but also toddlerhood. You want to keep those little heads warm while drying off their bodies. Plus, those little bodies are in a constant state of motion! The hood helps the towel stay put as you dry their skin.
There are all kinds of hooded baby towels on the market that are nothing short of adorable. However, consider the fabric before the cute animal ears. I like these towels because they are made from bamboo instead of cotton. This means that are hypo-allergenic, anti-bacterial, and great for baby’s sensitive skin. They also hold their softness after numerous washings.
When my daughter was a newborn, I used pure coconut oil as her moisturizer. It cured her eczema while keeping her moisturized. As she grew a bit bigger, I wanted something that would still keep her moisturized, but that would also be calming after bath time. I chose Honest Company’s Hydrating Lotion in Ultra Calming. It has a really soft lavendar scent while still remaining free of any harsh chemicals. Another option is to mix a few drops of Lavendar Essential Oil with coconut oil. This is a great combination for diaper rashes, too!
After that first bath and still to this day, as I apply moisturizer to my daughter’s smooth skin, I name all of her body parts. I use the real names, but my husband has made up his own names based on foods. Fingers are french fries, the nose is a mushroom, toes are cauliflower. In either case, my daughter giggles the whole time.
Do’s and Don’ts of Making Bath Time Sweet and Safe
Don’t ever leave your child unattended in the bathtub.
Don’t leave anything plugged in, like a hair dryer near the bath tub.
Don’t give your baby small bath toys that they could swallow or choke on.
Create a routine. Bath time should be a ritual at about the same time every day.
Sing songs and share stories.
Giggle. A Lot.
Bath time can be both safe and sweet. Years from now, when my daughter is able to draw her own bath, I will think back on her very first bath as one of my favorite memories. I can still picture the iridescent bubbles and her tiny little face attempting to comprehend this big, new world. If I close my eyes and breath deeply, I can almost inhale that sweet newborn baby smell. These are the moments to savor forever.
Related Post: 5 Tips for How to Make Toddler Bath Time the BEST Time
What are your favorite memories about your baby’s first bath? Please comment and share below!