A few weeks ago, you were celebrating your baby shower and waiting for your little munchkin’s arrival, and today, you’re hunting for answers to “how to shower with baby”? Funny how life changes within a few days after a baby is born.
Bathing your baby is not just an important part of their hygiene but also a wonderful way for you and your tiny little human to bond and have fun together. However, if you find your newborn’s bathing routine difficult and stressful, it’s important to understand the nitty-gritty of showering with a newborn and learn some safety tips.
The A to Z of How to Shower with Baby!
There’s nothing more beautiful than the smell of a fresh-from-the-bath baby. It is undoubtedly one of the most delightful scents in existence…exuding some kind of magic as you breathe in the air. Isn’t it?
However, most newborns (and even older babies) don’t like being wet – giving their parents a hard time while giving them a good bath. After all, handling a wiggly, slippery infant while soaping them up, can make any new parent stressed.
For many reasons, a lot of parents choose to take their baby in the shower along with them. It can take their baby bonding to the next level. However, it is often a challenge for most parents to keep their baby safe when they’re just so slippery.
So, if you want to know how to shower with a baby, we’ve got your back. This article will discuss all you need to know about co- showering with a baby and share many tried and tested tips regarding the same
Why Would You Want To Shower With Your Baby?
If bathing with your baby seems like an odd idea to you, trust us, it’s so appealing if you learn its benefits. First and foremost, showering with a newborn is a great way to avoid those unending bathing battles in the tub…those tears, squalling and resistance.
Co-showering with a baby is a great idea to offer skin-to-skin contact and soothe your baby, leaving them feeling relaxed and snuggled. Babies who cry during baths are much calmer when held in their parent(s)’ lap and bathed together. Showering with your baby is even more helpful on a particularly frustrating day as it makes babies feel more peaceful.
Babies, when bathed in the tub, are not as fully immersed in warm water as they feel when they are in their parents’ arms. The warm, deeper immersion in water makes sure they don’t feel cold and is hence, very relaxing and stimulating to newborns. It probably mimics their feeling of floating in their mum’s womb.
Is It Safe To Bath With Your Baby?
Yes! Absolutely! A newborn baby shower with parents is totally safe if you properly understand how to shower with baby and follow all safety tips of taking a baby in the shower. The good news is that even very young babies can co-shower with either or both parents, but we’ll expand on exactly “how soon” in the next section.
Many experts even recommend an infant shower with parents more than anything, as it improves bonding. So, your baby taking a shower is totally safe as long as you are aware of precautions and certain safety tips.
Baby Taking Shower With You: When To Start Co-Bathing With Your Newborn?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAC), your newborn’s first bath (not co-bath) should be given at least 24 hours after birth. This should include basic and gentle cleaning of their body every few days and not immersing them in water. A sponge bath is great for your baby until they are ready for a regular or tub bath.
However, to start taking a shower with your newborn, you should wait until their umbilical cord stump has fallen off. This can take anywhere between 7 to 21 days after birth. If your boy has had a circumcision, you should wait for it to get completely healed too. Otherwise, there are chances of infection.
How To Shower With Baby Safely?
If you want to understand how to shower with baby, here is your go-to guide:
1. Make Sure the Water Temperature is Just Right
To ensure your baby is neither too hot nor too cold, fill your bathtub with water that is nearly the same as your body temperature or just a little warmer – but not as steamy as you’d prefer for a relaxing home spa. Trust us; you don’t need a thermometer to do this on a regular basis. Simply test this by dipping the inside of your wrist or elbow into the water.
An infant shower shouldn’t be too hot or it can burn your baby’s skin or overheat them. It shouldn’t be lukewarm or cold either or else they’ll get chilly and cranky. The AAC advises beginners to keep the water at no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit and to constantly keep testing it. As soon as it begins to cool off, bath time should end.
2. Choose the Right Products
Next, it is crucial to only use baby-safe, sensitivity-tested products on your baby at their bathtime. This mainly includes soap, shampoo and moisturiser. Also, make sure not to use bubble baths as they can be irritating to the baby’s skin.
3. Prepare Everything Beforehand
You don’t want to risk your baby’s safety when you’re as slippery and wet as they are. So, gather everything you’re going to need instead of trying to reach all across the bathroom for their washcloth, towel, soap, moisturiser, diaper, etc.
4. It is Better to Have a Helping Hand
If you have your partner around, the process gets a lot easier – especially until you’re habitual of handling your baby while co-showering with them. Ask your partner to deliver the baby to you once you’re settled in the tub to avoid any chances of slipping or dropping your baby off.
Likewise, when you’re done bathing, deliver your little angel back to your partner instead of coming out of the tub in a slippery condition.
5. Set up the Baby’s Seat If You Don’t Have a Partner Around
Set up your baby’s bath seat lined with a bath towel right next to the tub. If you don’t have one, a bouncer seat or car seat works well too. Basically, what’s important is getting in and out safely. So, if you don’t have a helping hand who can deliver the baby to you, place your baby in their bath seat first, get into the tub and then reach over & pick up the baby from their seat.
The same implies when exiting the tub. While you’re still in the tub, lean over, put your baby back in their lined bath seat, cover them with the towel, and then get out of the tub. This will ensure you don’t put your baby at any risk while climbing in or out of the tub.
6. Let Your Baby Float and Have Fun
Co-showering with your baby is the best opportunity to make your baby familiar with water and starting to enjoy their bathtime. Keep your hand behind your baby’s head and let them float freely, stretching out their arms and legs, kicking and staring at you with their eyes wide open. This also makes a stunning ‘newborn photoshoot’ idea.
Enjoy your time soaking up and having skin-to-skin contact with your baby. Calm them down with love, snuggles and kisses if they’re initially uncomfortable. You can also use this opportunity to nurse and comfort them.
7. Lather and Rinse Gently
Most importantly, do what you’re primarily inside the tub for. While keeping the soap minimal, bathe your baby gently but make sure to cradle their head with one arm and using the other for everything else. Rinse them as you’re done and lean to get them out of the tub as mentioned above. Wrap them in their towel, so they don’t feel cold.
8. Gently Pat them Dry and Moisturize
Lather and rinse your body quickly, exit the tub safely and finally, dry your baby thoroughly. Make sure you are as gentle as possible, moisturise their body and do the rest, including diapering, cutting nails, dressing up, etc.
What Precautions You Need To Take While Bathing With Your Baby?
Co-showering is one of the best ways to enhance your bond with your baby but here are a few precautionary measures you should take to ensure your bub is safe and comfortable. We might’ve highlighted these points already but consider this a gist of all you have learned so far:
- Wait until your baby’s umbilical cord has fallen off and their navel (and/or circumcision) has healed.
- It is important to ensure your baby doesn’t feel too hot or cold inside the water.
- Also, make sure the water is no deeper than two or three inches.
- Even if you tried hard to prepare the room before getting into the tub and still forgot something, skip it or take your baby with you to grab what you need.
- Do not leave your baby alone in the tub, even for a fraction of a second.
- Make sure your bath tub has a nonslip mat if you plan to shower with your baby. This will make sure you don’t slide around.
- Try bending your knees and placing your baby against your thighs with their back to increase their safety.
- Always keep your baby’s chin above the water line and try to avoid them from drinking the bath water.
- Continually keep pouring warm water over your little one to keep them warm until you finish.
- Don’t bathe too frequently or for too long to avoid stripping off moisture from their delicate skin.
Taking A Shower With Baby: Benefits Of Having Bath With Your Baby
Showering or bathing with your baby can reap so many benefits, some of which are:
1. It is a great way to increase your bonding with each other.
Skin-to-skin bonding has so many benefits, one of the major ones being promoting a much deeper connection between you and your baby. So, co-showering is definitely a great way to do it. Your baby will not only snuggle with you but also float, splash and play in the water, loving bath time every increasing day.
2. Co-bathing promotes successful breastfeeding.
Nursing a newborn can be really hard and many new moms struggle with proper positions, milk supply, etc. Co-bathing in warm water stimulates and increases your milk supply and promotes a good breastfeeding relationship.
3. Co-showering helps to soothe a crying or fussy baby.
If your baby is cranky, bathing with them is a magical way of calming them down. This is because the warm and relaxing sensation of water mixed with your closeness allows your baby to feel better.
4. It saves a lot of time for parents.
Showering with a newborn usually means moms can find some time for themselves only when the baby naps. Hence, co-showering saves them time and helps them do other chores when they put their baby down for a nap.
5. It is equally relaxing for new moms.
Postpartum bodies are constantly tired and squeezing in a warm shower with your little angel for some time is also a great way to relax yourself.
How Often Can You Shower With a Newborn?
Although co-showering with a baby is a lovely practice with so many benefits, you shouldn’t overdo it. Babies only need a bath two to three times a day. On other days, you can simply give them a sponge bath. This is because excessive showering can cause skin damage to their delicate skin.
You can, however, increase the frequency as your little one gets older. This usually happens around the six weeks mark.
Final Tips For Taking A Shower With Baby
Here are some more tips for co-showering with your baby.
- When you’re filling the bathtub with warm water, make sure to keep the bathroom door closed so that the overall environment is also warm.
- Do not shower for too long or you’ll make the baby’s skin very dry.
- Although it is nearly impossible that your baby’s head will fall under the water if you take proper care; if it accidentally happens, pull your baby above water immediately and pat them on the back.
- As your baby gets older and begins to enjoy their bath time, bring in some bath toys for them to play in the water.
Newborn Baby Shower: The Bottom Line
If it is your dream to see your little one enjoy their bathtime, splashing water and playing with squeaky bath toys in a soapy mix, well, co-bathing can help you get to the route. Co-bathing is perfectly safe and offers great benefits like improving the letdown of breast milk, and calming a fussy baby.
You can shower with your baby as soon as their umbilical cord falls off and as often as two to three times a week. Just make sure the water temperature is correct and you have all everything needed at hand. It is better to have a partner or adult nearby to keep your baby extra safe.
Showering With Baby: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about co-bathing with a baby:
Can you shower with a newborn?
Yes. It is absolutely safe to shower with a newborn as long as their umbilical cord has fallen off, their circumcision (if its done) has healed and you follow all precautionary measures.
How to shower with your baby?
Showering with your baby is really easy. All you need, is to make sure the water temperature is warm enough for your baby, you have all the supplies ready beforehand and you don’t enter or exit the bathtub with your baby. Have a helping adult nearby or place your baby in a bath seat nearby when you climb in or out of the bathtub.
Can I leave my toddler alone while I shower?
Although it’s best to leave your toddler with someone when you go to take a shower, if you don’t have someone around, use your mom-instinct and judgement to see if it’s okay to leave them alone. If possible, let your toddler play in the bathroom and keep an eye on them. Or you can keep them engaged in some activity or a tad bit of screen time for a few minutes.