It's crucial to keep a baby warm before, during, and after baths, especially in the winter. Follow these steps to ensure bath time is a relaxing bonding experience.
Step 1: Keep the room warm Use a space heater to generate lots of heat in the bath area. This keeps your baby's wet skin from becoming upsettingly cold. Use a room free of drafts.
Step 2: Draw a pleasing bath Make sure that the bath water is warm enough for your baby by testing it with your elbow before easing them in. The water should feel warm -- but not hot -- and reach to the baby's chest level.
TIP: Let your baby suck on your finger for a moment after placing them in the tub -- this helps to soothe them and dispel anxiety.
Step 3: Work from the bottom up Start washing baby's feet first and work your way up. Wet the head last to keep baby from getting cold while they're wet.
TIP: Keep a large washcloth over the baby's chest and frequently squeeze warm water onto it with the cloth you are using to wash the baby.
Step 4: Wrap baby up quickly Keep a large, absorbent towel right next to the tub and wrap the baby up in it immediately upon lifting them from the bath. Snuggle the baby as you rub them dry, particularly if they are upset.
Step 5: Dress baby Put the baby down and keep their top half wrapped while you put on a clean diaper and dress the lower half of their body. Then unwrap them and finish the job.
Step 6: Don't overschedule baths Bathe your baby less frequently in the cold winter months to avoid irritating already dry skin. Limit bath time to between five and 10 minutes to ensure that the water stays warm enough to keep the baby happy.
FACT: Newborns spend two-thirds of their day sleeping -- a whopping 16 hours on average per day.