On a hot summer day, a dip in the tub or a cold refreshing shower is a delight for anyone. For your baby, however, bath time could be “stress” time. “Even the sound of water splashing is foreign to babies,” says Beverly Pinzon Aledo, M.D., pediatrician with a private clinic in Kamuning, Quezon City, and a mother of two. “Newborns especially, get startled easily. It’s what we call the Moro Reflex. Parents, therefore, should aim to make bath time as soothing to the child as possible,” she adds. Below are some bath time basics to help you.
Be Prepared For Baby Bath Time
It’s always best to be prepared. The ideal setting for the baby bathtub is atop a counter, where mom (or dad) is in a standing position and does not have to stoop so low. This way, too, mom and baby can see and relate to each other face to face.
“The perfect water temperature is 38 degrees Celsius,” says Hazel Domingo, R.N., nurse at Clinica Domingo in Tarlac. “You can measure it by dipping the end of a thermometer into the water.” If you don’t have a thermometer, Dr. Aledo suggests dipping your elbow into the water, “and if it’s too warm for you, then most probably it’s too hot for your baby, as well.” Beside the tub and within an arm’s effortless reach should be the soap, shampoo, soft washcloths, and two dry towels. Make sure to mix the hot and tap water very well.
Soothing Baby And Setting The Mood
A lot of things may seem strange to your baby and may cause great discomfort and anxiety. “This is why it’s very important for the parents, especially the mom, to be the primary bath-giver of the child in the early months of his life,” says Dr. Aledo. “The mother’s smell, scent, and voice can do wonders in soothing baby and making baby feel safe and calm.”
When the bath essentials are ready, close all windows and doors to avoid a cold draft coming in. If your baby is used to soothing music during the day or at night, pop in his favorite CD. “Sing or talk to your baby every step of the way,” suggests Dr. Aledo. For older babies, a hug can do the trick. Take a bath together (you with your swimsuit or tank and shorts on). If he sees that it doesn’t hurt you, he’ll get the cue that it probably won’t hurt him, too.
Some Baby Bath Products You Should Try
• Cetaphil cleanser, P250 (250 ml), Mercury Drug • Johnson’s Baby Milk Bath, P153.75 (500 ml), Mercury Drug • Cliven Prime Tenerezze Shampoo Ultradelicato, P249.50 (200 ml), Rustan’s • Safety 1st Infant-to-toddler bath tub, P2,999.75, SM Department Store