Taking a bath with baby can be a soothing experience
If you find that bathing your newborn in an infant tub leads to tears and squalling, consider co-bathing as an alternative. Infant tubs only hold a small amount of water, and baby is only partially submerged. That makes bathtime a chilly experience for a little one. Conversely, co-bathing offers baby skin-to-skin contact that leaves her feeling peaceful and cozy.
How do you co-bathe safely?
- Fill your clean bathtub with water that matches your body temperature. This ensures baby will be right at home – neither too hot nor too cold.
- Have your partner deliver baby to you once you’re settled in the tub. It’s best not to try this alone as tubs can be slippery. Likewise, deliver baby back to your partner after bathing for everyone’s safety.
- Allow baby to float with your hand securely behind her head. This will remind her of her time in the womb. You may be surprised how much she enjoys it!
- Don’t bathe too frequently or too long. Baby only needs about three baths each week, aside from bird baths to keep her face and tooshy fresh. More bathing or soaking too long can actually harm baby’s sensitive skin.
- Avoid soap. For the same reason, it’s best to use plain old water when you’re bathing a newborn. After a few weeks or months, you may choose to use a sensitive skin soap made for little ones.
- Use bath time to nurse baby. Warm water will help breastmilk flow, and it will relax both mom and baby. That means co-bathing is an ideal opportunity for nursing. Give it a try if you’ve been having trouble getting baby to latch or if you’ve been concerned about your breastmilk production.
What are the benefits of co-bathing?
First of all, you’ll probably make baby very happy. Warm water and the feel of mommy nearby is a treat for infants. In addition, skin-to-skin contact helps to create a bond between mom and baby, and it can also stimulate breastmilk flow. It’s not often mommy gets time for a warm bath, so co-bathing can also be considered self-care for tired mothers.