Bath time with your 1 month old

May 5 / Jessie Jones

It's time to get ready for the special experience of bathing together, in the big bath 💦🙌
Bathing together with your little one can be very enjoyable and beneficial for you both, helping to boost your hormones and promote relaxation.
Prepare a few things before you bathe to ensure it's a comfortable experience. It may just turn into your favourite, special daily ritual together ✨🙏 where you can tune in to each other.

Co Bathing and skin to skin benefits for baby and carer:

✨ Increased carer and baby bonding
✨ Helps regulate babies breathing and heart rate
✨ Promotes healthy brain development 
✨ Helps baby regulate his temperature
✨ Promotes relaxation and reduces stress
✨ Promotes let-down and peaceful breast feeding
✨ it's fun to do together

Developmental milestones for your 1 Month old:

👶 Responds to sound ~ talk and sing to your baby in the bath, they love your voice, extended eye gaze will build a beautiful report between you.
👶 Strong grip ~ let baby grip your fingers, wiggle them and see her reaction
👶 Stares at hands and fingers ~ baby is learning to focus her eyes, this is the perfect distance for things to be in-focus for her
👶 Tracks movement with eyes and gradually decrease eye crossing ~ gently move a wash cloth from side to side while you squeeze water onto her body. Sing and chat to her and watch as she follows with her gaze. 

Lets prepare for your first bath together: 

💦 Is baby calm, fed & relaxed? 
💦 Water temp between 30 - 33 degrees c. Do a wrist test, water should be warm to touch but not hot
💦 Be prepared to safely enter/exit the bath
💦 
Dim lights & warm room

💦 Protect their airway, no water pouring over their face

💦 Have a wash cloth & little cup/watering can ready on the side of the bath
💦 Give baby a top and tail wash first if you feel its needed

Prepare the following before you bathe together:
🛁 Fill the bath to around half way up your legs in a reclined seated position with knees up
💡 Dim the lights, warm up the room and towels if needed, light candles and place your favourite essential oil in a diffuser
🎵 You may want to play some soft soothing music
👚 Have a fresh nappy and clothes for both you and baby ready & your towels near by for when you are finished 

How to safely enter and exit the bath: 
Have someone help pass baby to you once you are seated in the bath, and pass baby to them again for a safe exit. If a helper isn't present use a baby bouncer seat, car seat or place baby on towels or a soft surface on the floor. Ensure you are seated in the bath first when handling baby for a safe entry and exit.

How to hold baby in the bath and bonding activities:

Face to face reclined on your legs:
Lay baby against your drawn up legs, make eye contact and talk to her about your day together, the bath and how the warm water feels on her body. Sing her a special song as you gently pour / squeeze water from the wash cloth over her arms, shoulders and body. Protect her airway, avoid getting any water over her face or near her airway.

Supported back float:
Cradle her head and place the other hand under her back. Lay her back on drawn up legs and gently lower your legs, go slow and let her experience the feeling of the water on her body and the flotation effects as it gets deeper. Gradually work towards a supported back float with her ears under water, between your outstretched legs. Allow her to feel the floatation effects of the water and really relax into her float as the world goes a bit quiet. She might like gentle side to side and up and down swaying movements while she floats.

Feeding in the bath:
The bath can be a very relaxing environment to feed your baby in. Place her into a comfortable cradle or tummy to tummy hold and ensure the water line is well away from her airway. Try wetting a wash cloth or using a cup or watering can to give her a gentle water massage while she's feeding. Then sit back, relax and enjoy this special moment together.

Reading and reacting to your babies cues throughout this special experience helps to build trust and communication between you. As baby is experiencing this new bath environment let her be your guide, returning her to a cradle or chest to chest hold to help her feel more secure or exit the bath safety if she has had enough.

We hope you both enjoy your first bathing experience together. With a little preparation bath time with your baby can become a special daily ritual, time for you to both connect, bond and look forward to. 

These fun bath time activities help form a great base for baby swimming lessons together. From here keep learning together on a force free introduction to water, sign up for your free online baby swimming course & baby swim lessons at your local Welcome to water provider. Your baby can start non submersion swimming lessons from 3 months of age at your local welcome to water provider swim school.
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