Showering With a Newborn – How To’s and Safety Tips?

Showering With a Newborn Baby - How-To's and Safety Tips

You’ve gotten over the shock that you’re now a parent. Now, you’re responsible for someone else’s life. Your child depends on you for all their basic needs.

You’ve learned an awful lot while finding ways to save time or multitasking. It is high on your list of priorities after all. You can now get dressed while simultaneously rocking a crib and doing your makeup.

Yes, that last one is a little far-fetched, who wears makeup when you have a newborn, but you get what I mean. So why would you not continue this and start showering with your newborn?

Many parents and I don’t just mean parents of newborns, but parents, in general, have some concerns about showering with their newborn baby.

For some parents, that 10-minute shower may be the only time that they get to themselves in a day, and they don’t want to give up that moment.

For other parents, just finding the time to shower is a nightmare, so if they can combine their shower time with that of their newborns, guess what, they are multitasking again!

When Can I Shower With My Baby?

Before you shower with your baby, you need first to ensure that their umbilical cord stump has fallen off and healed. As it is advised that you do not submerge your newborn until their cord stump has fallen off.

Typically this can take between 10 days and three weeks after birth. I know that their bodies will not be submerged when they are in the shower, but it is difficult to control where the water goes, so for this purpose, we are counting a shower as submersion.

Until then, you would need to sponge bathe your baby with warm water and a sponge.

baby with mother in the shower

How Often Should You Shower With Your Baby?

While you may want to shower every day, your baby does not need it. Bathing them too much can potentially dry out their delicate skin, and newborns don’t tend to get dirty enough to require a bath every day.

If you are bathing them around three times a week, that would be sufficient to keep them clean and healthy.

The Advantages Of Showering With Your Baby

There are so many advantages for both you and your baby to showering together, aside from only saving you time. Here are a few of my favorites that encouraged me to give it a try:

Taking a bath together is a great way to bond

Families are encouraged to spend at least an hour of uninterrupted skin to skin contact with their baby during the postpartum period, usually the first three months.

If your baby is held for the full 60 minutes uninterrupted, it helps to release a wave of hormones that deliver all the benefits of skin to skin.

Research has also shown that skin to skin contact can accelerate brain development, make your baby less colicky and cry less. The Academy of Pediatrics recommends that skin to skin be given as frequently when possible during those crucial first three months.

It also creates a deep bond with your baby as they snuggle closer to your chest. This bond will last for a lifetime.

Helps with successful breastfeeding

When you first start breastfeeding, it is certainly not as easy as people can some times make out. It’s hard and draining. But bathing with your newborn can help to promote a pleasant breastfeeding journey.

The warm water, closeness with your baby, and the relaxing surroundings stimulate your let-down reflex. This will help to increase your milk supply to ensure that you have ample milk for your baby.

Nursing in the tub can also eliminate the worries of leaking or let down from the other breast as this can all be quickly cleaned up afterward.

Soothe a fussy baby

Sometimes babies cry for no apparent reason, and no matter what you do, you can not console them. But bathing with your baby could be the answer to this problem.

Bathing with your baby helps calm them down; the combination of warm water and skin to skin bond helps to relax your baby and soothe the crying.

Showering together saves so much time

As a new parent, time is a premium commodity of which you never seem to have enough. But showering with your baby can help you ensure that you have time each day for a shower.

You won’t have to try to squeeze it in during nap times or listening to them become upset the entire time that you are showering.

The Risks When Showering With Your Baby

The first time that you shower with your little one can be a very daunting experience. You worry about them getting cold, dropping them, and the list of worries goes on and on.

But there is no need to stress these things, and I can assure you that they are everyday worries that all new parents have.

baby in the bath

The number one fear for parents is that they will drop their baby. Wet slippery babies can easily slip through your hands! There are some great tips and tricks below that will talk you through the best way to hold your baby so that you never have this fear again.

Another top concern is that you won’t be able to concentrate on your shower when you are worried about your baby the entire time. To be fair, this is a widespread concern, but it is unfounded.

You can still get in a great shower and ensure that you do all you would normally do when you shower alone while still sharing the experience with your baby.

Tips And Tricks For A Safer Showering Experience

The key to a successful and stress-free co-bathing is planning and preparation. So here is what you need to do to get rid of all those fears above and have a relaxing shower/bath with your baby.

Check the water temperature

Your baby has delicate skin, and they are far more sensitive to water temperature than you are.

The ideal temperature for the water is around body temperature or slightly warmer. The best way to test is to touch the water with your elbow or the inside of your wrist.

If you are not confident that you will be able to get the temperature right with these methods, you could always purchase a good bath thermometer.

Get everything ready beforehand

You want to ensure that you have all your shower supplies in reach. A bar of good baby soap is gentle enough for their delicate skin and any washing products that you need. This will also include towels for both yourself and your baby.

Make sure that you have a diaper and clothing ready to get your little one dressed as they will get cold very quickly once they are out of the water.

Getting in and out of the tub or shower

This is when you have the highest chance of dropping your baby. You need to make sure that you put your baby down before getting in and out of the water. This is not as difficult as it sounds, I promise.

If you have a partner’s help, then this is super easy to do. Your partner will hold the baby during those transition times. Before they hand over the baby to you and get yourself positioned correctly. Ensure that you are steady on your feet if showering.

Then ask your partner to hand over the baby and repeat the process at the end of your bath or shower.

If you don’t have another pair of hands around, do not worry, it can still be done safely. The best advice that I can offer is to get yourself a perfect bath chair. They are very affordable and perfect even when they are tiny.

My youngest son was just over six pounds when he was born, but they still worked well for him, and he used it until he was old enough to sit unaided.

Make sure that you have a good grip on your baby at all times

You must ensure that you have a good grasp of your baby throughout. If you do not, there is a risk of you dropping them and being submerged under the water or banging their head.

If you are nervous, you could purchase a waterproof baby wrap. You can place your baby in the wrap, ensuring that there is no chance of them being dropped. The wrap can also be used for swimming and the beach with your baby.

Another option available is a set of gloves. They make it incredibly easy to hold on to a slippery wet baby while still being soft enough for their delicate skin. They also have the dual purpose of being used as a washcloth.

Of course, you do not have to purchase any additional accessories to bathe or shower with your newborn safely. You need to be aware that they will be wet and slippery.

Ensure that you have a good grip on them at all times and pay close attention to them while enjoying your shower or bath.

Best positions while bathing with your baby

There are a few positions available to you. An example is your baby is lying face up between your legs, and this is an excellent position as your baby can make eye contact with you.

Although my favorite position for bathing with a newborn is where you lay them face down on your chest. This is such a good bonding position, especially when they are very small. It really can make you feel stress-free instantly.

Ensure that your baby is very young and pays close attention to supporting their head and neck.

Best positions for showering with your baby

There are a few positions that you can use while showering with your baby, but my favorite is the facing you against your chest. This feels the most natural and the most secure for me. It will also give you a spare hand to wash etc.

Of course, as your baby grows, there are other options available, and it becomes easier the more that you do it.

baby being showered

A Final Word

Showering with your newborn does not need to be complicated or stressful. In fact, it should be the complete opposite. It should be a quiet time for peace and relaxation for you both.

Becoming a parent in this busy and bustling world can be a very steep learning curve. The best advice that I can offer is to enjoy those stress-free and quiet moments with your little one.

Whether this is taking a luxurious bath together or just a quick shower, embrace that closeness and develop that wonderful bonding time with them.

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