Baby Bath is a very personal and intimate moment for the family. I feel that this is one moment that I should not miss even if I am not around for other activities during the day.
Baby Bath time is one of my favourite times of the day.
A Little Background
I work full time and generally reach around 7 p.m at home. The good part about my work is that I live very near to my current office and it only takes me 5 minutes to reach home once I leave the office. Zero Traffic!
Anyway, We have recently started a practice where I, the father, am involved in bathing my son.
I think it is a fantastic time for me personally to bond with my wife and my son.
Also, I really enjoy seeing Avi grow everyday.
Initially, I was too afraid to hold the baby and my mother and my wife(who was also afraid initially) used to bathe the baby.
But now, I have taken over from my mother and am the second in charge of bathing the baby.
My role is to hold the baby still in the bath tub. (Very important & tough task I must add)
My baby is 6 months old now (March 2020) and I hold him in the tub while my wife washes and shampoos the baby.
I know the mothers are already adept at this but if any dad or would-be father is reading this then this post can act as a starting point of what to expect and how to proceed. 🙂
The Bathing Process
So here are a few things that you would need to gather before you start to bath your child
- Baby bathtub
- Swaddle or baby towels
- Baby Soap
- A sponge
- Cotton clothes
- A nice warm room
Keep all these things ready and lay the towel on the bed so that you can keep the baby directly on the towel after the bath.
Everyone has their own method of bathing the baby and usually the mothers take a lead. Different regions have different traditions and styles of bathing the baby.
These traditions I believe are a response to the weather of the region.
The first thing we do is to heat the water (on the gas or induction)
For some weird reason, my mother and my wife think that water heated through the electric rod and geyser cause dryness in baby skin.
I could not find anything online but I have my doubts that it isn’t true.
Water is water. How can water cause dryness?
If any of you reading this knows, let me know in the comments.
If you live in a cold area make sure you’ve put the tandoor or a heater on.
Baby should be kept in a warn room after bath.
The windows should be properly closed and the room should not have any breeze or air inlets.
While I heat the water my wife massages the baby.
Baby massage with oil has been practiced in India since time immemorial.
The benefits of touch and massage therapy is now very much evidence-based. A review has suggested that massage has several beneficial effects in the form of weight gain, better sleep-wake pattern, more neuromotor development, emotional bonding, lower rates of nosocomial infection in neonates and preterm babies. The lubricant oil massage was more useful than simple touch therapy.Dhar S, Banerjee R, Malakar R. Oil massage in babies: Indian perspectives. Indian J Paediatr Dermatol [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Apr 8];14:1-3. Available from: http://www.ijpd.in/text.asp?2013/14/1/1/116838
Traditionally Indian practice is to massage the baby with warm mustard or coconut oil.
I have read that many people use olive oil to massage their babies. But I am not sure about it. Educate me.
After the massage mix cold & hot water to bring the water to the right temperature.
The water needs to be warm. Not hot not cold just warm the best test is to dip your elbow in the water.
If it feels hot then it probably is. Don’t worry you’d know.
Your senses and experience will guide you.
Next, we put the baby in the empty tub and put a couple of jugs of water on his feet and legs
Always start pouring the water on the legs. Do not pour water directly on the baby.
After this, the wife takes over and washes the baby.
My baby has just started eating solid foods and is extremely energetic so holding him is not easy during this process. He is constantly moving and is surprisingly powerful.
Anyway, there’s an elephant sticker at one end of the bath tub which the baby likes.
We don’t use use soap everyday, I think we use soap three times a week.
So I just point to the elephant when the baby gets too much.
After the baby bath we put him in a cotton baby blanket to dry him.
Buy a good quality baby blanket because the baby is most comfortable and happy after having taken a bath so you would want him to be enjoying his time.
We have written a baby sleeping guide which mentions the best blankets that you can use for the baby.
Apply some coconut oil on the body and the hair after the bath.
We use patanjali coconut oil because we trust the brand.
I’ll tell you why we trust Patanjali coconut oil. When our baby was three months old many small pimples started to appear on his face. We went to a doctor and he suggested Lacto calamine.
He said it was baby acne and nothing to worry about. I applied the cream but nothing happened, in fact, some more baby acne popped up.
We did some research online and many people suggested that coconut oil should be applied on baby’s face.
We got a coconut oil bottle from a well-known brand and applied on baby’s face for two days but again nothing happened.
Then the chemist who we buy our supplies from suggested that we use Patanjali coconut oil and we did. It worked and the pimples were gone in two days.
I want to try
Coconut oil anyway is good.
Ok, now that the massage is done, usually a baby would want milk and maybe sleep.
My duties are to throw the water and mop the room so that spillages are taken care of. My wife feeds the baby and puts him to sleep.
When the baby doesn’t want to sleep he plays because he is in such a good mood. We bathe the baby everyday.
Generally, we bathe him in the evening because it helps the baby to sleep properly. There is no right or wrong way. You will develop your own style.
Make sure your baby is protected against the mosquitoes. I just hate it when mosquitoes bite the baby.
I have written a mosquito proof guide for the baby but I must admit sometimes these sneaky mosquitoes get in.
Every baby is different. Whatever my baby likes may not be right for your baby.
In The End
This post was just a random blog on a topic that I feel is not often discussed. I really feel that bathing time is a very personal moment and a father’s involvement can make this experience a memorable experience.
Tell me what you think.