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Baths & Your Baby

The first year of your baby's life is messy! It starts when you realize your sweet newborn can actually get quite stinky. Newborns are notorious for explosive poops that seem to soil their whole body and feeding sessions marked by milk dribbling into all those little neck folds. The milestones of a baby's first year come with more sticky challenges, from washing the puree out of your baby's hair after lunch to cleaning away a day's worth of exploration spent crawling on hands and knees.

Washing the muckiness of the day away doesn't have to be a chore, though, if you make bath time as much fun as getting messy in the first place! Here's the scoop on babies and baths in their first year.

The Newborn Stage

The Mayo Clinic advises that newborns really only need to be bathed about 3 times a week as long as you are tending to those high mess areas - their face, neck and diaper region - regularly throughout the day. Stock up on wash cloths that you can wet with warm water, use once and then toss to the side for your next load of laundry.

You can give your baby his first real bath once his umbilical stump has fallen off and your pediatrician gives you the green light. We love convertible tubs like the Fisher Price 4-In-1 Sling 'N Seat Tub. You can start your baby out in the sling when she is a newborn and then remove the sling once she is older. If you don't want to use the sling, or your baby tub doesn't have one, try laying a clean towel down in the tub before you lay your baby in it. This little trick gives your baby a soft, cushy spot to lay and also makes the tub a little less slippery and cold.

Be sure to have all the supplies you will need next to you before you place your baby in the bath and keep one hand on your baby at all times. Never leave your baby unattended no matter how little water you have in the tub.

Keep the room where you are bathing your baby at a warmer temperature than you would normally keep it and make sure to pour water frequently over the upper part of your baby's body that is not submerged so that he does not get too cold. One good tip is to drape a washcloth soaked in warm bath water over your baby's belly from time to time to keep him from getting too chilled.

Washing a floppy newborn's hair is most easily done with just a washcloth. Be sure to get into all of those sweet little folds around chubby arms and thighs as well.

 

The Infant Stage

As your baby gets older, he will begin to really enjoy bath time. Just splashing in the water and exploring soap bubbles can be so much fun. Add a few good toys for scooping, pouring and floating and you can really raise the fun factor. We like toys that are easy to clean and won't get moldy in the tub.

These stackable ducks are a great replacement for the old fashioned rubber duckies that can develop mold inside. They stack, float and are good for pouring. We also like these zoo themed buckets and these fun nesting cups that serve double duty as toys you can use both in and out of the tub. A caddy like this one can be useful for keeping toys up and out of the way in between baths. The holes allow the toys to drain and air out.

 

The Moby Rinser is our favorite for keeping bath time tear-free. Nobody likes to end a fun bath with screaming and crying brought on by rinsing the soap out of a child's hair. This whale-themed rinser has a soft, flexible edge that molds to your child's forehead to keep the water from dribbling forward onto his face as you pour the water over his hair. Plus, it's fun to play with on it's own!

 

The Toddler Stage

Toddlers usually love bath time. They can engage now in actually washing themselves, so give them a washcloth and some directions. This is a great time to teach them the names of body parts and to help them develop an awareness of their body. Point to and count out their ten fingers and toes, their two knees and elbows. Show them how to tickle themselves under their armpits and how to wipe their face and neck.

Water play is fascinating for toddlers as they begin to appreciate that toys float but a bar of soap sinks, that bubbles can be stretched and handled with wet soapy hands and not just popped midair.

Often, the most difficult part of the bath is enticing your child to come out at the end! We love these adorable hooded towels by Yikes Twins. They come in a variety of themes and are well made so they will last wash after wash. Kids have so much fun seeing themselves bundled up as ducks, bunnies, dinosaurs and more.

 

Bath time is such a special part of a baby's day. That's why at IncrediBundles.com, the home of the best baby gifts, we think Bath Bundles make such perfect baby shower gifts and first birthday gifts. Stock parents up with all of the toys, products and accessories that make for a fun bath! You can select from one of our fun pre-configured Bath Gift Bundles or make your own using our Create A Bundle tool.

 

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