**disclaimer** I am not a medical professional, so please consult your physician before attempting any of these suggestions, even if it is just a shower. Use your best judgment. What worked for me may not work for you. Each body is different and unique. Do what you feel is best at your own risk. I am not liable for any consequences. I am a blogger. This is a blog meant to provide opinions, suggestions, and information. I am human, and make mistakes, so information may not be 100% complete or accurate. **disclosure** This post may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no added cost to you, I may receive compensation for products you purchase through links found on my blog. This in no way affects the products I recommend. I only recommend the best! Thank you! Please enjoy!**
This is part of a series about Washing Baby.
As a newborn, I would wash IV every three to four days, as his pediatrician suggested “to prevent dry skin”. However, he pretty much had chronic diaper rash until I started bathing him more frequently. So I decided dry skin was worth no rashes. However (confusingly), his skin was drying out anyway, on top of never-ending diaper rashes.
To add further frustration to bath time, the parts of IV’s face and forehead that I washed with Johnson & Johnson soap instantly sprouted pimples. This made me wonder if what we call “newborn acne” might actually be an allergic reaction. And, Johnson & Johnson made his scalp dry out and begin peeling. This was when I was washing him every 3-4 days! According to ped logic, I shouldn’t be having these issues.
I wondered if the problems I saw were his skin reacting to the Johnson and Johnson soap. After consulting the Google, I changed to unscented castile soap, and his newborn acne and peeling skin & scalp vanished within a few weeks. On top of these benefits, was the unexpected surprise of lacking a strong artificial smell to mask his natural sweet milky baby aroma!
At first, I washed him with washcloths, or I would wash him in the bathroom sink, but as soon as his umbilical stump *finally* came off, I started taking him into the shower with me. I started washing him every other day, and the condition of his butt drastically improved, but he would still have the occasional rash. So, eventually, it became every day and I have not regretted it one bit. Why? Boom. No more rashes (except for a stint when he started solids). You just have to remember to thoroughly dry them off with a towel. Don’t forget the belly button! Or it will trap water, dry out, and turn white. His booty and body are bright, healthy, and squeaky clean! Now, I will always shower with baby, present and future (until they start trying to be independent, which is about 8 months). It makes life so much easier
To read about my passion for diaper hygiene and battles with yeast infections & diaper rashes, click here. Suffice it to say: Please change your baby’s wet diapers every 2-3 hours, and their poopy diapers immediately.
Now, to the point!
HOW TO SHOWER WITH YOUR BABY
If I am alone and want to wash my baby, I will put IV’s vibrating chair in the bathroom with me. (It has a mobile on it, so when he was younger he loved to just stare at it. Now he likes to gleefully screech at it and grab at the hanging stuffed animals, but I will also give him a teether toy and burp rag (his favorite things to chew on). When he was younger I used his swing, which he loved, but it does not have a mobile, so it is not engaging to him now).
I will shower while he sits, and if he starts getting fussy at all I will poke my head out and flash him a smile, or sing and talk to him loudly. I’m sure the upstairs and sideways apartment neighbors love it. But if your baby starts crying: don’t stress. You need to maintain your own hygiene, and them crying for a little bit will not harm them in any way. I just keep on singing and finish showering.
Then I climb out, pick up my baby, undress him (usually I’ll have most of the buttons undone, all I have to do is pull the sleeves off), take his diaper off, and jump back into the shower. If daddy is home, I will let them hang out, then call for dad to bring me my naked child. I usually turn the water off when I climb out (or wait for baby to be brought), and turn it back on when we get in so that my body is less used to hotter water. I point the shower-head to hit my back/side, or at the wall so I don’t accidentally burn/freeze Baby. Then I’ll adjust the water to be warm, but not steaming hot.
SECOND- BABY’S LOWER BODY
I rinse his lower body and one arm first. Then I retreat to the back of the shower and crouch down so that I can rest his little booty on my thigh, and his body in the crook of my arm so that he does not slip. Then, I pour some soap into the hand of the arm holding Baby. (Yes, this might also be my daily balance exercise).
Then, I rub his belly and crotch. Make sure to pull back that skin around the glans if he has a circumcised penis! If you don’t see a full rim, it is not pushed back enough. At first, I thought baby penises must look different than grown-up penises until we went back to the pediatrician, and he said the skin had fused to the glans, so we had to pull and scrape the skin off of it. It was bloody and horrifying. But you can’t do much about it when you can’t touch/clean their penis while the circumcision heals. Just make sure the you can see the entire glans. For girls, make sure to get all the folds of the vulva. Castile soap is very gentle, so even though regular soap should not be used on the vulva, castile soap every now and again is fine.
Then, I wash all the little folds around his legs and butt, his toes, and up his side to the one arm and fingers and hand I rinsed off. (Make sure to get the armpit! It’s crazy how stinky baby pits can get).
I only do one arm at a time, because he loves to suck on at least one hand (sometimes two), so I’ll only hold one hostage at a time.
Immediately after soaping the hand, I won’t let go of it. I will hold his legs and body in the crook of that one arm, stand up, and rinse the hand, the arm, the pit, then I will rest my foot on the edge of the bathtub, sit him down on it, rinse off his front parts, then I’ll roll him over and rinse off his butt.
THIRD- BABY’S UPPER BODY
Next, I cradle him face-up again, and wet his other arm and chest. By about now, I need to restock on soap.
So, it’s back to the rear end of the tub, to crouch back down, pour more castille soap into my hand, suds up his hair, then wash his neck (make sure to get around every fold under his chin! Milk loves to seep in and turn into cheese), back, armpit, and other hand and fingers.
Then back up, rinse the hand, pit, and chest, then carefully rinse of his hair (cradle face up in one arm. Use the other hand to create a wall on his forehead, so water will not flow into his eyes, and gently put under the stream of water.
When all the soap near his face is rinsed off, use one hand to gently scrub soap completely off. Don’t forget the back of his ears! They get so stinky. Then I do a final rinse off of his whole body. Last, I will gently wipe his face off with a wet hand a few times, to get any residual kisses of for a fresh canvas.
Bam! Done with the washing!
FOURTH- DRYING OFF
If dad is home, he will take IV and dry him off and dress him for me. If I am alone, I wrap Baby in a towel, dry him off in my arms, then I will dry myself off (juggling baby). Then I will hang my towel, and go to the bed (changing table) to put a diaper and clothes on him. Or clothe baby, then dry yourself. Whatever works.
FIFTH- SLEEPY TIME
Usually I wash him right before bed time (8PM), so he is ready to nurse, and konk out for the night (ish). Or, if I wash him in the morning or mid-day, I usually nurse him anyway and put him down for a nap. Baths are pretty exciting and taxing for a baby.
The “Fallback” Position
If at any time I feel like IV is being too squirmy, or if I feel like I do not have a good grip on him, I default to putting Baby’s chest vertically flat, up against my chest. This helps fully support Baby’s body with my body, and lets you calm them down or catch a breather. This also gives you a different position to better rinse off the back of their head, ears, and neck.
What if I don’t want to get in the shower WITH Baby?
If I do not want to shower with him – usually it’s because it’s an “emergency shower” because he barfed, or poop-sploded, or got food in his hair – then I will do all of that on a baby bath sponge at the bottom of his bathtub. First, I soak the sponge in warm water and lay him down on the sponge. Then I do steps one through five, but with the bath spout, not shower head.
Another thing I would like to add: check the water flow of your shower head. Sometimes it may be a bit strong and high pressured. To soften the blow on baby (and on your wallet) I suggest a 1.5 gal/min shower head. (normal– the one I linked to in the previous paragraph is an extendable 1.5gal/min shower head) Do your own research on how awesome they are!
Hope it was comprehensive enough!
How do you wash your baby? Do you have any more ideas, concerns, or questions?
If you have any feedback, I would love to hear it!
***This post may contain affiliate links, but it in no way affects my reviews or recommendations, which are my full and honest opinions. It is at no extra cost to you, it is just a thank you from Amazon for sending people to them. I am not a medical professional, and these are just my opinions, based on experience***
Do you have thrush?