Bath time in our house was not easy, to say the least. Some babies enjoy baths while others absolutely dread it (ie. ours)! I like to compare baby baths to handling a wet bar of soap, except babies are squirmier. Add the stress of a crying fragile baby (especially a newborn) and you might as well dread them as well. However, there are ways to make bath time easier and safer! Here are some of our bath time hacks! Enjoy!
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1. Use a sling bathtub for easy washing.
This bathtub was a LIFESAVER for us; like I’m not even exaggerating that much. Let me explain.
I was absolutely terrified of handling my newborn let alone bathing her. To add to it, she absolutely hated baths! Before buying this neat tub we were using an oversized weighing tub (literally a pointless buy because I never even used the weighing option). She was teeny and slid down in it, so it required a dual effort to quickly bathe her and get out of there as soon as we could. I just could not manage on my own. Call me what you will, but I was that mom.
After someone mentioned using this tub on a mommy forum, I decided to give it a shot and I haven’t looked back since! It goes on my list of “best money spent” purchases (a good idea for a follow-up blog post so stay tuned!).
All you do is lay your newborn in the sling as you wash them. No hard and uncomfortable plastics to deal with. The sling allows your baby to lay in a more natural, snug resting position. It is also removable to it adjusts for an infant once your newborn outgrows the sling.
2. Hot glue the bottoms of bath toys to prevent mold (or just buy bath toys without holes).
I actually saw this hack on Pinterest and must I say it is a MUST if you have bath toys with holes at the bottom. Babies stick everything in their mouths and last things you want is a molded teether in your precious cherub’s mouth. Gross!
All you do is get a hot glue gun and glue the hole in. Simple as that!
Better yet. If you just want to avoid the possibility of molded toys, just buy bath toys without the holes! I have a similar bath rubber ducky, and my little girl loves it! No hole, no mold, and it’s rubber!
3. Use a detachable shower head to wash your baby.
Maybe you already use one, but our place did not have a removable shower head so we had to purchase one. As a side note, the image displays a children’s showerhead, however, we used an adult shower head with no problems.
This detachable shower head makes washing your little one so much easier as you are able to direct the water wherever you’d like without even moving your baby. No water spout needed! You can also adjust the level of water flow to a more gentle setting so as to not scare your baby. As an added bonus, it also improves your shower experience! Win-win!
4. Take a hot shower before giving your baby a bath to steam up and warm up the bathroom.
I say take a shower instead of just running hot water so you’re not wasting water.
Babies, especially newborns, hate being cold. They will cry and happy bath time will turn into your worst nightmare. I exaggerate, but it is close to something along those lines.
Save yourself the stress. Take a shower beforehand and allow your bathroom to lightly steam. Baby will be both cozy and warm, and you won’t have to worry about being rushed.
BONUS: Being in a steamy room is also beneficial for babies that are sick and helps with decongestion.
5. Use washcloths to keep your baby warm while giving them a bath.
Going off of the previous tip, you must make sure to keep your baby warm if you want successful bathtimes (this is primarily true for newborns). Another way to do it is using washcloths. I learned this trick from mommy forums as well.
What you do is you get a few washcloths and soak them in some water. Then you lay them on your baby’s tummy as you bathe them. From experience, I would recommend keeping a bowl of warm water with extra washcloths nearby and rotating them as they cool down because they do cool quickly when they’re just laying there.
6. Use a shower visor to prevent soapy water from going into baby’s eyes.
I didn’t actually use this neat gadget because I only discovered it later. I really wish I used something like this because it would’ve helped a lot when it came to washing my baby’s head!
Originally, I would have to hold and lean my baby over the tub to wash her head. It was difficult since she would almost always end up in tears, squirming a lot along the way. She really did not like the water! I’m not saying all babies are like this, but if yours is, consider getting yourself one of these!
Instructions say to first wet your baby’s head, and then to stretch the visor over it, allowing it to slip on. The instructions then say to wash your baby’s hair and finally rinse.
7. Use hooded towels to help with washing your baby’s head.
So, if you choose not to go with the shower visor, try out the method that worked best for me.
If you have one of those cute hooded towels (they’re great for drying baby’s head and keeping it warm after baths; plus they’re super cute!) you could use it to help with washing your baby’s head. Not sure what I mean? Let me explain.
After you wash and rinse off your baby’s body, dry them off with the towel. Then, wrap them in the towel, keeping their head out, and wash their head over the tub quickly. Once you do, just flip the hooded part over their head so that they dry and stay warm. Easy and convenient!
8. Have clothes and diapers ready before starting bathtime.
This might seem obvious but it can be easily overlooked in the process of getting your baby ready for a bath. We had an instance where we undressed baby, realized she was getting cold, and rushed to get her into her warm bath, forgetting to get a fresh diaper, a change of clothes, and a towel ready. Needless to say, I am thankful that my husband was helping out that time!
9. Take a bath with your baby.
I personally tried this with our baby when she was a little older (like 4 months) as I was too nervous to try it out earlier. However, it is a more enjoyable alternative to bath time as your baby isn’t as scared to be in the water when they’re with you. This was definitely the game changer for our bath times as after my baby took a bath with me she was way more comfortable with bathing, in general.
As a side note, you might need some help (if you’re like me). After washing my baby I would hand her over to my husband as I would need to rinse off myself, afterward.
10. Put some all-purpose ointment on baby’s head about 15-30 minutes before baths to help with cradle cap.
Cradle cap is the worst! My mother recommended that I massage this Burt’s Bees Natural All-Purpose Ointment onto my baby’s head about 15-30 minutes before her bathtime (or until it dries out a bit) to help treat the cradle cap. It worked! Of course, you will still need to brush it out (I would pick it out the chunks gently when I could). However, it helps loosen the flakes and speeds up the treatment!
11. Give baby massage after baths for a better night sleep.
My mother-in-law mentioned how she would massage her babies after baths and it would help them sleep better at night, so I wanted to give it a try with our little girl. I did only get to, once my little girl was more comfortable with baths. It actually worked well, and she went right to sleep. She didn’t initially like it, but towards the end, she seemed to relax and enjoy it more. Probably because she was hungry, which leads me to the next tip.
12. Feed your baby before baths.
If you’re baby already dislikes baths, having them hungry will only add to the stress. So, feed them first then bathe them.
Our little girl would often get sleepy after a feeding, so it was easier to get her into the tub and start bathing her (she would even sleep through half of it sometimes!). This might not work for every baby, and some might have a difficult time falling back asleep. However, with ours, we found that after baths she would again feed for a top off and then fall asleep, so it worked out perfectly!
13. Use baths to get baby ready for bed.
I know I already mentioned bathtime as a prelude to bedtime, but I cannot stress it enough! If your baby struggles with sleep, this routine is definitely something to consider. Our friends incorporated baths into their baby’s bedtime routine and it helped their baby adjust to a normal day-night sleep schedule. Try it!
14. Check water temperature with elbow or wrist.
You want to be careful not to put your baby into water too hot or too cold for obvious reasons. So, check the temperature with your elbow or your wrist. These are much more sensitive to temperature than your hand and fingers, which is what you want since your baby’s skin is likewise very sensitive to temperature.
15. Use blowouts as an excuse for bath time!
If you happen to have a blowout someplace where a bath is accessible, skip the full-on diaper change and put your baby under some running water. I would take this route with the dirtiest and messiest of them and it made clean up so much easier!
This hack is also found in another post for mom hacks that you could check out here!
16. Use zip-up PJs for a quick dress you if you have a baby that just does not like baths!
If your baby is full on wailing after a bath, the last thing you want to do is frustrate them more by having them put on an uncomfortable pajama. When our little girl was a newborn, zip up pajamas were an absolute must! They were quick and easy to put on. I couldn’t imagine dealing with buttons!
Bath times can be quite stressful if your baby doesn’t like them. I really do hope these hacks help you get through this phase. Trust me they do get easier and more enjoyable with time. However, it doesn’t hurt to have a few shortcuts here and there!
Let me know about your bath time experiences. What do you do to survive?
Check out my other Mom Hack Post!
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