Bath time is extremely important for your baby: it contributes to their daily personal hygiene and also plays a role in their sensory development.
It is also a unique moment of bonding and shared closeness.
Bath time is a special moment of soothing, tactile and olfactory discoveries, and new sensations that are necessary for your baby’s sensory development.
During their first baths, your baby is focused on direct perceptions: the temperature of the water, caresses and sounds, which they experience in a very general manner. When they are very young, they need to feel protected and surrounded.
Then as your baby grows, they become active and discover the pleasure of moving about in water.
Their skin, which is still extremely vulnerable, requires the utmost attention during bath time. The products used must be specifically adapted.
Preparing the bath
• Warm the bathroom to a temperature of between 20 and 22°C so that your baby isn’t cold on getting out of the bath!
• Fill the bathtub with water at 37°C; measure the temperature with a bath thermometer.
• Prepare in advance everything that you need to have to hand: bath towel, cleansing products, cleansing gel, shampoo, moisturisers, diaper, clean clothes or pyjamas, etc.
• Undress your baby and cleanse their bottom.
In the bath
• Your baby is still very young and needs to feel protected and surrounded: you must hold them steady, one hand slipped under the neck and shoulders, the other under their bottom.
• If you find it difficult to soap your newborn in water while holding them, soap them on the changing table and then rinse them in the water.
• When they are able to sit upright properly, you can let go of them, but never let them out of your sight. Play with them as this is a time of stimulation for the senses.
• Never leave your baby alone in their bath, irrespective of their age, even for a short time or in a small amount of water. An idea: switch on your answerphone so as not to be disturbed.
• Beware of traditional soaps that are too harsh and alter the pH of the skin and impair the hydrolipid film. Instead choose soap-free products that neutralise the drying effect of hard bath water.
• For dry skin, it is recommended to use products enriched with highly protective and nourishing moisturising agents (products with Cold Cream, for example).
• The head and hair must be washed every 2 or 3 days with products specially formulated for babies that do not sting the eyes.
• To wash your newborn baby’s head and prevent cradle cap from forming, choose a shampoo specifically for newborns; for older babies, use a 2-in-1 shampoo specially for babies.
• It is up to you to choose the right position for rinsing depending on what your baby likes. Rinse them with a glass of water, their watering can for the bath…or a shower head, making sure that the water is at the right temperature and that the spray is not too strong.
• Lift your baby out of their bath and quickly wrap them up warmly in their towel. Gently dry them without rubbing. Pay particular attention to the diaper area and folds (thighs, underarms, neck, feet, etc.).
After the bath
• To moisturise your baby’s skin and share a moment of tenderness, gently massage them with body lotion or, if your baby has dry skin, choose a product based on Cold Cream.
• Finish this time with a little sweet-smelling touch: an alcohol-free eau de soin or cleansing water specially formulated for babies.
For further information on this topic, we recommend that you ask your pharmacist or a healthcare professional for advice. They will be able to direct you towards the products best suited to your needs.