Rub a Dub Dub - Baby in the Tub!
For me, bathing my newborn baby was a pretty terrifying thing. He's so soooo SOOOO very slippery, won't I drop him? What if I get soap in his eyes and it burns, or in his ears and he gets an ear infection? What if the water is too hot and he gets burned, or too cold and he gets chilled? What if I don't get all the shampoo out of his hair and it gets irritated? What if he does his business on me while he is without diaper??? Luckily after doing it a few times, these fears have quieted but still sit in the back of my mind ready to shout "I TOLD YOU SO!!!" the second I make a mistake!
Fear or no fear, babies do need a good cleaning. But how you do it, and how often you do it is up for discussion! Our American nurse at the hospital said until they're crawling around and getting really dirty, babies really only need a bath in the tub about once a week, using a washcloth (water only) to do spot cleaning on a daily basis (face, neck, hands, armpits - they get cheesy - ewwww!!, diaper region); incidentally this is the practice we have adopted. Our Australian nurse, on the other hand, said it's their culture to bathe the baby daily. My sister, who's son has severe eczema, would argue this is too drying on the skin, and in our son's case I would agree. His skin is a bit dryer after a bath, and his cradle cap is absolutely flaking out of control. Sure you could bathe daily and then lather them up with all kinds of creams, but those creams are loaded with all kinds of chemicals. And no, I don't want to shell out an arm and a leg for an organic blah blah blah kind of cream when we've found that it's much simpler to just not bathe him daily!
One of my friends in Japan got the OK from her doctor at her son's 1 month checkup to take him into the regular bath with them. I have mixed emotions about this. Mostly I would love to do it! I love holding Kenzo, and I love taking a bath, so to mix those things would be absolute joy!! My problem is I like my bath water to be hot, and my husband likes the water to be pretty much scalding! And from what I understand a baby should have bath water that is just barely warm. I wonder if there is a certain degree that is recommended? The bath we had over in Japan was electric, you set the temperature and hit "on" and leave the room going about your business elsewhere in the house. When the tub is done filling up, it plays a song to let you know. And then it keeps the water that temperature til you're done bathing! How awesome is that?? Man, I wish I had that tub here. Instead, we have an OLD (pre-war??) tub with no stopper so we don't even have an option to take a bath now. Which is nice cuz I don't have to bother cleaning it often (or to be brutally honest... practically never). We'll have to fix this before Kenzo grows out of his baby bath, which fits into our kitchen sink and is nice and easy to use!
3/18/2013 01:40:51 pm
This one is timely for me as I just started taking over bath time duties when my husband is working so Keito can get to bed earlier. Our doctor told us to just use the temperature that we normally use. I was very skeptical, but the baby books here say 38-40 degrees for a baby bath. I'm sure it's lower in the states and I'm sure bathing every day in hot water is not a good idea for a baby with eczema. But it has worked for us! Sometimes Keito looks like a little lobster, but his skin is fine (we don't use lotion) and he is very happy in the bath. He is quite sensitive in many other ways so I'd have to think that he would let us know if the water is too hot for him.
3/18/2013 02:38:18 pm
"like a little lobster" - haha!! photos please!! Sorry I have no idea how you would manage to dry yourself and baby off. Maybe have a bouncer or something right outside the tub, dry him off and put down wrapped in a towel while you quickly dry off and dress, then take care of his diaper and clothes? I really envy the long stay at the clinic in Japan because of all the training and support you get! I was lucky enough to have my parents waiting at home for us where they helped us for 2 weeks. Without them, me and Ryoji would have been clueless!!
Heather, do you have the swimava there? My daughter loves it! She has only used it once or twice cause hubs is scared she is still too small..We bought an inflatable baby bath but have used it all of two times. The bathroom sink is better--perfect size and we don't have to step into the Japanese shower to bathe her. She loves baths--she is always trying to swim lol! And she loves the showerhead at the faucet! I like Japanese bathtubs btw but hate mine cause there's no window and it gets soooo humid or muggy in there when I'm trying to air it out. Plus I HATE cleaning it lol.
3/31/2013 10:50:14 am
OMG never heard of the swimava and just had to google it - funniest thing ever!! hehehe!! a little baby head peeking out of a donut ^_^ It's meant for use in the big tub and swimming pool? You should post a video of your little one using it!
10/1/2013 07:51:52 pm
I like your article. Your article is quite good and complete.
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About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)