From Newborn to Toddler, Everything you need to know about Bathing your babe
I'm not going to lie, since Oliver was born I've just been using Johnson and Johnson. 1. because it is what we use on our babes in the NICU, so it should be okay right? and 2. I looovveee the smell. you just can't beat it. (So if you know how to replicate that smell, in a homemade soap... please please share with me by commenting below!) Well, 2018 made me want to start fresh with our lives, and that included going to a more natural, organic, good for you skin products and overall wellbeing. I took a poll a few weeks ago on my instagram stories on what products people used, liked, and other various questions I threw in there and I got soo much feedback so I wanted to share all my new info with you!
Most of what I write comes from my experience as a mother and a NICU nurse, so I'm no expert but I do want to share with you what works for us, new products you may want to try out, and just give you some new perspective on bath time in case what you're doing now isn't working and you want to try something new!
Bringing Baby Home
- Swaddle Bath: If you've never done a swaddle bath, it's my favorite bath to give to a newborn, especially during those first few days of life. You start by swaddling baby in a receiving blanket. Hold your baby in the football hold with their head over the water, and gently wash their face with a clean rag, then proceed to wash their hair with soap and water. You can then dry it with a towel if you want. Next, dunk them in the sink or tub completely swaddled and wash them taking out a limb at a time to help keep them warm. Afterwards, have clean dry towels ready and take the babe out leaving the wet blanket behind. Dry your babe completely and get them dressed!
- Sponge Bath: This is where you bath baby with just a wash cloth and a bucket of water on the side. This is typically done if you don't want something on them (for example an IV) to get wet, but they usually HATE this way because they get so cold.
- Sink Bath: Sink baths are also my favorite, and I'm not talking a large farmhouse sink where the baby is just flailing all over. Just a small bathroom sink that you can put a towel down in, a blooming bath pad, or puj baby. This allows the water to fall on them and keep them warm, but be careful you watch the temperature as it can sometimes change unexpectedly.
You can bathe your baby with their umbilical stump still attached, just be sure to let it air dry afterwards and fold the diaper down below their umbilicus
Cleaning the umbilicus stump is no longer current practice, it fall off on its own anywhere between 7-14 days. However, both my boys umbilicus fell off on day 2-5.
In the beginning, babies only need to be bathed x2 a week. Of course you can bathe them as much as you want, but that will dry their skin out quicker.
Babies live in the womb nice and warm, completely regulated by mom. Once born they have to thermoregulate themselves, so keeping them warm during bath will keep them much happier.
Get all your supplies ready before you start bath so that your not scrambling to get things you need once baby is already bathed. EX: Have your towels, bath soap, clothes, diapers all ready.
Sitting Infant/Almost Sitting
- Lay a large towel down in the tub and fill it with a couple inches of water, just enough to come up to babies ears when laying down. The blooming bath works great for this! They can splash and kick their legs and feet and they usually love this. To help keep their top side warm, you can put a warm wash cloth on their belly.
- I started using the mamas&papas chair in the tub for attikus so that the boys could take a tub together and I wouldn't have to hold Attikus at all times. This works great, but you have to be careful because once you add water to the tub it tends to be tippy especially if they like to bend over and reach for things!
- Farmhouse Sink: This option is great for infants that can sit up on their own or start to sit up on their own. You can use the blooming bath for added cushion incase they fall. Fill the sink up with water to your desired level. Often times they usually love playing with the faucet and enjoy splashing the water with their hands.
Tub: This is the only way I know how to bathe Oliver, unless you give your toddler a shower! Don't ever leave them unattended, not even for a second as the worst imaginable can happen in the blink of an eye. Have your toddler help you wash them, this not only makes it more fun for them because they get to be a little more independent but it also allows them learn how to bathe themselves so your not washing them until their 10.
#MOMHACK When bathing two babes, (like mine 2.5 and 7mo) Use a mamas&papas chair in the tub for the youngest one so you don't have to hold on to him or her the entire time and they can splash their feet and play in the water without you having to worry about them falling over!
Diaper Dermatitis: AKA Diaper rash can be very uncomfortable for your little ones and it doesn't only happen to infants.. it can happen to toddlers too. Teething can cause this, getting their molars can cause this, and then the obvious cause is from urine and feces coming in contact with the skin. Allergies can also be a cause of diaper rash, which means it could be from the diapers you're using or detergent used for cloth diapers. Antibiotics can also be a cause for diaper rash. Things that you can do to help prevent/heal diaper rash are below.
- Don't use scented wipes or strong scented soaps
- Change diapers frequently
- Give Sits baths
- Let their bum air dry/free breeze for a while
- Avoid powders or ointments that have not been prescribed by your childs doctor
- If you choose to put a diaper cream on something with zinc oxide works best or coconut oil
Above Pictures were taken by SamanthaCaterPhotography
I mentioned above Blooming Bath and Puj baby which are both products used inside of the sink to help comfort and support baby during bath time. We personally don't have a Puj tub, but it has great reviews and looks like it would work nicely, and it cost $45. Our blooming bath is great to use in the sink or even when they get to sitting age because it helps pad them and lessen their chances of slipping all over the place. I also like it because you can machine wash it to keep it clean and dry in the dryer! The price for a blooming bath is $40. We also have a summer infant deluxe which can be used in the tub and works great for those beginning days, and is only $15! The Fisher Price 4-in-1 Sling'n Seat also works great, and was an option suggested to me, plus it's only $27! That little round float below is called an otterroo, and I had to have it for Attikus lol and although I've had people tell me they love it, I personally didn't care for it. Maybe we got it too late in the game and Attikus was too big for it but we tried it in the tub and the water level had to be nearly to the top (and we have a deep tub) and his feet still toughed so he was basically floating by his neck with us butt touching the bottom. We'll shoot for the next kid! You can click on the image below to directly shop that product!
As I stated above, I've been using Johnson&Johnson since Oliver was born, and I always thought that since we use it on our NICU babes, it should be safe for our kids. Well, after doing those bath time polls in my insta-stories and getting so many great suggestions, new product details, and some awesome information that was really eye opening, I started doing some research myself. When I say eye opening, I mean that I've never really been one to read labels. Along with my 500 other goals for 2018, living a more chemical free and natural lifestyle was up on the top of the list. So I started digging and I can say I threw out all of my johnson and johnson baby soaps.
I found out that formaldehyde was used in Johnson&Johnson, and I'm sure many of you are much better at saying up with the news and current events than I am, but I had no idea. I mean you just can't beat the scent of a fresh babe bathed in Johnson&Johnson, it's just so yummy. Well, come to find out formaldehyde has many names such as formalin, Formic aldehyde, Methanediol, methanal, methyl aldehyde, Methylene glycol, and Methylene oxide. There are also formaldhyde releasing preservatives that have the names quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, bromopol and glyoxal. The American Cancer Society list everything you need to know about formaldehyde HERE.
Why is this concerning? Well, these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and have been linked to cancer and allergic skin reactions. I know, I know, like everything causes cancer these days.. at least that's what I say. BUT I can do my part in buying and using safer products for my children and family to hopefully decrease the risk. So I went to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website and did some searching. This site has an abundance of resources and ways to help you be better at reading labels so I highly recommend getting started there if you too are looking to go chemical free, if you haven't already.
Did you know that there are over 80,000 chemicals on the market today and many don't have any safety data. This is because the FDA doesn't regulate it in the US, and they allow large companies to make their own judgements on whats safe and whats not safe. This is complete bullshit if you ask me! Beauty Counter, a brand committed to the health and safety of the products they sell have great resources as well and display a "Never List" which is all the harmful chemicals they work hard to avoid using.
Taken straight from the campaign for safe cosmetics, lists the top 4 tips for babies as seen below!
- Avoid sunscreens with octinoxate, oxybenzone, benzone and homosalate. While it’s important to make sure that babies are protected against UVA/UVB rays,it’s equally important to make sure that these sunscreens do not contain toxic chemicals.
- Avoid mineral oil in baby oil. Try coconut oil or olive oil instead!
- Reduce the amount of baby products with added fragrance.
- Read labels closely and find safer alternatives using tools like the Think Dirty app and GoodGuide.
Now I can't tell you how much I have used this think dirty app now, and I highly recommend downloading it, its FREE and you'll be amazed at some of the stuff you find in your house that is up on the "toxic" scale. Okay, if you're like my husband you're probably thinking, "yea.. everything causes cancer, everything is bad for you these days" and maybe so. Butttt the way I see it, is if I can take this small step in buying safer, less toxic products for myself and family to use, than I am doing a better job at eliminating the potential risks for serious side effects or health issues down the road by simply buying safer cosmetics/skin care products. Yes, there are still many things that I myself or family or the world are doing to pollute the environment, but this is something that I can change. That I can make a difference for my family and children and feel good about it.
To break it down for you a little bit more, I've listed the severity of toxic chemicals in each store bought product below, but basically the app ranks products on a scale from 0-10. 0-3 are products that do not contain any ingredients which have documented potential negative health effects. 4-7 are products which ingredients have potentially moderate negative long term health effects, and 8-10 are products with ingredients that have potential serious negative long term health effects. They've got thousands (almost a million) different products you can search and its so easy to use.
- Johnson&Johnson: ranks a 10 (I know, I was shocked, well not really but my gosh, we're suppose to put that shit on our children. I guess I just expect products labeled for children use to be safe.. not anymore)
- Aveeno Baby: Gentle shampoo and conditioner, eczema night balm rank a 3. All other products rank between a 4-9
- Burts Bees Baby: Lotion, Nappy ointment, Shampoo, body oil, diaper rash ointment, and dusting powder rank 0-3. The cream-to-powder diaper cream, bubble bath, and fragrance free wipes rank a 5-9. We have this brand of shampoo and I plan on using it until its all used up, it smells great and is low on the rankings!
- California Baby: Everything ranks a 0-3
- Toms baby line: Everything ranks a 0-3
- Honest Company: Everything ranks a 0-3 other than the laundry pods rank a 5
- Babyganics: Most products are ranked a 0-3, sunscreen and exzema cream, bubble bath, and floor cleaner rank a 5
- Coconut Oil: Was told by multiple people that they use coconut oil as a lotion on their babies
- Young Living: There are tons of great recipes you can make using oils (I for one don't have any to share with you, but maybe another time!)
- Pinterest: Oh pinterest, you can find just about anything on here and got a lot of moms who said they use pinterest as a resource for making their own recipes at home, which is something I would love doing, but I'd rather just buy them already made from a local or small shop!
All of the below shops were recommended to me by other fellow mamas. They are all companies, brands, or small shops that are dedicated to making safer products for us to use. I added a few products that mamas suggested were their favorites or must haves, you can click on the name of the company below to start shopping!
Beauty Counter: The Baby protective balm and soothing oil were a couple must haves!
MinErbs: Their creamy lather baby soap and baby bath soak were a few favorites! If you want more information on their products or to talk to the mama that suggested this shop, comment below and I will get you her contact info!
Noodle and Boo: The soothing baby wash!
Melaleuca: A fellow mama recommended this brand as one of her favorites because they are all natural, chemical free including their cleaners. You do have to become a costumer to buy products, so if you want more information comment below and I will give you her contact info!
Zoe Organics: Everything here is amazing according to a fellow mama and it smells amazing! If you want more info, comment below and I can give you her contact info!
Tubby Todd: We have this brand and we love their baby spray, all over ointment, and any of their bath time products!
I talked a lot about products, new apps to try out, tubs and different styles of bathing your babe. If you at all found this blog post to be helpful or know of a momma friend that would also love to read it, please please share or comment below! Use my pinterest button to post it, or tell your friends about it! I love to help other mommas find the best solutions. We're all in this together, it really does take a village and I love being there for one another and sharing my experiences, gaining new insight, and just being supportive!
Thanks so much for stopping by!