Keeping your baby’s bath time short is important, but it’s also a constant challenge. Babies often love the water, and they look so cute that it can be difficult to remove them from something they’re so interested in. If your baby likes to mellow in the tub, it can be hard to take them out of it when you’re hoping to get them down to nap soon. However, overly warm, long baths take away your baby’s natural skin oil and makes it more likely that your baby’s going to develop chapped skin. Cut down bath time and you’ll have a better chance of keeping your baby’s skin flawless. Here are some tips that should speed the bathing process.
Gather All Supplies before You Start
This seems like it should go without saying, but if you want to cut down on the total time of your bath you should gather everything for the baby at the start. This doesn’t just mean the shampoos and soaps and toys (if your baby is old enough to enjoy a rubber duckie, of course), but things that you’re going to need afterwards. The towel, the baby’s diapers, clothes, and so forth. These things are easy to forget when you’re rounding up the soap and shampoo. Since you obviously can’t leave your baby alone in the tub, if you forget something, you’ll either have to carry a dripping baby to another room or have your family member/partner bring what you need. This can easily add minutes to your bath time. You don’t want to take baby out of the water until you can immediately dry him or her off. This makes sense, so just taking the time to slow down before baby’s bath, remembering that you’re going to need his clothes afterwards, can be a big help.
Use the Water Temperature to Hurry You
It’s not recommended to put your baby under running water. This means that you really only have how long the water stays warm to bathe your baby. You don’t want her to get a chill, so you have to be sure that you’re getting the baby clean before the water gets cool. The ideal temperature for a baby bath is between 75 and 80 degrees, according to WhatToExpect. There are plenty of bath-time thermometers, but you can just as easily tell for yourself by putting your elbow or the inside of your wrist in the water. These areas of your body are more sensitive than your fingertips. The water should be warm but not hot.
Use Only a Few Drops of Soap
Soap can be a skin irritant for a young child. You really only need a few drops of a mild baby formula to keep your little one clean. On the plus side, avoiding using tons of soap also means that you don’t have to spend as long rinsing your baby. It’s important to get the entire soap residue off of him. Reducing the amount of soap reduces skin irritation in two ways: by reducing the length of the bath and by using less of something that can irritate your baby’s skin all by itself.
Count Seconds as You Go
Some babies get uneasy in the bath, and some take to it like little ducklings. Whichever sort of baby you have, hearing your voice will help set them at ease. Because they’re still far too young to have any idea what you’re talking about, a great way to keep track of time is to just count the seconds out loud in a soothing voice. Your baby will feel safe and close to you, and you’ll have a good handle on how long your bath is running. Remember, three to five minutes is the optimal answer here. Counting the seconds out loud also means that you’ll manage to avoid getting sucked into how sweet your little angel looks and simply losing track of time.
Use a Two-in-one Shampoo
The same rules as the soap rules apply to shampoo. Your baby’s hair only really needs to be washed once a week. When you do wash it, you can cut down on the time it takes by using a 2-in-1 shampoo that doesn’t require a lot of rinsing. You can get a baby-safe, all-natural shampoo, that’s also easy to wash out, from companies such as the Honest Company— the fact that it’s a 2-in-1 means that you only have to lather and rinse once. This shaves baby hair-care time in half.
Cut It Short If Baby Gets Grumpy
This nugget of wisdom seems obvious, but a lot of parents can get caught up in the checklist of everything they have to do with their baby at bath time. A sponge bath will be able to take care of the day-to-day dirt, so if your baby gets gassy, fussy, or unhappy in the bath then just take him out – according to Parents. You don’t want your little one to associate the bath with anything bad, so keep things short if anything gets overwhelming.