How to Handle Baby Bathtime - SmartMom

How to Handle Baby Bathtime

Photo by Ashley Thalman

There are certain parts of the day that moms really look forward to. For many it’s nap time and a few blissful moments of silence. For others it’s the moment right before bed as baby falls asleep in your arms. For me it’s baby bathtime.  Perhaps it helps that both of my children LOVE baths, splish-splashing in a warm and sudsy wonderland, but there’s also something strangely therapeutic for me about washing away all the spit-up and tears of a long day. Although bath time is a favorite in our home, the same can’t be said for everyone. So if baths are something you dread rather than look forward to, consider implementing some of these bath time helps to make it sudsy smooth!

Environment is everything

A warm room and comfortable water temperature will automatically put baby at ease. Consider running some hot water before undressing your little to bring the temperature up in a chilly room. And when filling the tub or sink try starting with cooler water before adding that hot to ensure the temperature doesn’t get too high.  There are bath thermometers you can use for infants or a number of toys with heat sensors to ensure bath water isn’t too hot for little one’s skin.

To tub or not to tub

When it comes to baby’s first bath one of the things you have to decide is where to make it happen. There are a handful of fantastic bath seats and slings available that keep your newborn contained and propped up for easy bathing. Many new parents prefer some kind of baby bath instead of placing your little seven-pounder down into the bottom of a giant soaker tub. It’s definitely easier on mom and dad’s backs not having to bend down over the lip of a tub. An alternative to (sometimes pricey) seats, baths, or slings is a good old-fashioned sink bath, a personal favorite of mine. If you’d rather just use your tub than spend money on an extra bath, consider using a sponge pad on the tub floor. They are incredibly inexpensive and provide extra cushion and comfort for your little one.

For itty bitties

When it comes to baby’s first baths, some mamas enjoy sharing the time in the tub with their little ones. Since your baby is most comfortable wrapped in your arms, and there’s just nothing better in this world for you both than a little skin-to-skin contact, try taking a bath with your baby. Laying against mama’s warm skin while having a gentle pour of water trickle down your back. Sounds like heaven to me! This technique is especially helpful for newborns that seem to hate hate HATE taking baths. Give them a sense of comfort and safety by sharing in the moment together.

Baby-friendly supplies

Do yourself a favor and avoid as many tears as possible by stocking up on tear-free hair and body washes. Even the most careful mama can find herself in cry-city with a renegade sudsy hand to the face. Having PH balanced products that are gentle enough for baby’s skin and eyes will ensure your little one stays happy and feels great in the tub. There are so many choices out there, like the traditional Johnson’s baby wash, and a lot of really fantastic natural products, like those found at the Honest Company.  Also be sure you’re stocked with soft washcloths and towels to give that sweet baby skin the extra love it needs.

Make a bath basket

Keeping all of your soaps, washcloths, towels, and toys in one easy-to-reach place can make a world of difference when one of your hands is busy keeping a wiggly, soapy, infant still. If you go out of the bathroom to bathe your babe, make sure your goodies are in something you can easily shift to the kitchen sink or elsewhere so you’re not juggling bottles, rubber duckies, and your baby on the way to the bath.

Make it fun

When your children get old enough to view bath time as more than just those ten minutes that mom scrubs behind his/her ears, things can really be fun! Bubble bath, bath paints, squirt animals, and even balloons can make bath time something everyone enjoys. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on expensive bath toys that require extensive installation and take up half the bathroom. Keep it simple with things like plastic cups (stackable measuring cups are great) and teething rings, or even encourage your child to bring one of their waterproof toys along with them!

There’s nothing worse than having battling tears while you’re also trying to defeat all the dirt from the day. Take a few extra steps and remember how much fun bath time can be.  Who knows, maybe it will be your favorite part of the day too!

All SmartMoms know that bathtime is often an important part of a bedtime routine. Here’s some more information on that!



How long do you bathe your LO. What do you use for shampoo and wash?

How often do you bathe your LO?

How do you keep your tiny baby warm during bath time?

Did anyone else have trouble with bath time? My son is 2 months old and still screams and hates it

Does anyone else’s baby freak out after bath time when it’s time to dry off?

How old is your LO and how long does bath time take?

Is 6:30 too early for a 4 month old’s bath time?

My 2 year old fell and hit her head in the tub – it is swelling and turning blue, what should I do?

My 2 year old loves the bath but hates having her hair washed. I’ve tried everything, any ideas?

Should I bathe my baby every day?

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