Water babies: Getting through the first bath with confidence
So you’ve come through your baby’s birth with flying colours – congratulations! Now that you’re home, though, the tips you picked up in neonatal classes may have got a bit fuzzy, and you might be finding the idea of bathing your newborn intimidating. Don’t worry – you’re far from alone.
Tiny new person? Check. Slippery soap? Check. Parent who feels suddenly all thumbs? Definite check.
It’s a stressful scenario, and many newbie parents dread the eventual moment when baby must meet bath water. Trust us – we’ve been there too!
However, this is one of those things that must be done eventually – topping and tailing only works for so long before your sweet little one starts to smell something less than sweet. So take a deep breath, and remember that parents have been doing this for millennia; if they can do it, so can you.
Here are a few more practical insider tips on bathing your newborn. Follow these, and you’ll be a confident baby-bather before you know it!
- The first step is to make sure you know how the bathing routine is meant to work (luckily, we’ve compiled a handy video guide to help you out). Grab a cuppa, take a look, and make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need on hand before you dive in (so to speak).
- Don’t be afraid to recruit a bathtime mentor. Mums are fabulous in this role – after all, they bathed you for years and you’re still around, aren’t you? Siblings or friends who are veteran parents can also be a big help. Whoever you ask, you’ll likely find that having an extra set of experienced hands to assist you will boost your confidence no end.
- Props can help, too. We’re not normally advocates of buying heaps of baby gear, but if you’re very nervous about bathing your baby, a supportive bath seat might go a long way toward alleviating your worries. These tend to be moulded to support your baby’s head and neck, with a soft, non-slippery mesh sling that will let the water pass through.
- If you don’t use a bath seat or sling, your best bet is to keep your dominant arm under your baby’s neck and shoulders, with your hand keeping a secure hold around the arm that’s farthest from you. This will support your baby’s head and give you a good grip on your slippery little package, while leaving the other hand free for washing.
- Don’t forget to enjoy it! If you’re a nervous first-timer, this may seem like madness right now, but trust us, bathtime can be a wonderful, relaxing experience for both you and your baby. Many adults love a warm, comforting bath after a challenging day, and your baby is no different – after all, your newborn has spent most of his or her existence to date floating in the warm ‘bath’ inside your belly!
If you don’t believe us, check out this amazing video of Sonia Rochel, France’s “baby bath queen”, to see how lovely bathing your baby can be. Of course, Sonia’s techniques are based on years of experience as a baby nurse, and are likely more advanced than you’ll want to try at first, but the concept is the same: a gentle, loving bath, given by the people they trust the most, is one of the very best ways to relax your baby for a good night’s sleep.
Have you given your baby his or her first ‘proper’ bath yet? How did it go? We’d love for you to share your tips with other newbie parents on our Facebook page or in the comments below!
Thinking of having a home birth?
If you like the idea of having that first cuddle in your own home, new guidance was published last year by NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) that might help: statistics show that home birth is just as safe as hospital birth for low risk women having their second child or more. So if your pregnancy is going well, you are in good health and your first delivery was straightforward, then you could think about planning a home birth. But even if this is your first baby, it could be right for you too - your midwife will help you decide. And don't worry, you can change your mind at any time and have your baby in a birth centre or labour ward.
On the day, two midwifes are usually present, one arriving earlier during labour and one just before delivery. This means that, in an emergency, one midwife can care for you and one for your baby.
A few weeks prior to your due date, you will need to ensure that you have the appropriate equipment at home as well as your normal maternity bag. Here are some of the things you might need:
· plastic sheet to protect floor, sofa or bed
· old towels or sheet to put onto of the plastic sheet
· containers in case you feel sick during labour
· a warm blanket - bin liner
· a desk light for your midwife
· clean warm towels for the baby or baby blanket.
Introducing lumps to your baby's diet
During my monthly Facebook feeding clinics, parents often ask when’s the right time to introduce lumps to their baby’s diet, and ask for advice on what to do if baby won’t take them or appears to gag or choke on lumpier foods. Some babies seem to find the move from pureed foods to foods with different textures relatively easy, whereas others can find this quite challenging and take a little longer mastering the new skill of controlling their mouth muscles and tongue in order to successfully chew foods.
The important thing is to persevere with this stage of weaning as trying a whole range of tastes and textures during the second 6 months of life is necessary if we want children to eat a range of different foods as toddlers. There appears to be a critical period in the second half of infancy, usually around 7-9 months, during which babies more readily accept new tastes and textures and babies not given lumps until after 9 months of age are more likely to be difficult, picky eaters later on.
To get babies moving onto different textured foods, you should start to mash rather than puree their foods from about 7 months. Foods should contain some small soft lumps; adjust the consistency according to what your baby can cope with, aiming for more and more lumps and a coarser texture as you go. Start by introducing soft lumps at first by mashing soft fruits, cooked vegetables or cooked pasta, perhaps with some mashed fish or pureed meat. If on the other hand you are using bought baby foods, there are foods specifically designed for this stage of feeding and plenty of choice to choose from. And don’t worry if your baby hasn’t got any teeth yet - they can still manage lumps using their hard gums!
Don’t be surprised if your baby spits out lumps to begin with, or if lumps get coughed back for more chewing – this is normal. Babies are born with a ‘gag’ reflex, which prevents bits of food from being swallowed whole, and this reflex brings the food back up into baby’s mouth for more chewing. Stay calm and be full of praise and encouragement as your baby learns their new skill. To minimise the risk of choking, always supervise your baby when they’re around any food and make sure they’re sitting upright and able to support themselves whilst they’re eating. Just in case, also have a look at the following link so you know what to do if your baby may actually be choking,
If you are worried about introducing your baby to lumpy foods, have a chat with your health visitor, or feel free to contact us as we are happy to help whenever we can.
All the best.
Tags: babies, balanced diet, baby, food, foods, fussy eater, Hipp Organic, prepare, recipe, toddlers
Categories: About Hipp Organic, Baby development, Weaning