One of the most difficult challenges facing new mommies is creating a new schedule for two people: mommy and baby. Getting the hang of things takes time, but learning a few timesaving tips can help you organize your time with your infant and help you feel less overwhelmed.
Find the time!
First, find a time of day where you can spend 20 to 30 minutes dedicated to grooming and bathing your baby. Most parents prefer to bathe their children in the evening as part of the bedtime routine. Warm baths are relaxing and help children sleep better, especially with lavender aromatherapy. Plus, if the bath is at the end of the day, they go to bed squeaky clean and wake up ready to dress for the day.
Naptime or Bedtime
However, some parents have scheduling conflicts that prevent them from using this routine. For example, mommies in the restaurant industry may not be home with their children in the evenings but don’t want to miss the special bonding opportunities bathing and grooming provides. In this case, a post-lunch/pre-nap bath may be better for them.
At first bathing will be a sponge bath, but as soon as the umbilical cord falls off, baby will be ready for a regular bath. Either way, the bathing portion should only take a few minutes. After a bath, she will get cold very easily. Make sure the ceiling fan is off in the room where you will be grooming her.
With supplies at hand (pajamas or clothes, diaper, zinc oxide, lotion, dustless powder, nail file and clippers, brush or comb, and bottle if baby is not nursing), put baby on the bed or floor and sit next to her. Dry her off well, wiping dustless powder in the creases to absorb any excess moisture, and with diaper under her bottom (Relaxed, freshly bathed babies love to relieve themselves!), apply diaper ointment with zinc oxide to prevent diaper rash.
Gently massage lotion or creamy baby oil into her skin spending a few minutes using baby massage techniques. Then, except for her toes, dress baby to keep her snuggly warm.
If she is not too fidgety, clip or file her nails. Sometimes you will have to wait until she is fast asleep to safely trim her tiny nails. However, the more frequently you try while she is awake, the more accepting she will become of this necessity.
Comb or Brush
Even though your she may be a baldy for a while, it is important to brush or comb baby’s hair everyday. Doing so will help slough off dead skin cells and keep her scalp in healthy condition. Also, establishing good habits now makes grooming and bathing a willful two year old much easier.
Cuddle and Feed
While it is not technically part of the grooming and bathing process, cuddling and feeding will be the best next step in most cases when the grooming and bathing routine precedes naptime or bedtime. Besides, it is the most rewarding part of the day for you and baby!
This is your chance to be still and quiet with your thoughts and with your baby. This is your time to dedicate to nurturing both of you. Holding your baby while you feed her is one of the most meaningful ways you can connect with her and express your deep love for her. Don’t miss that opportunity.