The thought of bathing a tiny baby can be pretty daunting for any new mum - or new dad, come to that.
Newborns seem very fragile and difficult to hold at the best of times - particularly for the inexperienced parent, so the idea of trying to hold them while they’re slippery with water can be quite intimidating.
Fear not - there is no need to try out your baby bath tub straight away. The advice given by most midwives is to ‘top and tail’ your baby to start with, using warm wet sponges or flannels. Lay the baby on a clean warm towel and ensure that the room is kept at a comfortable temperature. Wipe gently at both ends!
However, having invested in a baby bath, you’ll naturally be keen to use it. Again, make sure you have plenty of warm, dry towels ready and that the water is lukewarm. Many midwives suggest testing the water with your elbow, as this is one of the most sensitive areas. You may also consider investing in a bath thermometer to be certain that the water in your baby bath is the correct temperature.
If your newborn seems to be having fun in the new baby bath tub, let him or her enjoy it for a while. However, for babies who are less keen. or in some cases become agitates and cry throughout, there is no need to use your baby bath more than a couple of times a week - newborn babies don’t tend to get very dirty.
Which baby bath will you choose? There are plenty of options available but most parents opt for a pink baby bath for a girl or a blue baby bath for a boy. However, if you wish to buy your baby bath before you know the sex of your tiny tot, you could go for a unisex white or yellow bath.
Some cheap baby baths are made from poor quality plastic which is not very sturdy and prone to splitting so it’s worth buying a bath that is a bit more expensive and made from tougher and more durable plastic to ensure it lasts until your little one is able to move up to a bath seat in your main family bath.
Most baby baths are solid structure products, but foldable and inflatable baths are other popular options. If you fancy something a bit unusual, why not treat your little one to a Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Baby Bath Tub? This delightful blow-up bath is shaped like a cute yellow duck and can even be floated in an adult bath.
We also feature some impressive baths on stands, making it easy for parent to bathe their baby boys and girls. Changing tables and units, which include a baby bath, are another great option.
As you can see, there's no shortage of stylish and practical products available to buy - so go ahead, take the plunge and treat your little bundle of joy to a baby bath tub!
Here are a few tips which will make using a baby bath a safe and enjoyable experience. Keep the water level no deeper than four inches and test the temperature by placing a few drops on your forearm or elbow - it should feel lukewarm. You could also use a baby bath thermometer to ensure the temperature is just right.
When the bath tub is ready, place the baby in the water on his or her back. Keep one arm behind the baby’s head, neck and shoulders to offer support. Use your other hand to gently swish over your baby, but avoid splashing. Baths should last no more than three or four minutes.
Be sure to have a towel waiting and be extremely careful lifting your wet, slippery infant out of the tub. Pat your little one all over with a soft towel, ensuring skin creases are dried thoroughly.
A great idea for a newborn who is not quite ready to use a standard baby bath is a 'top and tail' bath bowl.
These handy plastic bathing aids feature a small bowl for warm water and several other little built-in compartments for soaps, baby wipes and other bath time products.
Top and tail bowls are very compact and light, meaning mum can easily give her little one a wash in any room in the house.
When you baby is a bit older and ready to start using a full-size baby bath, you can put your top and tail bath bowl to good use as a storage unit for soaps, toiletries and other baby bath time accessories.