Babies love being comforted all the time, even during a bath. Giving a bath to a baby often leads to a cry fest since babies dislike becoming drenched. But if their mommy is with them, then they are likely to have a pleasant experience.
You may consider showering with your baby since it could make things convenient for you and the baby. It may also help you save time. But is it safe to do so? Read on to know about the safety of showering with your baby, the precautions to observe, and when to avoid it.
Is It Safe To Shower With A Baby?
Showering with the baby is safe, provided you observe all the safety precautions. Babies are usually best bathed in a tub where the water is stagnant, and you have better control at manipulating the baby. When you and the baby are in the shower, you may find it difficult to hold the baby. However, there could be other issues, too.
Concerns About Showering With A Baby
The following are the likely issues that could arise while showering with your baby.
- Increased risk of slipping while holding the baby
- Difficulty in holding the baby firmly
- Divided attention between bathing yourself and the baby
- Uncertainty about correct way of cleaning the baby under the shower
- Shower products irritating the baby
Precautions To Take When Co-showering
If you choose to shower with your baby, prepare yourself to keep the experience safe for yourself and the baby. The following precautions could make showering with a baby safe.
- Shower mat: Before you head to the bathroom, place a grippy shower mat on your bathroom floor. The shower floor can get slippery after a shower, and a shower mat helps prevent accidental slips.
- Shower gloves: You could consider wearing shower gloves, which could provide you a better grip while holding the wet baby.
- Shower products: While co-showering, stick to using baby products for yourself and the baby. Using your bathing products, such as shampoo, could cause the baby to come in contact with the lather, which may irritate their skin. Choose products that are convenient to use. For instance, prefer using a baby shower gel, which can be dispensed through a bottle with a pump. It provides easier single-handed access to the product. Make sure you have the baby’s and your own shower products and towels next to you in the bathroom, so that you don’t have to leave the baby unattended in water to fetch those products at the last moment.
- Shower water: You may prefer a hot shower, but your baby’s skin is too sensitive for it. Use only lukewarm water when having a bath with your baby.
- Baby seat or bath tub: Use a baby seat or baby bath tub made of sturdy plastic material and place it on the stable bathroom floor. If your baby can sit, then you may consider using a mini seat. These provide a place to put your baby when needed. Remember to place one hand on the baby so that they do not lose balance while seated.
- Shower towels: Keep separate towels handy for once you are done with the bath. Do not share your towel with the baby. Babies get uncomfortable when once their head and hair get drenched. It’s best to wash their head/hair at the last and then immediately wrap their whole body in a hooded towel.
- Partner support: If you are not a single parent, you can always take your partner’s help. For instance, your partner’s hands would be dry, and they can wipe the baby with a towel after the shower. Never leave a baby unattended in the shower or bath area or near water.
Remember to keep all the supplies, such as baby’s shower gel and shower gloves, handy before you begin bathing to prevent searching for them during a shower.
How Often Can You Shower With The Baby?
A newborn baby need not shower daily as a regular sponge bath is enough for them. If you feel they need a shower, you can bathe with them once or twice a week. You must only begin bathing once the baby’s umbilical cord stump dries and falls off, which is between one and two weeks of age (1). Give your baby sponge baths until then.
Once the baby becomes older and reaches toddlerhood, you may bathe them more frequently. Speak to a pediatrician to know the ideal frequency of bathing for your baby’s age.
When Should You Avoid Showering With The Baby?
There are certain situations in which showering with your baby is best avoided.
- Baby has the habit of pooping or peeing during bath
- You require specialized bathing products that are unsafe for baby
- Baby dislikes the shower
- The shower flow is too harsh for the baby’s skin
- During your periods
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of showering with your baby, then do not force yourself to do it.
What If You Do Not Wish To Shower With The Baby?
It is okay to not be interested in showering with the baby. Many parents consider showering with the baby out of convenience, especially when they are a single parent and cannot leave the baby alone. You may consider the following alternatives to co-showering.
- You can bathe the baby the conventional way in a bathtub. Bathing in a tub also makes for good playtime for the baby.
- If you are a single parent, then you may place the baby in their crib for a nap before taking your shower.
- You may adjust your shower timings so that you take a shower at a time when your baby is most likely to be asleep in their crib and would not notice your absence.
Showering with your baby can be a fun experience for any parent. You must observe all the precautions to make bath time safe for you and the baby. Take the help of your partner, if required. However, if you are in two minds about it, then you can always conventionally bathe the baby in a bathtub.