We use Young Living’s KidScents shampoo, rather than the commercially available baby shampoo which contain petroleum byproducts. It’s simply healthier for our baby. Sometimes that’s all we use. When we do choose to use soap, we’ve noticed minimal to no peeling using Dr. Bronner’s soap. When there has been a little dry skin, it’s easily taken care of with extra virgin olive or coconut oil, again avoiding the mainstream products that have petrochemicals. That being said, what about the actual bath?
First baths are always so special for new parents, if they’re able to be the ones to give the bath. While I know that hospital staff like to make sure that parents know how to properly care for their infants, I really wish they would butt out. Babies are not dirty when they’re born and don’t need to be medivaced to the nearest available tub. It’s good to allow the vernix to remain on babies’ skin, so why is everyone in such a hurry scrub every bit of it off? It only dries out baby’s skin not to have Mother Nature’s moisturizer on it for awhile. In fact, my midwife encouraged me NOT to rush to bathe the baby, especially before the cord had a chance to dry up.
I wish she would have been there with my first babies. In their case, almighty hospital procedure intervened. It was the stranger – the assigned nurse – who gave my child it’s first bath, not me or my husband. I was treated like the stupid dummy onlooker that they must have thought I was. So I want new moms to know that they CAN politely tell hospital staff that they don’t want their baby bathed. If you have a birth plan, make sure to include this desire that you want to bathe your baby at home.
THE TUMMY TUB
I’ve used regular baby tubs, full-sized tubs, as well as bathroom and kitchen sinks for infant bathing. I’ve bathed them with me in the shower. Try as I might, there is always that element of slippery danger which comes from the combination of wiggly baby + water. Add soap, and the danger is multiplied. One of my children swallowed bath water and remained afraid of water for three years afterward. Another child screamed every time we washed his hair. I wished that somehow I could have less water and more control, but knew of nothing better than what was around me.
Then I was introduced to the Tummy Tub What a fantastic blessing for parents and babies! I encourage you to go to their Youtube channel and watch the videos of the babies being bathed there. When we used the TummyTub with our newest baby, we got the same results. Baby was calm and seemed to know she was safe. We’ve had the same experience every time afterward. Most moms have never heard of the TummyTub, but I’ve never heard any moms complain about it who have one. I don’t see them on Craigslist or showing up at garage sales. That should tell you something, shouldn’t it?
Pictured in this article were two of my children at their first bath. It’s obvious who had a TummyTub and who didn’t. Babies are little for such a short time. It makes me happy, as a mother, to discover anything I can do to make babyhood gentle, safe and happy for my children. Bath time is one of those ways.