Floating is the basis of all learn to swim. Newborn babies love to lay on their back in the bath and feel that feeling of weightlessness. Here they have the freedom to exercise and can feel the sensation of the warm water as it envelops their little bodies.
The way that the parent holds the baby in the bath will determine how relaxed the baby becomes and whether or not they get to experience buoyancy.
When holding baby in the bath parents should:
Hold baby very softly and low in the water
Support baby with fingers wide spread under the head and back
Lean over and look baby in the eye
Babies learn very quickly to read their parent’s body language. So the most important thing to remember when bathing your baby is to relax. Always communicate with your baby by smiling, talking softly and making eye contact.
Newborn babies can be very difficult to handle in the bath, particularly when it’s your first baby. Parents also choose to bath their baby in a variety of different locations like the baby bath, laundry tub or even the kitchen sink. I think the easiest way to bath your baby is to actually get into the bathtub with them.
Once I started to get into the bath with Evie I was able to become more relaxed. I wasn’t straining my back to lean over her and it became much easier to support her as the waters buoyancy lifted her up. Being in the bath with her also gave me an opportunity to be vigilant with my supervision.
Another great way to support your baby in the bath is to have them lye on your legs. This is often useful for when you need your hands free to wash the baby. It’s very important that whichever way you choose to hold the baby that you are always watching closely to ensure their mouth and nose stay clear of the water.
Once you become confident in the bath with the baby you can also give them an opportunity to lay on their tummy. This is a little bit more difficult and requires vigilant supervision at all times because the baby can easily swallow the water if not supported correctly.
To roll baby over:
Place one hand under the baby’s head and back
Place the other hand on baby’s chest under the chin
Roll baby onto their tummy
Bring the other hand under the baby’s chin
Lift baby slightly out of the water
Ensure baby’s mouth is clear of the water at all times