Ask any new mom or dad and one of their biggest fears is the baby’s first bath at home. The thought of handling a slippery little person in the bath is indeed scary! I looked up instructional videos on Youtube, and thought of our “strategy” when we get home after giving birth. We also asked our nurse at Makati Med to show us how to give our little Kobe a bath on our last day at the hospital.
I had a c-section so bathing Kobe while sitting in the shower was out of the question. So we bathed him in our bathroom sink in his first week home – I used a rubber mat to cushion the sink. Here was my check list for Kobe’s newborn baby bath:
- Rubber mat (I bought a small one and a big one from Baby Company) – besides using it as a cushion for the sink and his baby bath tub when he was a bit bigger, I also use it as a diaper changing mat at home.
- Small baby wash cloths or “bimpo” – I use this to wipe his face and body. You can also use a small bath sponge if you prefer.
- Small “tabo” or plastic cup to pour water on your baby’s head, arms, legs, and groin area. I avoided pouring water on his torso area to prevent his cord-stump from getting wet. I used the bimpo instead to wipe his torso and back.
- Mild cleanser – newborn babies have delicate skin, so it is better to use the most gentle cleansers you can find. We used Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for newborn Kobe, as recommended by our pediatrician.
- Towel for drying – we used the hoodie towels that we got as gifts, and I loved swaddling Kobe in them after his bath. Pat-dry your baby instead of rubbing him with the towel, and be extra careful with his cord-stump. Make sure this area is always dry to avoid infection.
Kobe was a big baby though, so after only a few days, we had to transition to bathing him in his baby bath tub. I still couldn’t squat down so we placed his tub on the flat area beside our sink. Bathing him got a lot easier after a month when we was a bit bigger and less fragile, and it was around this time that I had the courage to bathe him by myself without any help.
I am lucky that Kobe does not have very sensitive skin. I tried several brands of baby washes and cleansers and he never had any issues with any of them. When he was around five months old, Cetaphil Baby sent him a basket of their products, and we were happy to try them all!
We have been using Cetaphil Baby for over six months now, and here is my rundown on their products:
- Gentle Wash and Shampoo – hands down, this is my favorite. Their product description says that it is “tear free, soap free, hypoallergenic, and PH balanced.” I can attest to this because Kobe never had any “hilaman” incidents with this product. I absolutely love the mild baby scent that it leaves after the bath. It also effectively cleans any dirt both on his hair and body, and does not dry his skin at all. I also love that the opening is at the bottom, it makes for easier handling and dispensing during bath time.
- Ultra Moisturizing Bath and Wash – I used this several times as a bubble bath for Kobe in his small tub and he had a lot of fun splashing around and playing with his bath toy “apple” that he inherited from his dad. I find that it produces a decent amount of bubbles for bath-time to be fun, and it also cleans effectively. I prefer the scent of the Gentle Wash though, as this product smells a little bit stronger.
- Shampoo – this smells exactly like the Gentle Wash and Shampoo, which for me is Kobe’s “bagong-ligo” smell that I so love. It is also tear free and soap free, and contains natural chamomile for baby’s gentle hair. This is also nice to have, but honestly, I can just do with the Gentle Wash and Shampoo for washing Kobe’s hair and body, especially since he is a boy and does not have long hair anyway, hehe.
- Daily Lotion – I rarely use lotion on Kobe since he has normal, healthy skin. This lotion contains shea butter and glycerin, and is also hypoallergenic. I find the scent a bit strong for Kobe though (it smells exactly like the Ultra Moisturizing Bath and Wash). Here’s a confession – I use this on myself. It is non-greasy and I find that it gently moisturizes my skin all day.
- Massage Oil – baby massages is a good way to bond with your baby, and this massage oil goes a long way. Another confession – this mommy also uses this for home massages! I hear that a lot of adults also use this massage oil coz it’s gentle, less greasy and smells really nice.
- Baby Ultra Sensitive Baby Wipes – I prefer using scent-free baby wipes for Kobe as these are the gentlest on baby-bums, and Cetaphil’s baby wipes do not disappoint. It is also thick so you don’t need to use too many wipes (I only use 1 to a max of 2 wipes per nappy change). I have tried different brands of baby wipes, and this is one of the better ones. Thumbs up!
Before I end this post, I want to give some random tips on bathing your little one:
- It is best to bathe your baby mid-morning or early afternoon when the temperature warmer, usually around 10am to 2pm. I bathe Kobe after his morning nap, usually around 11:00am or sometimes after lunch.
- Make sure you use warm (not hot!) water in bathing your baby, and always test the temperature first before immersing your little one in the bath, or pouring water on him. Kobe prefers lukewarm water.
- When bathing newborns (1 month below), ask for help if you are scared to do it by yourself. In the first few weeks, we were always a tandem in bathing Kobe – one would hold him at the nape of the neck and the bum, and the other one would do the actual bathing, the pouring of water, gentle washing, and rinsing.
- Be mindful of that cord-stump! Make sure it stays dry. I used to clean it with cotton buds and water then let it air-dry after. I don’t wet it during the bath. It’s scary to handle, but trust me, it will fall off on its own eventually.
- Avoid letting your baby ingest bath water, especially during the first few months. Tap water may contain bacteria that may cause diarrhea or worse, amoebiasis in babies. I learned this from my husband, who had patients as young as five or six months old, contract amoebiasis from ingesting water while bathing or swimming.
- You only need a few bath essentials for your baby. Before giving birth, I bought a baby tub (I found a not-too-expensive one on Lazada), a small palanggana and tabo that I bought from SM. A friend gave me a bathing aid (like a stand with a mesh cloth where you can put your baby in) but I only used it a couple of times since Kobe was a big baby and it was easier and felt safer for us to just hold him. I found a really nice bathing mat with a handle that he started using when he could sit on his own.
- Never ever leave your child unattended during bath time, and always keep him within arm’s reach.
- Use mild and gentle cleansers in the first few months. If your baby has normal skin, you can try different brands of mildly-scented washes, so you can choose which is the most “hiyang” for your baby. I myself prefer a little baby scent in the baby wash I use, for that super bango, “bagong ligo” smell. If you go to mommy-events or baby fairs, you might get free samples of these brands, which is much better than buying the big-sized ones and letting it go to waste if it does not suit your baby. I’m lucky coz I usually get samples of different brands from my pedia hubby.
We are lucky coz Kobe absolutely loves bath time. He doesn’t fuss at all, and now that he is a year old, he practically knows the drill. He just sits on the bath mat the whole time and just plays with whatever he can get his hands on – a bath toy or even just the bottle of baby wash. I wonder when he would start standing up and running around in the shower? Will have to baby proof the shower area when the time comes, hehe. In the meantime, I will enjoy bathing him while he is still well-behaved.
Visit cetaphil.com.ph for more info on Cetaphil Baby products.