Bathing a Baby

Sonia Rochel's Bathing Technique

A newborn bath that will have you in tears, it's that beautiful.

I am not exaggerating, this is absolutely incredible, I was really in tears when I first saw it. Well... you can decide for yourself when you watch these three videos. To me, this is the essence of what nurturing your baby through touch looks like.

You can clearly see why the first video has over 12 million views, the one with the twins over 20 million! Some comments say that she is the baby whisperer and I totally agree with them!

Sonia Rochel's bathing technique is the result of more than 30 years of experience as a newborn nurse. She believes bath time is an important part of baby care, but often overlooked and treated as just another thing on the to do list of caring for a new baby.

She urges parents to be physically and mentally available to their babies at bath time. To her, it's important that both the baby and the person bathing the baby, enjoys this time. She even recommends taking up to 10 minutes for this type of bath.

Another thing she recommends is to not use soap every day, as this is in fact healthier for a baby's skin. What she has also learned over the years is that babies prefer your hands over wash cloths or sponges.

What better way to incorporate nurturing touch than through this?!

She immerses the baby into the water, very slowly and gently and uses gentle swaying motions. She holds the baby in such a way that you can't help but think: "That's what it must have felt like inside the womb..." She also lets the water run over the baby, the face included, yet always keeping the nose and mouth open for breathing. Not only does it help to keep the baby warm for the length of this luxury bath, but it is so relaxing, the baby actually drifts off to sleep.

Then she ends the bath by placing the baby onto a big soft towel, lovingly reassuring the baby with her voice and hugging hand motions, finally ending with a relaxing baby massage.

Just watching the video has a calming effect on me, I can only imagine how much it relaxes the baby!

Bath Time and the Colic Baby

When they are still tiny, it's usually the one thing that will calm them down easily. Most babies love the warmth of the water and the soothing motion it provides.

That's because it reminds them of their "previous home" ~ the womb. For more or less 9 months, baby was surrounded by warm water.

During the early days, you can have some special bonding time with baby by taking them into the big bath with you. It's an excellent way to incorporate skin to skin time and if you're breastfeeding, you can nurse your baby in the bath as well.

If you are engorged or if baby has colic, this will be invaluable to you!

The warm water relaxes both of you, it soothes your sore breast(s) and soothes your baby's discomfort caused by colic or winds. Your milk will flow with a bit more ease due to the warmth of the water and due to you relaxing. (When you relax, you release those feel good hormones, which in turn helps with your milk let-down.)

Fill the tub up so that you are both covered when your baby lies on your chest, making sure that your baby's head is never under water, of course.

Colic babies usually have their worst crying times late afternoon / early evening. Once you've seen the pattern, you can work it into your routine to take a joint bath with your baby at that time and hopefully lessen the duration and intensiveness of the crying. You'll start looking forward to that time of the day, instead of dreading it. 

Bonding With Dad

For dads, bathing a baby can be their special bonding time.

This is what we did with our kids. Whenever he was home in time for bath time, he would bath with our babies, actually he still does even now that they are older.

They love the special undisturbed time with Dadda and mommy gets to sit down for 5 minutes!

But seriously, it helps dad to be part of the baby care routine and promotes bonding.

If a mother wants, she can have the bath with baby and let dad do the drying and dressing afterwards.

Bathing a Baby & Tactile Stimulation

Adding bubbles to the bath can provide a different kind of sensation and stimulation.

Another way to make bathing a baby a stimulating activity is to wipe over their bodies with  different textured face cloths and/or sponges.

This will help prevent tactile defensiveness and develops a baby's brain.

All Clean and Relaxed

Now, once your baby is all squeaky clean, dry them off with a super soft towel.

This is the perfect time for a baby massage. Baby is relaxed, the muscles are warm and supple and the oil you use for baby massage will moisturize your baby's skin after the bath.

Other pages on breastfeeding problems in connection with this page

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