Washing your baby
A daily ritual, bath time is the perfect opportunity for you to spend one-on-one time with your baby and shower him with hugs and affection. To make this a pleasurable experience and avoid any tantrums, follow these few tips:
- Prepare everything you need to wash your baby beforehand – a clean terry towel, soap, nappies, plus the clothes to dress your baby in after his bath.
- As soon as you have heated the bath water to 37°C, turn off the tap.
- Soap your baby from the head to toe – from the cleanest to the dirtiest part. Washing your baby with your bare hands is a chance to caress and massage him and help him relax and experience skin-to-skin contact.
- When your baby is in the bath, sing a nursery rhyme or tell a story.
- When you remove him from the bath, dry your baby without rubbing his skin and don’t forget the tiny folds around his neck and in between his toes.
- As your baby begins to relax, cut his toenails (use small scissors with rounded tips) and clean his ears (never in the ear canal) and nose if runny.
- Once dressed, your baby is ready for a day of excitement or a wonderful night’s sleep!
Toilet-training is not easy for a baby. Just like walking or sleeping, going to the toilet is not just a matter of training but also a physiological reflex, as he needs to learn how to control his sphincter muscles.
Doctors pinpoint this ability at around 18 months. If your baby is potty-trained earlier, it's simply a matter of chance. Don’t force your baby. Just help him through this stage and try a few pearls of wisdom from experienced mums:
- Explain to your baby that keeping clean is part of becoming a big boy or girl. Swapping his nappy for a lovely pair of pants might help convince him.
- Just because your little one is looking slightly tense, there is no need to rush him straight onto the potty. He may wee in fear before getting there.
- Choose a simple potty that won’t be confused with a toy. Your baby needs reassurance and encouragement and shouldn’t feel any pressure if he cannot go. Never leave your baby on the potty for more than 10 minutes as this will seem like a punishment.
- To help your baby know what’s expected of him, avoid alternating between nappy-on and nappy-off days. Every once in a while, let your baby roam around with a bare bum to help him differentiate between feeling dry and wet.
- Avoid comparing your baby with others as each develops at his own pace.
There are lots of advice on how to toilet-train your baby, but it is only with your patience, understanding and encouragement that your baby will pass through this stage successfully.