3 week old hates bath - help!(28 Posts)
My little girl will be 4 weeks on Wednesday - she is my first baby.
We have recently started giving her little baths before her early evening feed, having topped and tailed her for the first few weeks. She really seems to hate the bath and screams blue murder from when the water is put on her. We have checked the temperature and it is at the correct level so it's not too hot or too cold for her.
I really hate to see her getting herself into that state and we are keeping the baths as short as possible but clearly she does need to be washed so we can't cut them out altogether.
I wonder if part of the problem is that the bath comes before the evening feed. I tried to give her one breast before the bath to settle her a bit but she then just screamed for the rest of her feed so it didn't change anything.
Any advice much appreciated, it is so upsetting to see her hating bathtime this much.
she doesnt need bathing every day, just top n tail her inbetween. we used to lie a wet and therefore warn flannel on dds tummy which covered most of her and made her feel more secure. we also used a baby chair in the big bath quite early as dd prefered it to the baby bath. if there are 2 of you there, 1 get in the bath and lie her on you quickly rinse her and pass her out to warn towels ready.
Give up on the baths! Just wash her with a warm flannel, you don't need any soap. She doesn't need to be bathed. She needs to be clean, but a flannel is fine.
My DD hated baths at that age, but loves them now. She really enjoyed it when I was in the bath with her so I did that for a while until she decided she did like baths after all.
At that age, both mine had one bath a fortnight. I always did a good job with each nappy change so bathing was not necessary so often. I would cut down the frequency of bathing alot - there is no point in upsetting her - babies don't get dirty unless you have a nappy explosion or similar!
I agree, cut the baths to when she has a poo up to her armpits.
Mine hated a normal bath, but loved getting in with me.
At about 6 weeks, we got a tummy tub, which didn't seem to upset her anything like as much. She would still cry as I popped her in, but was fine once in the water.
both my daughters hated baths when they were that age (especially dd1)! they used to scream the house down you could hear them from down the street i reckon!
i remember telling the mil that dd1 absolutely hated baths and she said 'oh how strange most babies absolutely love baths' - but from what i've heard little babies rarely enjoy being bathed at that age!
i agree with what others have said, keep baths as short as poss and once a week is adequate i would say.
by the time mine were about six months they both loved baths but i think it is quite normal for them to detest it when they are just a few weeks old!
Babies like to cling on to you, especially if they're tired and hungry. They can't cling when they're in a bath -- unless you want to get in there with her?
You aren't following a Gina Ford routine, are you? Friends said that the almost-bedtime breast/bath/other breast advice was the one bit of the GF routine they found a complete failure (and they lurved GF otherwise).
I don't/didn't bath mine often, either. I still don't (grotty person alert?). DS 15 months gets showered down at least once a day, for dirty nappies, so I don't see the point of a bath when I'm wiping the rest of his exposed skin after meals, 2-3x/day.
Mine have always got in with us ( either me or my husband ) from birth, right the way through. Our 8, 5 and 3 year olds all still jump in the bath with us. We've never bathed them on their own. Well, I sometimes put all three of them in the bath together now, if I'm on my own with them.
Anyway, it's very normal for small babies to hate baths, and it passes.
Much easier to bath a little one with you - you can breastfeed her in there too if she stresses. But don't worry about bathing her often. If you want something else restful instead, you could try some baby massage, maybe with a nice oil and a few drops of lavender...
DS1 was like this. I just used to bath him once a week in with me. Same with the other except they liked baths.
Try a Tummy Tub. I wanted one but I had no boiler for a year after Dd was born, so she only had a couple of baths anyway and had a shower with me every morning. I've heard lots of good things about Tummy Tubs though and they are said to make baby feel more secure. Might be worth a shot?
she doesn't need a bath every day just flannel washes and the most amazing thing was when my ds had a bath he bathed with me it was so lovely
Both mine hated the bath to begin with. I don't think it's anything to do with timing just that they feel insecure and frightened being all exposed etc.
I have to admit i did continue to stick with it each evening in order to establish a bedtime routine plus to get them used to it.
While ever they cried i did a super quick bath and eventually they got used to it.
I agree with everyone bath her with you. Another thing is a midwife once told me that most people make there babies bath to cold, tepid water it horrible so what you want to feel is warm on your elbow rather than the same temp as your skin. It worked a treat for mine. Hence the other reason most babies prefer getting in your bath, its warmer.
Make sure the room is really warm when she gets out to.
I don't know if your waters broke but i remember being suprised at how warm it was likewise when people wet themselves, thats the temp your aiming for.
TOP TIP: Soak a flannel in the bathwater and pop it over her chest in the bath.
It makes them feel far less exposed and also helps keep them warm. Our DS used to scream the place down during baths but stopped within days of using a flannel tip.
Try it & let me know if it works!
she's very new. It's quite normal for her to react like this. She doesn't like the sensation. You've had excellent advice here, good luck with trying it out.
- and congratulations btw. :smile:
Promdress.... i did the flannel thing too, forgot about it, and yes it really does work.
try a different time of day, she's perhaps too tired to cope. We bathed both ours in the morning until they were about 3 months old and then changed to evening routine. Mcuh calmer and I wasn't so tired either so coped better if they got upset
We have a tummy tub which is brilliant but tbh overpriced, friends of ours bought a bucket to bath their baby in and it worked just as well. I think they prefer it because they go in feet first, not back first and if the water is shallow enough they can kind of scrunch uup a bit in the water so being ina more foetal position. All my 3 have loved being bathed like this. But i agree with all the other posts that they don't need a bath, it can be a nice time for the baby though if it's what they enjoy.
Another vote for bathing with her here. Except for a couple of days in the bathroom sink (hmm, what a waste of money was that baby bath we bought!), ds has always come in the bath with me or dh. I'd have a bath myself, using only a little baby soap, and then add some cold water until temp's ok for him - and then spend the next 20 mins or so playing in the bath with him. He loves it!
I don't know if you breastfeed, but when I still did, it was cool in that he'd sometimes snuggle up for a sip-and-cuddle when he was tiny. I miss those days!
A hated and was terrifed of baths until he was 4 months. Then loved them until 6 months. Then disliked them to 8 months. Now loves them loads.
Getting him wet first helped a lot. But actually he only had 2 baths in his first 3 months - I just washed grubby bits with a flannel regularly at nappy time.
My son was exactly the same to start with, so I just washed him daily before bed, but slowly introduced the bath: i started dipping just his feet in, then built up till he was sitting in the bath in his vest. He now (at 14 months) loves his baths and cries like crazy when I take him out! I agree with what the others have said - I don't think a bath a day is needed, especially if they hate it.
Join the discussion
Please login first.