As the temperature outside turns freezing-cold, you might find yourself wondering how to keep your newborn or older baby safe and healthy during the winter months. Bundling her up in a snowsuit and cozy stroller bunting when you’re outside is a no-brainer—but don’t forget about keeping her snug when you’re inside your home, too, and especially at bathtime.
It’s important to keep your baby warm and comfortable during the entire bath routine, especially when his jammies come off. This is crucial any time of the year, but particularly during the winter.
Here are five essential tips for how to give a bath to baby in the winter months.
1. Warm Up the Room
Before you think about undressing your little one and getting him ready for his baby bathtub, you’ll want to make sure the indoor temperature is warm and toasty. Cold can feel very uncomfortable on a baby’s skin, so consider turning up the heat in your house by one or two degrees. You can also use a portable heater if your bathroom gets chilly in the winter months. If you feel any cold air coming in, double-check that all the windows are shut and sealed.
2. Check the Water Temperature
Warmer water may feel more comfortable for your baby now that it’s colder outside, but make sure not to turn the hot water tap on too high. Hot water can be dangerous for your little one, so aim for warm water at a temperature of around 90° to 100° F. You can also use your elbow or wrist to check that the temperature feels just right. Don’t let your baby soak too long in the bath, either. He may start to feel chilly and his skin may start to get dry after just a few minutes.
3. Don’t Give a Bath Every Night
It’s not necessary to bathe your little one every night. A bath every two or three nights is fine during the winter months. A gentle sponge bath every few days for a younger infant is sufficient, too.
4. Take Care of Baby’s Delicate Skin
Since your baby’s skin can feel extra-sensitive in the cold winter weather, it’s best to use fragrance-free and alcohol-free baby shampoo during bathtime. For toddlers, you can make bathtime a little more fun with a soothing bath bomb, too. You’ll also want to put on a baby-friendly moisturizer (you might want to switch to a thicker formula in the winter months) within a few minutes after you take your baby out of the tub.
5. Bring on the Cozy Pajamas
As always, have your bathtime supplies and a fresh diaper ready to go before you put your baby in the bathtub, since you don’t want to leave her unattended at any point. In the winter, placing your baby’s pajamas nearby too will allow you to get her dressed as soon as she comes out of the bath, before she has a chance to get cold. Post-tub, wrap baby in a hooded towel to start. This will help keep her wet head covered and prevent illness. Then, you can keep your baby’s head covered with the towel as you start to dress her in a fresh diaper and clean pair of pajamas.
Now that you’ve mastered bathtime in the winter, check out the OXO blog for more tips on creating comforting routines for your little one.