Bathing your baby is one of the most incredible things to do as a parent. It’s a time when you and your baby bond and spend time together. Washing your baby’s cute little legs, hands, and smooth hair as they splash water in a tub is fantastic. There’s nothing like good like the smell of a baby who’s just taken a bath.
While bathing your little one feels great, it may be challenging, especially for new moms. Such moms may have lots of questions regarding bathing a baby. How often to bathe a baby, when to bathe, how to bathe, etc. And having the right information can help them be relaxed and confident about bathing their baby.
So, how long after feeding should you bathe your baby? Read on to learn more about everything there is to bathe your baby.
How Long After Feeding Should You Bathe Baby
You should wait at least 30 minutes after feeding your baby before bathing them. But waiting for 1-2 hours is the most ideal. Staying an hour to two before washing your child gives them time to digest the food. This is crucial in preventing spit-ups and making your little one uncomfortable during the bath.
What’s more, bathing raises body temperature and affects blood circulation. It also diverts energy away from digestion. So, bathing your child shortly after eating diverts the energy away from digestion. This can interfere with digestion and may lead to digestive issues, especially in colicky babies and newborns.
Waiting for longer than two hours, say 3-4 hours, is not recommended either. During this time, the food eaten would have been long digested, making your baby hungry and cranky while bathing. They may also be impatient while bathing as they’ll only be thinking about food.
So, aim for a bath time between one hour or two after eating. Ideally, the best thing to do is to sandwich bath time between the evening and the day’s final meal. Doing so creates a relaxed and warm atmosphere, making it easy for your child to sleep.
Should You Bath Or Feed Your Baby First?
The best baby routine, whether to feed or bathe first, depends on which schedule incorporate your child’s bedtime preference and what works best for you and your family. So, if your child can only fall asleep when nursing, they’ll have to bathe and then feed.
On the other end, bathing your child after feeding has its advantages. It presents the quickest way of cleaning up your baby’s mess after nursing or bottle-feeding, making it easy to deal with spit-ups. Your little one may also be ready and cooperative for a bath when they’re full and satisfied, unlike when hungry.
Then some kids love bathing and playing. Others relax and become sleepy, and many cry and don’t enjoy bathing. If your child becomes excited during bathing, bathing them before feeding would make more sense in your routine. Similarly, if they hate bathing, washing them first makes more sense. This way, you avoid upsetting their stomachs by crying, which can cause digestive issues.
Another thing to consider is if your little one suffers from reflux, colic, or other feeding issues. If they have such problems bathing them before eating is better. This way, they’ll have more time to let their stomachs settle.
What’s The Best Time To Bath Your Child: Daytime Or At Night
It’s best to bathe babies in the evening. This time is more convenient and lets both parents be involved. But don’t wait until too late at night when your baby is overtired and becomes fussy.
Deciding on the best time depends on various factors unique to each family. For instance, bedtime preference, individual work schedule, etc. After all is said, there’s no right or wrong answer. Keeping your child’s feeding time and working around your family’s dinner time is crucial in choosing your best time.
Tips For bathing Your Child After Eating
Bathing your child after feeding has many advantages, unlike before. So, unless there are special conditions, consider washing your little one after they’ve eaten and follow the following tips:
Bathe After Evening Meal
Bathing tends to make babies sleepy. So, washing your baby right before bed makes perfect sense. While many parents bathe their babies after the last feeding of the day, cleaning your child between the evening and last meals is ideal. This way, your child relaxes and winds down, ready for bed.
Sometimes this may not work for you. Maybe due to your family needs, like your baby nursing to sleep. In such a case, your child’s bath time needs to be before the final night’s feeding.
Give Time For Digestion And Burping
Giving your little one time for digestion and burping is always a great idea. Wait for some time (1-2 hours) before bathing. This is especially crucial if your baby struggles with reflux, is a newborn, or needs to be burped after each feed.
Bathing your child in a tub or assistive device is recommended. That’s so because the assistive device or tub is elevated, letting your child be upright while cleaning. Bathing your baby while lying flat, especially after a meal, is not a good idea, even if they’re not colicky or have reflux. So, keep your child as upright as possible to prevent digestion problems.
Keep Temperatures Mild
Hot water disrupts blood circulation and temperature and draws energy from the digestion system. To avoid these issues, ensure the water temperature is lukewarm, not hot. Testing with your elbow is always recommended. Don’t test water temperatures with your hands as they may not be sensitive enough.
Once you’re done bathing your baby, bundle them quickly to avoid spending more time in the bath, which may result in your baby getting cold.
When to wash your baby largely depends on what works for your family and your child’s routine. Decide whether to clean them before feeding or after feeding. If you opt to bathe after a meal, wait 1-2 hours before washing. Don’t wait too long; otherwise, your baby will get hungry and become uncooperative during the bath.