First off- Congratulations! Welcome to Parenthood! Isn’t it funny that one of the most simple and rewarding acts- a shower- is now something you’re googling how to do ?! We get it. Finding a new rhythm with a newborn in tow can be challenging, daunting, and often quite comical when you keep perspective. There may be lots of new things in your future. For now, let’s figure out how you can shower with a newborn.
• If you are one of those lucky parents whose newborn sleeps peacefully OFF of you (ie: in a bassinet, crib, swing, bed, etc) simply wait until your baby is fed and sleeping and then sneak into the shower. We recommend bringing the monitor into the bathroom or letting a partner know to keep an ear out for the baby, for you WILL ABSOLUTELY hear “Phantom Cries” the second you step foot in the hot water. It’s a guarantee. (Phantom Cries are simply that- noises you hear in your head of your baby wailing even if they’re sound asleep. They happen most often when you go to take a shower...and you’ll swear it’s real...and you’ll sneak out of the shower soaking wet to check on the baby who will inevitably be sleeping...until you sneak out of the shower 1 or 2 more times and eventually wake the baby up by accident...)
• If baby will not sleep unless they are on you, your best bet is an awake-time shower. If you have a Baby Bjorn magic seat, or a mamaroo, or any number of rocking, vibrating, magic chairs, lug it into the bathroom facing the shower. If your luck is good, you’ll get a nice shower in and just as your rinsing off, the baby will begin to stir.... ;)
• If baby will not be put down under any circumstance and you don’t have a partner available, we highly recommend a water carrier! It’s similar to the Moby or Boba wrap but made of mesh! You can tuck your babe in your water carrier and hop on in the shower together. This will keep your hands free to wash your body and your baby close to you. It can be a bit challenging to wash your face- so you can always do that separately.
• If you’re into baths, options 1 & 2 still work- or you can bring baby into the bath with you without a water a carrier! Sharing a warm bath together can be incredibly soothing for baby. You can breast/chest/body/bottle feed in the tub, baby massage, or simply relax.
• Hire a Postpartum Doula to run your bath, set up your shower, hold the baby, and make you a meal for when you’re out ;) among many other things...
Make sure to have a towel available for baby already in the bathroom. If you’re getting out of the shower and wearing a Water Carrier, you can dry off your legs and arms first, while still wearing the baby. Lay the baby towel on a soft bath mat. Then untie the carrier and lay baby on their towel, wrapping them up. Next secure your towel to dry off- then pick up baby!
If you’re taking a bath with baby, have the baby’s towel ready and laid out on the bathmat so you can place baby on it before you fully get out and then dry off after baby is wrapped up.
Whew! So many logistics when it comes to showering now! We know it sounds a bit whacky- and maybe overwhelming. We promise you, these first several weeks will pass quickly, for better or worse. Try to lean into the comedy of it all, if you can. And if not, please know we see you. Through the tears and doubt and worry- we know all too well what it feels like to have a newborn. We’re here if you need us.
To schedule a complimentary consult with a Wyld Postpartum Doula, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org