After being home a few days with your twins, whether you had a lengthy stay in special care or were home quickly, it slowly dawns on you that at some point your babies are going to need a bath. Newborn babies are slippery and floppy, and they're hard to hold when they're wet! So when there are two babies to bathe and then dress, but only one of you – bathtime can be daunting! How do you manage bathtime on your own with two infants? We've got a few twin tips that'll help you when your washing and changing your twins.
Top tip no.1 for bathing twins
Prepare everything beforehand! Make a checklist of what you'll need (a washcloth, two towels, clean clothes, clean nappies). Lay everything out on the bathroom floor, or next to where you'll be washing your babies.
Sponge baths are your friend
With twins, take advantage of the sponge bath for as long as you can! Your newborn babies shouldn't go into water until their umbilical cord stumps have fallen off, so a sponge bath is a grat introduction to bathtime for you and your babies. Use a damp cloth to gently pat your babies' skin clean. This is a simple and effective way to wash babies for the first 3 months or so.
You could lie your babies next to each other on a towel while you wash each one. This way, you can calmly talk to both babies, making eye contact as you clean them.
Bathtime in the bath!
Once your babies are a little older you can wash them both in the bath. One techhnique that a lot of twin mums find helpful, is to place a large towel, folded into quarters, in the bottom of your bathtub. Fill the bath so it's got just an inch or two of warm water - basically enough water to get the towel wet. If you decide to bathe both babies at the same time, you'll need two towels in the base of the bath. Check the temperature of the water with a thermometer.
Then lie your babies on the towels, and gently splash them with a little water while cleaning them. The temperature of the water will cool fairly quickly as there's only a small amount of water in the bath. If one of you babies is upset, talk to them calmly, wash quickly and take them out for cuddles!
You can bathe your twins one at a time. Keep one baby in a bouncy chair or swing next to you while you wash the first baby. Dry, dress, and swap them around.
If you wash both babies together, when you've finished cleaning them, take one baby out of the bath and quickly swaddle in a small towel and lie him/her next to you. Then take out the other baby to dry and dress. The first baby will be dry from swaddling, so you can now dress her as well!
Once your babies are sitting up
Now the fun starts! You may find that your babies love each other's company in the bath, so be prepared for lots of giggles and smiles! Remember bath safety:
- fill the bath tub with 2-3 inches of water
- stay within sight and arms-reach of the bath
- use a slip-proof bath mat
Bath seats are controversial, as they can tip over. They give parents a false sense of security at bathtime. And with twins, they can limit the amount of interaction that your babies have with each other. If you do decide to use bath seats, it's still important that you constantly supervise your babies.
Have towels at the ready for when bathtime is over! Let the water out of the bath. Carefully lift each (wet and slippery!) baby, one after the other, onto your waiting towels.
Even with older babies, a nightly bath isn't necessary. Some families find that it works well as part of their bedtime routine, while others prefer to allow babies' skin to produce its own natural oils and bathe 1-2 times each week. If your babies have dry skin or patches of excema, then a once weekly bath will help protect their skin rather than more frequent baths.
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