My little man has loved his baths since birth. His first bath time he did cry, but as soon as I started moving him and he felt the water against his skin he changed into a state of calm. And that is how he bathes now, calm and enjoying it. :)
I figured I'd run you through a bath time so you can see how I do it. As I know many parents and parents to be are my readers, including white parents to black and brown children maybe this can be useful for someone.
When my son had a lot of dry flaky skin due to cradle cap I'd start bathing session by massaging his scalp with coconut oil. After letting it sit I used a soft tooth brush to massage his scalp, this lifted the flakes which I would comb out with a fine tooth comb. Then I'd get the bath tub ready; run the water with a few drops of oil in it. I like to use warm water when I bathe babies, I know body temperature is recommended but it gets cold very quickly so I put warm water, a temperature that feels pleasant but not close to hot! I usually vary the oils I put in the water depending on the state of my son's skin; avocado oil or jojoba oil if it's dry, coconut oil if it's not.
One baby is undressed and ready to go in I let him see the water before he goes in. Then I slowly lover him in, holding him in a sitting position so he sees the water and feels it with his feet first. Now that he can sit on his own I hold him in the water sitting up until he shows me he wants to lay down. When he was a newborn I'd put him into a laying down position right away. I hold him with my right hand, my hand gripped around his right hand with his back of his neck resting against my arm. This hold gives me good control over his body and let's me have my left hand free to wash him. I don't use any sitting stand (do you know what I mean?) when I bath him because I feel it makes bath time less personal, I want to be close to him in the water.
When he's on his back I use my free hand to wet his hair over and over, rubbing his scalp with it gently as well as running my fingers through his hair. I don't use and products excalpt oil on my baby. I don't think it's necessary and feel I started way to young with shampoo, conditioner, soap and lotions on my daughter. Babies don't get very dirty as they are cleaned during diaper changes several times a day.
I was his body properly with water, making sure I get all the creases. Then I let him play in the water for as long as he wants, usually around 15 minutes or so.
When I take him out I dry him off properly and then apply an oil. I prefer to use organic cold pressed coconut oil. I do a short "baby massage" when I apply the oil. I also use this oil in his hair which makes it soft and shiny.
People of African descent have dry skin generally that's why it's important to use an oil in bath water and after a bath. I personally prefer oils and butters to store bought lotions that have lots of ingredients that aren't very natural. I by most of my oils in the grocery store or order them online.
Caring for baby's skin and hair is important, starting it young helps get baby used to this and enjoy it.
We haven't decided what to do with little man's hair yet; keep it short, afro or locs. Time will tell... I'm just happy to see his hair growing in on the sides finally!
How do you care for baby's hair and skin?