Thursday, June 28, 2012

Benjamin's Life: Bath Time

On Monday night we stayed late at the hospital in order to give Benjamin a bath. It wasn't his first bath but it was our first time bathing him. Really it was Andrew's first time bathing him since I just stood around taking pictures. Truthfully, though, Andrew is usually the one who bathes the girls because whenever I bathe them they fight and scream and we all end up angry at each other. But when Andrew bathes them they end up clean and happy. I don't know why. So, likely, Andrew will be the one giving Benjamin baths, too.

We don't bathe our children all that often so it's not like it's a huge burden.

I don't even feel bad about not bathing our children very often because Benjamin only gets a bath every other (to every third) day in the NICU and unless he covers his outfits with spit up or leaks through his diaper his clothes only get changed every other (to every third) day. If the hospital can do it I can, too!

To bathe a NICU baby you fill a little tub with warm water and use rolled receiving blankets for supports. Benjamin got wrapped in a lovely firetruck-red fleece blanket to help keep him warm during his bath. Andrew lowered him slowly into the tub and you could see Benjamin relax completely. If he could talk he probably would have said, "There's no place like home! It's warm, it's wet—it's lovely."

We bathed him bit by bit, only uncovering the parts we were washing, so that we could conserve his body heat. All the time we had to keep dumping warm water on his blanket to keep it warm for him. 

I totally remember pulling towels into the bathtub when I was little in order to be warmer. I'm sure my mom loved that. But she probably didn't because I only remember doing it a few times. Often, though, I'd use washcloths to keep warm—getting them wet and then plastering them on my stomach or whatever. They don't stay warm for long, though...which is why we had to continuously dump warm water on Benjamin's blanket.

First Andrew washed his face. Then he washed one side of his body. Then he washed the other. Then he washed his little feet. And then his bum.

Benjamin's raved-about hair (everybody loves it) was saved for last. We took him out of the tub, wrapped him in a warm blanket (from the little blanket oven) and got him all dried off and diapered. And then we washed his hair while holding him slightly upside down, over his tub. He really enjoyed his head massage. If he could talk he probably would have said, "Ahhh, this is the life!"

He was as happy as a clam after he was dried off and fluffed up. He had eaten 63 mL shortly before his bath so he laid in his bed for a while, enjoying the feeling of having a full tummy and clean sheets.

I was a little disappointed when I pulled the camera out of the diaper bag to take some pictures of Benjamin's first bath (with us) because our battery pack was dead. Andrew had me use his phone camera instead and, I must say, the quality of phone cameras has vastly improved in the last decade. I was afraid all the pictures would be blurry and disappointing but they turned out just fine (though a lot of Benjamin's pictures are a little grainy because I try not to use the flash whenever possible). 

Since the night nurses administer baths, this will likely be our only time bathing Benjamin until he comes home. Because although staying at the hospital until the wee hours of the morning was fun and's not exactly something we want to make a habit of.

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