Safely Bathing Your Newborn

Life at home with a newborn ranges from wonderful and magical to hectic and depleting. Many people are surprised to learn just how much time and energy is required for taking care of a new baby. Baby’s first few baths, for example, make some parents feel extra anxious.

We want to help you feel more confident and prepared for your baby’s first few baths with a few tips for safety and simplicity. For starters, you can relax knowing that you only need to bathe your baby once or twice a week (spot clean with wipes or a wash cloth to make sure spit up, drool, and the diaper area is clean).

Tips for Bathing Your New Baby

1. Decide where/what to bathe your baby in. You don’t need to buy a special baby tub. You can wash your baby with a sponge while sitting on your lap wrapped in a towel, or in your sink or regular tub, with a small amount of water. 

2. When giving a sponge bath, keep baby wrapped in a towel and using a warm, wet wash cloth, wash one area at a time and then cover each area back up with a towel after washing. 

3. If possible, keep the room warm by closing the door, turning up the heat (in winter), or bringing in a space heater. 

4. Water only is best for your baby’s eyes and face. 

5. A smaller baby/child-sized wash cloth will make it easier for you to wash baby gently, but of course is not necessary.

6. Water should be warm but not hot. Be sure to test before placing your baby in the tub or before using the wash cloth. 

7. When using a tub or sink, the water should cover baby’s body (to stay warm) but not head and neck.

8.  Don’t forget to wash baby’s hair! Use water and a mild soap (tear free) and gently scrub baby’s scalp before rinsing.

9. Pre-prep with one or two dry towels and a surface to safely lay baby on the towel immediately after the bath. Never leave baby unattended on a high/countertop surface. 

10. Dry baby thoroughly and apply a baby-specific lotion if desired before dressing.

11. If you would like to bathe your baby with you in the tub, have someone available to help by handing baby to you once you’re in the tub and again, taking baby out when you’re done. If you’re alone, prepare with a towel-lined infant seat near the tub for easy access when getting in and out. 

 

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

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