Bathing your Baby: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Bathing your baby not only relaxes your baby, but can also give you a chance to bond and play after a hectic day. A warm bath can be an excellent way to help prepare your baby for bed and help to get your baby to sleep.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to bathing your baby!

  1. Before bathing your baby, gather all your bath supplies and make sure the room is comfortably warm so your baby doesn’t get chilled. Bath supplies to prepare are:
  1. Fill the tub with about 3 inches of water that feels warm, but not hot, to the inside of your wrist—about 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) or a few degrees warmer.
  1. Bring your baby to the bath area and undress him/her completely. (TIP: If your baby cries through every bath, leave the diaper on at first. It can give her an increased sense of security in the water.)
  1. Gradually slip your baby into the tub* feet first, using one hand to support him/her neck and head. Continue to support her using one arm while bathing her with the other.  Pour cupfuls of bath water over him/her regularly during the bath so he/she doesn’t get too cold.
  1. Bathing your baby from eyes to the whole face, and then top to bottom:
  • Gently cleanse around your baby’s eyes with a cotton pad dampened with clean, warm water. Use a new cotton pad for each eye and always wipe from the inside corner of the eye outward.
  • Using a soft washcloth, wipe around your baby’s mouth, nose and whole face, working from the middle outward. Wipe the creases in her neck and don’t forget behind her ears!
  • Use mild soap and use it sparingly (too much dries out your baby’s skin).  Wash him/her with a washcloth from top to bottom, front and back.
  1. Rinse your baby thoroughly with cupfuls of water, and wipe him/her with a clean washcloth. Then very carefully lift her out of the tub with one hand supporting her neck and head and the other hand supporting her bottom. Wrap your fingers around one thigh. (Babies are slippery when wet.) If it’s possible, have another adult help by receiving your baby in a changing pad.
  1. Wrap your baby in a clean soft towel and pat her dry. Then diaper him/her, dress him/her, and give him/her a kiss on her sweet-smelling head.

Tips when bathing your baby:

  • Clean only what you can see; avoid putting anything deep into your baby’s ear canal or nose
  • Don’t bath your baby too soon after feeding.
  • And remember, NEVER leave baby alone in the bath

Bathing your baby is a perfect way to create separation between “busy time” and “sleep time”, while giving you the chance to bond with your baby!

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