It's Bath Time!

By Catherine Kohm, RN, MEd on March 07, 2007
What You Will Need To Bathe Your Baby:
  • soap (super-fatted, such as glycerine, is good for dry skin)
  • gentle shampoo
  • washcloth
  • towel
  • diapers
  • clean clothes
  • petroleum jelly
  • sink, baby's bath or large basin

How To Bathe Your Baby:
1. Fill the bath with warm water. Use cold water first so the bottom of the tub isnt too hot.
2. Test the water with your elbow or the inner side of your wrist.
3. Undress your baby, leaving the undershirt on. Clean the diaper area.
4. Wrap your baby in a towel. Using the football hold, wash and dry the hair.
5. Place a towel on your lap and remove the undershirt. Supporting babys shoulders with your forearm, hook your hand over the baby's shoulder and under the armpit. Cradle baby's legs with your other arm and hold on to one thigh. Place baby in the bath.
6. Support the shoulders so baby is semi-reclined.
7. Wash the baby with your free hand.
8. When the bath is finished, lift your baby on to the towel, using your free hand to support her bottom.
9. Place baby diagonally across a towel. Fold the corners over her feet and the sides over the rest of the body.


Helpful Hints:
  • With a clean cloth, wash the baby's eye area first, then the rest of the face. Don't put soap on the baby's face.
  • Babies are slippery when wet. Hold on to your baby with one hand and wash with the other. A bath frame or towel in the bottom of the tub helps prevent slips.
  • Keep most of the baby's body in the water so she wont become chilled.
  • Shampoo hair while your baby is wrapped in a towel for warmth.
  • Wear a waterproof apron to protect your clothes and drape a towel across your lap.
  • Dry the baby well, especially between the folds of skin.
  • Avoid using baby powder. Use petroleum jelly on dry skin areas.
  • You do not have to bathe your baby every day.
  • Your baby will relax with a bath before the day's last feeding.

Bathing Together

To bathe with your baby, undress her and seat her in the infant seat beside the tub. In the bath, unwrap and lift the baby into the tub. When getting out, place your baby in the infant seat, then get out yourself. BW

Published in March 2007

By Catherine Kohm, RN, MEd| March 07, 2007

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