How to Bathe Your Baby

Lay your baby on a soft towel, or use a sponge-lined bath bed.

  1. Clean around each eye with separate cotton balls dipped in warm water.
  2. Support your baby’s head and limbs while using a warm washcloth and a little bit of baby cleanser to wash him/her. Wash and rinse the genital area from front to back. With a clean washcloth, rinse your baby’s body until all the lather is gone; repeat this step if necessary. Make sure you clean every crease and fold. Check the umbilical cord for proper healing Clean the umbilical stump with a cotton ball dipped in clean water or a mild cleanser. Keep the stump dry. If you notice a bad odor, call your doctor.
  3. Clean his/her head with a little baby shampoo. Rinse the cloth; use it to remove the shampoo. Be careful to avoid his/her eyes.
  4. When he/she is clean, dry thoroughly but don’t rub vigorously. Then wrap baby from head to toe in a dry towel, preferably hooded.

Some tips to help with a sponge bath:

    • Bathe baby before a feeding.
    • Pick an area in the house where you will be comfortable bathing him/her.
    • Make sure all bath supplies are within reach. Keeping everything in a basket is very helpful. Make it a rule neverto leave your baby unattended.
    • Choose an area that is draft free.
    • Lay your baby on a towel to undress. Cover up with a second blanket and only expose the area you are washing.
    • Never insert a cotton swab up your baby’s nose or into his/her ears. You can cause damage especially to the ear drum.

Baby Bath:

  1. Fill a baby tub or a dish tub with a few inches of water that is warm, not hot – between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. With one arm supporting her back or neck and head, slip your baby into the tub. (Tub baths aren’t recommended for circumcised boys until the incision has healed).
  2. Support baby’s head with one hand while you wash baby with the other hand. Gently bathe baby with a little bit of baby cleanser on a washcloth.
  3. Rinse with small cupfuls of water. Clean baby’s scalp with a wet washcloth and a tiny amount of baby shampoo. (Baby may not be ready to have water poured on his/her head).
  4. Carefully lift baby out and lay him/her on a towel. Fold it up over baby’s feet and across his/her middle, patting baby dry as you go.