A bath can be a time of fun and closeness for both of you. Choose a time when your baby is not hungry.
Your baby only needs a bath two or three times a week. Bathing your baby too often may dry out her skin. Use a soap made for babies that does not have perfumes and dyes. Use very little soap during bath time.
There are two ways to bathe your baby: a sponge bath or a tub or sink bath. Give your baby a sponge bath until the umbilical cord falls off.
Never take your hand off your baby or leave your baby alone during a bath, even for a moment.
If your baby boy has been circumcised, wait until his penis has healed (one to two weeks) before giving him a tub or sink bath.
Gather everything you need before you undress your baby. You will need: a baby tub or a clean sink, warm water, mild baby soap, baby shampoo, washcloth, towel, soft-bristled baby brush, clean diaper and clothing.
Lay your baby on a towel on the changing table or counter. Keep her covered with a towel so she doesn't get cold. Keep bath time short.
A. Hold your baby so her shoulders and head are over the tub when you wash her head.
B. Use both hands to gently place her in the tub.
C. Gently support her head and neck with one hand while you bathe her with the other hand.
Newborn skin is sensitive and dries out easily. Use a soap made for babies that does not have perfumes and dyes. Use very little soap during bath time.
If your baby's skin is dry, check with your baby's health care provider before applying lotion. It is normal for newborn skin to be dry.
You only need to wash your baby's hair one or two times a week.
You can wash your baby's head before you put her in the bath, or after the rest of her bath is done.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition. To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic