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  • Writer's pictureLeticia Lugo

Knowing The Basics And Facts About Bathing A Newborn

Bathing a newborn can be a special and bonding experience for both the baby and the parent.

The timing of your baby's very first bath has changed over the last few years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends delaying baby's first bath until 24 hours after birth—or waiting at least 6 hours if a full day isn't possible for cultural reasons.

Until the umbilical cord stump falls off, a sponge bath should be given every 2-3 days.

After that, a bath can be given daily.

What Supplies Do I Need to Bathe My Baby?

  • a soft, clean washcloth (2 for a sponge bath)

  • clean cotton balls to clean your baby’s eyes and nose, or you can just use a washcloth

  • mild, unscented baby soap/shampoo (an all-in-one soap and shampoo can make bathing easier)

  • a towel

  • a clean diaper

How To Give Baby A Sponge Bath?

  1. Choose a warm room, remove your baby’s clothes and diaper, and wrap them in a towel. If your baby is on a changing table, use the safety strap.

  2. Undress your baby and wrap them in a towel. Dampen a washcloth or clean cotton ball with non-soapy water.

  3. Wipe your baby’s eyes with the washcloth or cotton ball. Start with one eye and wipe from the inner corner to the outer corner. Use a clean corner of the washcloth or another cotton ball to wipe the other eye.

  4. Clean your baby's face, nose, and ears with the damp washcloth.

  5. Wet the second cloth with the soapy water, then gently wash your baby's head and the rest of the body. Pay special attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck, and in the diaper area.

  6. Use the washcloth dampened with non-soapy water to “rinse” off the soap.

  7. Gently pat the baby dry and apply diaper cream and moisturizer as needed.

How To Bathe Baby In A Bathtub?

  1. The water should be warm, not hot. The water temperature for a baby's bath should be around 37°C (98.6°F). You can use a bath thermometer or test the water with your elbow or the inside of your wrist to ensure it's comfortably warm. Fill the tub with a small amount of water. Usually, 2 to 3 inches of water is enough.

  2. Use a mild, fragrance-free baby soap and gently wash the baby, starting with the face and working downward.

  3. Always support the baby's head and never leave them unattended in the bath. Their head and neck should be well above water at all times for safety.

  4. Use a washcloth to clean their face and hair, and shampoo their scalp one to two times per week.

  5. Gently pat the baby dry and apply diaper cream and moisturizer as needed.

*Timing: It's best to wait at least a couple of hours after feeding your baby before giving them a bath. This helps prevent any discomfort or spitting up during the bath.

*Your baby should be supervised at all times while bathing. Never leave your baby unattended during bath time, even for a moment.

*If your newborn cries or doesn’t enjoy bath time, make sure the room is warm enough, the water isn’t too hot, and you’re keeping them wrapped in a towel (during a sponge bath) to keep them comfortable.

Remember, every baby is unique, and it may take some time for you and

your baby to establish a bath routine that works best for both of you.

If you have any concerns or questions, it's always a good idea to consult

with your pediatrician for personalized advice and guidance.


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