Dr. Kristin Saxena
Bathing your baby can be a great experience but there are things you should know before putting a baby in the tub. It’s okay to be nervous about bathing your baby for the first time. Stay calm and maintain a good grip on your baby at all times, and your baby will stay relaxed too.
For a newborn, it is suggested to have the baby take sponge baths before the umbilical cord falls off. Use a warm wash cloth or sponge and wipe the baby down with small amounts of soap and water. Wash his/her face and hands frequently and clean the genital area thoroughly after each diaper change.
Once the cord has fallen off and the area heals, parents can start bathing their baby in an infant bath tub with 2-3 inches of water. Infant bath tubs can help support your baby’s head and neck while you bathe him/her.
Bathe your baby up to two or three times a week during the first year. Bathing your baby too often can dry out his/her skin.
Always be sure to test the water temperature first to avoid scolding your baby. Bathes should last about 5 minutes long which is enough time to get your baby clean before the water cools down. Use mild soaps, unscented, and hypoallergenic products.