Bathing your Baby

An Infant Care Guide

Sponge Baths

Newborns have VERY DELICATE skin!

  • Newborns should be given sponge baths for the first week (or two)
  • Be sure to use a gentle washcloth and warm water
  • Make sure to use gentle cleansing soap that is dye-free and fragrance-free... Soaps containing these chemicals can cause skin irritation and dryness

Because their immune systems are still developing, newborns are more susceptible to infections/illnesses from bacteria.

  • Be sure to wash your newborn's face and hands often
  • Clean your newborn's genital area well after each diaper change

Tub Baths

You may begin to bathe your baby in a tub after the remaining umbilical cord falls off and the area is completely healed.

  • Use a kitchen/bathroom sink or plastic baby tub filled with warm water to bathe your baby in versus a standard sized tub
  • Bathe your baby no more than 3 times per week for the first year to avoid drying out his or her skin
  • It should only take you about five minutes to bathe your baby- the longer the bath, the cooler the water will get (cool water may be unpleasant for your baby)

Tub Safety

  • Babies can drown in an inch (or less!) of water
  • It only takes a few seconds for something bad to happen while your baby is left unattended
  • If you absolutely need to leave to do something, wrap your baby in a towel and bring him or her with you

Do not put your baby in a tub while the water is running.

  • The water may become too deep or too hot very quickly

Preset the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Children can easily get third-degree burns if the water is too hot (140 degrees Fahrenheit)

Don't be scared!

  • Stay calm while bathing your baby
  • Maintain a good grip on him or her

Summer Leonard