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Bathing

Bath time gives you another opportunity to hold, cuddle and get to know your newborn. A few words of caution:

  • NEVER leave your baby unattended in or near the bath, not even for a few seconds.
  • Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit so you don't accidentally scald your baby.
  • Gather all necessary items before starting the bath so you won't have to carry your wet baby around looking for things.

Newborns do not need to be bathed every day; a bath every two or three days is fine. When bathing, make sure the room and the water are warm.

Use a small plastic tub or the sink lined with a sponge or towel. Pour a few inches of warm water in the tub.

Test the water temperature with your elbow before putting your baby in the water. Gently wash your baby's face without soap, then use a soapy washcloth on his or her body. Wash the diaper area last, then rinse your baby with clean water.

Wrap your baby in a towel and dry. To avoid irritation, be sure to dry in the folds and creases of the skin.

To wash your baby's hair, apply a small amount of gentle soap and warm water. Tip your baby's head back to avoid getting soap in the face or eyes. Gently pour clean water over the hair. You can wash the hair either at bath time or when the baby is clothed and will stay warmer.