Giving Your New Baby A Bath

Learn how to give your newborn baby a bath safely and help them to gain confidence.

Bathing your newborn can be a frightening time for many new parents. After giving a few baths, you will find it to be a relaxing and fun time for both parents and baby. It can also be a good bonding experiance.

Remember baby can not have a "tub" bath until the umbilical cord has fallen off the stomach. First, find a safe, warm area to give the bath. A lot of parents use the changing table, kitchen table, or lay the baby on the floor. Gather all equipment- a basin with warm, soapy water, baby lotion, cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, baby brush, clean diaper, towels, washcloths and a change of clothes. Spread out your bath towel and bring baby to the area where the bath will be given. Lay baby down on the bath towel and remove clothes except for the diaper. Keep baby wrapped in the towel for warmth. Take the washcloth and wash baby's face first. Next wash baby's hair. This can be accomplished by holding baby in a football hold with baby's head over the basin. Take the washcloth and use that to help wash baby's hair. When finished, lay baby back on the bath towel and again cover all exposed areas to keep baby warm. Rub hair dry with the towel.

Next use your washcloth and "sponge-bathe" baby's hands, making sure to get in between the fingers. Next do the arms. Dry each area as you finish and apply baby lotion. Raise baby's arms over her head and clean the armpits. Next, clean baby's neck, chest, and back. Make sure to keep all areas that you are not working on covered. Next wash baby's legs and feet. The last area to clean is the diaper area. Remove the dirty diaper and wash that area. Pat dry and apply a clean diaper immediately. Next do the umbilical cord. Take your rubbing alcohol and apply to a cotton ball. Take the cotton ball and "dab" it on the umbilical cord. Next, put baby's clean clothes on and brush her hair with the baby brush.

Now, your newborn's bath is complete. Wrap your newborn in a warm blanket if needed. Clean up your work area. With a little practice and patience, bath time can be a fun, rewarding and relaxing time for you and your newborn. It can also be a special bonding time for families.

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