Basic Baby Care – How to give a baby a bath

This post on how to give a baby a bath is the sixth post in my series on Basic Baby Care. To read why I began this series, click here. Other posts in the series have been on changing diapers, how to hold a baby, clipping nails, helping your baby fall asleep, and bottle feeding.

Bath Time

Much like changing a baby, bath time is a great opportunity to bond with the baby. It is also an opportunity for you to take a seat. After chasing the baby around the house all day, I cherish the opportunity to be able to stay in one place for a few minutes. Although this is a great moment for you and the baby, it is also one that requires great attention, for the obvious reasons.

  • Have the towel ready before you place the baby in the tub.
  • Never leave the baby alone. If the phone rings and you are in a different room, either let it go to voice mail or take the dripping baby with you. Horrible accidents can happen within seconds.
  • If you run out of shampoo or soap for a baby, don’t use your own. The baby might be too sensitive for adult soaps and it can cause quite the irritation in their eyes.
  • Don’t run the water while the baby is in the tub. If you have an old house like mine or a New York City apartment, you’ve probably already noticed that the temperature can be pretty fickle. It can go from warm, to cold, to scalding hot within seconds.
  • Check the water before you put the baby in the tub to make sure it is at the right temperature.
  • You’ll need to give your baby a sponge bath when you first bring the baby home. You can begin to bathe the baby in the tub once the umbilical cord area has been healed. The same goes if you had your child circumcised.
  • Check all the folds in the baby’s skin to make sure you get all the junk out.
  • Continue to be mindful of the neck if you’re bathing a newborn.
  • Most babies love the bath, so enjoy this moment with your child.


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