Resources for New Moms
Giving Baby a Bath
Babies should get a bath every 2 to 3 days – more often than that can dry out their skin.
Getting ready for bath time
Here is what you will need:
- Baby shampoo or soap.
- Wash cloths.
- Clean clothes and a diaper.
- A sink or a small plastic tub for a tub bath.
If you need to leave the room to get something, take your baby with you. Babies can drown in even a very small amount of water. NEVER leave your baby alone in or near water!
Each time you bathe baby, test the bathwater with your wrist or elbow before placing your baby in the bathwater. If it feels hot or cold on your skin (you shouldn’t feel anything when you test it), then adjust the temperature before putting baby in the water.
You can also wash a newborn baby using a wet washcloth without putting baby into water. This helps keep the belly button or circumcision dry for healing.
Here’s what to do:
- Place your baby on a flat surface, like a changing table.
- Undress and wrap them in a towel.
- Use a washcloth in plain water to gently wipe their eyes.
- Use a soapy washcloth to clean the rest of the body. Wash one area at a time, being sure to clean between skin folds. Keep the rest of your baby wrapped in a towel so they don‘t get cold.
- Wash the diaper area last to prevent germs from spreading.
- Rinse your baby off with plain water and pat them dry.
Until your baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off:
- Tuck the diaper below the stump.
- Keep the area clean and dry. If it gets dirty, clean it with a baby wipe or rubbing alcohol.
- Call your baby’s provider if you see signs of infection, like pus or redness, or if they cry when you touch the area.