By Holly BennettUpdated Jan 12, 2023
You’ve got everything you need: bath supplies and clean clothing close at hand in a nice warm room. It’s time to take the plunge! When your baby is ready to graduate from sponge bathing, follow these steps and you’ll soon be a pro.
Never leave your baby unattended in the tub, even for a moment. Babies can drown in seconds in just a small amount of water.
• Fill the tub with warm, not hot, water.
• Use your elbow to check the temperature.
• Undress your baby and swaddle her snugly.
• Gently wash her eyes, using a different corner of a clean washcloth for each eye.
• Wash her face and outer ears but don’t probe inside the ear. Pat dry.
• Holding the baby close to your body like a football, with your hand supporting her neck and head, wash her hair.
• Wet hair using a cup or washcloth, and then lather with a tiny dab of shampoo.
• Rinse thoroughly and dry well.
• Time to go into the tub. Unwrap your baby and with one hand, hold onto her arm, your wrist supporting her head and neck.
• With the other hand, hold the baby between her legs under her bum.
• Gently lower her into the water.
• Hold her with both hands in the water until she relaxes.
• Now free your bottom hand and gently wash her body; don’t forget the creases in her neck, underarms, and in the genital area.
• As your baby grows a little older, she may want to kick for a few moments in the warm water.
• Turn your baby onto her tummy, with your hand still holding her arm and your wrist and forearm supporting her across her chest.
• Wash her back and bottom.
• Be sure to keep her face well up and out of the water in this position.
• All done! Lay her on a warm, fluffy towel and wrap her up, and then dry her carefully, paying special attention to all her creases.
• Throughout the bath, reassure your baby by talking softly to her and smiling at her.