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.
Stay in touch
Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.