Bathing a newborn can be a special bonding experience between you and your baby. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to safely bathe your newborn:
- Gather supplies: Prepare everything you need before starting the bath. You’ll need a clean washcloth, mild baby soap or cleanser, a soft towel or hooded baby towel, a basin or baby bathtub, cotton balls (optional), clean clothes, and a diaper.
- Choose a safe bathing area: Decide where you will bathe your newborn. You can use a baby bathtub placed on a flat surface, a sink, or a special baby bathing basin. Ensure the area is clean and free from hazards.
- Fill the tub with warm water: Fill the tub or basin with about 2 to 3 inches of warm water. Test the water temperature with your elbow or a baby thermometer to ensure it’s comfortably warm, around 37-38 degrees Celsius (98-100 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Undress your baby: Gently undress your baby, leaving only the diaper on. Wrap your baby in a towel or blanket to keep them warm.
- Support your baby: With one hand supporting your baby’s head and neck, and the other hand supporting their body, carefully lower your baby into the water, feet first. Keep a firm grip on your baby at all times.
- Wash your baby’s body: Use a mild baby soap or cleanser and a soft washcloth to gently clean your baby’s body, starting from the face and moving downward. Pay special attention to the folds of the neck, armpits, and diaper area. Use cotton balls dipped in warm water to clean your baby’s eyes, ears, and face.
- Shampoo your baby’s hair: If your baby has hair, use a small amount of mild baby shampoo to gently cleanse their scalp. Support your baby’s head and use your other hand to pour water over their head or use a soft cup to rinse off the shampoo. Be careful to keep the soapy water away from your baby’s eyes.
- Rinse your baby: Use a clean washcloth or your hand to rinse off the soap from your baby’s body and scalp. Make sure to remove all the soap residue.
- Lift your baby out of the water: With one hand supporting your baby’s head and neck and the other hand supporting their bottom, carefully lift your baby out of the water and onto a towel.
- Pat dry and dress your baby: Gently pat your baby’s skin dry using a soft towel, paying attention to the skin folds. Take this time to bond with your baby through gentle touch and loving words. Once dry, dress your baby in clean clothes and a fresh diaper.
Remember, never leave your baby unattended in the bath, even for a moment. If you need to step away, take your baby with you or ask another responsible adult to supervise. With practice, bathing your newborn will become easier and more comfortable for both of you.