When bathing a newborn, take care to keep the umbilical cord stump and the healing circumcision sites dry until your pediatric provider tells you it is OK to wash these areas. Some babies enjoy bathing and others do not. Most babies can bathe daily. For those babies who do not enjoy bathing, it is not necessary to bathe every day.

Use a tear-free baby shampoo with comfortably warm water. Dove soap is a good option to use to help clean your baby’s skin. Consider moisturizing after bathing for those with dry skin. When your baby is an infant, you will find it easier to use a small infant tub for bathing. This will give you better control and help prevent your baby from slipping from your hands. Be sure to:

  • Use warm (not hot) water. Test the temperature of the water on the inside of your wrist.

  • Have a washcloth, baby soap, shampoo (if your baby has hair) and a towel in arm’s reach of the tub.
  • Using a washcloth, wash your baby’s head, face and scalp first, then gently clean the rest of the body.
  • After bathing, wrap your baby in a towel for warmth.

Bath time safety

Most childhood drownings occur in the home. Never leave your child alone in the bathroom — even for a few seconds. As your infant grows and begins to sit up without assistance, there are other precautions you must take to prevent accidents in the bath.

  • Stay at your baby’s side and in arm’s reach so you reach out if he/she slips.
  • Use non-skid decals or a mat inside the tub to prevent slipping.