Bath Tips for Your New Baby

Southern Regional Offers Helpful Information on Bathing Baby

Bath time can be a very special time for parents and baby to bond. It’s also the perfect time to check for any skin irritations and to see how the umbilical cord is healing.

Here are some helpful tips for bathing your baby.

Mother kissing her sleeping baby

Getting Started

Pick a time to bathe that does not follow a feeding. Your baby is likely to spit up if bathing takes place too soon after eating.

Find an area of the house that is safe and not drafty to ensure that baby does not get chilly. Always make sure that all bath supplies are within reach and never leave your baby unattended.

Lay the baby on a towel on a flat surface and undress him/her. Be sure and cover up areas you are not washing with a blanket so the baby doesn’t get cold.

Where to Wash First

Begin washing at the eyes. Take a corner of a washcloth that is moist with warm water and lightly move it from the inner part of the eye to the outer part. Repeat with the other eye using a different corner of the washcloth.

Wash the baby’s face with clean warm water using a washcloth or your hand. Then wash around baby’s nose and ears. NEVER use a swab in your baby’s nose or ears. This could cause severe damage including a ruptured eardrum.

When washing the baby’s body, be sure you get into every fold and crevice. Wash around the umbilical cord with clean, warm water.

How to Wash Baby’s Genitals

When washing the genitals, always use clean water. With little girls, wash front to back to prevent causing infection in the bladder. Girls may have a lot of discharge which is completely normal.

Boys who have been circumcised should be cleaned with clean, warm water until the penis is healed. If your son was not circumcised, lightly wash the penis with warm, soapy water. There is no need to force the foreskin back. Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions.

Washing Hair

While washing your baby’s hair, we recommend you wrap your baby in a towel and hold him/her in the football carrying position. Using clean water, slowly pour some over your baby’s hair. Take a dab of baby shampoo and gently work it into the hair being sure to stimulate the entire scalp, including the soft spots.

Cradle cap, which is a scaly patch on the head, can occur if baby’s scalp is not stimulated for proper circulation. If cradle cap does appear, talk with a healthcare professional.