Here are some tips to make time in the tub good, clean fun for both you and your baby.
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Prepping for Bath Time with Your Newborn
- Establish a regular bath time routine
- Keep the room nice and toasty. A cozy 75 degrees-plus will work just fine.
- Gather all your necessities: You’ll need two washcloths, a towel, a few cotton balls, a diaper, and a change of clothes.
- Start in a few inches of warm water. Keep the water at about 90 degrees. Swirl your fingers through the water to make sure there are no hot spots.
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Bath Time Basics for Washing Newborns
- Support the baby’s back, head, and neck with one arm and use the other hand to bathe.
- Gently cleanse eyes with a dampened, warm cotton ball, wiping from the inside corner of the eye outward.
- Wipe your baby’s face with a soft washcloth. Work from the middle out.
- If your baby has hair, use a gentle shampoo. Sprinkle hair with warm water and a little bit of shampoo. Use a warm washcloth to rinse clean
- For the diaper area, cleanse girls from front to back. For boys, gently wash from back to front and thoroughly dry.
- After bath time, dry your baby well and be sure to get in all creases — excessive moisture in these areas can lead to skin irritation.
- Pat skin dry to avoid skin irritation.
A Few Pointers for Baby Bath Time
- If you bathe your baby in a sink, be sure to carefully wash it out first with hot soapy water.
- Newborns get cold fast. Keep your towel nearby so you can warm your baby as soon as possible.
Bath Safety for Babies
- Never leave your baby alone in a bathtub and never place your baby in a tub while water is running.
- Do not turn your back, even for a second. If you need to leave the room, always take your baby with you.
- Always be mindful of water temperature (you may even want to set your water heater at 120 degrees).
- When bathing a newborn, use as little water as needed.
- Do not use sponges to bathe your baby—pieces can break off and become choking hazards.
For more than a century, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital has provided high-quality medical care to women at all stages of life. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes Magee as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. More than 9,000 babies are born each year at Magee. The hospital also treats men for a variety of conditions, including surgical treatment. The Magee-Womens Research Institute was the first center to focus research only on conditions involving women and their infants.