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Even babies need to be kept clean. Learn how to wash them safely and properly.
Tags:how to wash a newborn,babies,bath,cleanliness,infants,newborn,parenting
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Hi, I'm Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. Just as we need to be cleaned, so do babies. Bath time can be a great time for you and your child if you are prepared. This program will show some basic tips on how to bath an infant. For newborns during the first couple of weeks it is best to give only sponge baths until the umbilical cord stump falls off. After that your baby will need to bathe two or three times a week as long as you are washing her bottom thoroughly enough during diaper changes. Bathing too frequently can cause dry irritated skin. Before you start, make sure you have everything you need. This includes, a baby tub, a sponge or small wash cloth, baby soap, a small bowl or cup and a towel. I find putting all of the baby's bath items into a plastic box or bucket is handy. Then, everything is close by when I need it. Next, determine where the tub will sit. We use the countertop in our bathroom, but the kitchen table or even the floor is fine. Just be sure the tub is on a flat surface that cannot easily tip over. Finding a warm and non-drafty location is best. Put about 2 inches of water in the tub before you set the baby in. Test the water with your wrist or elbow. The water should be warm and comfortable to the touch, not hot. Next, take your baby's clothes off and carefully sit her in the tub. Be sure to use one hand to support the baby's head. Use the washcloth to squeeze water over her. Gently wipe the baby from top down. When washing the head, be sure the soapsuds do not get into her eyes. Gently wash between all those little skin folds and creases including her fingers and toes. Pay special attention to the baby's bottom and watch for signs of diaper rash. Pat the baby dry with a towel and apply baby lotion as desired to keep the skin from becoming dry and irritated. Be sure to keep your baby covered with the towel until you dress her again. Remember, never leave your baby alone in the water. Do not answer the door, don't answer the phone. Pick up your baby and bring with you, if you need to. Washing time can be a fun time for both you and your child if you are prepared and stay calm. Thanks for watching. To learn more visit us on the Web at parenting.about.com.