When you first bring your baby home from the hospital, it will be too soon to give her an actual bath. Until the umbilical cord falls off, pediatricians recommend giving sponge baths before moving to an infant tub. With my own children, we gave the sponge baths in the kitchen sink to avoid having to lean over a low tub. Be sure to have everything you need ready to go before you start. You can keep your baby wrapped in a towel, only exposing the body part being washed and then dry her right away. This will help your baby stay warm and therefore happy.

A few days after the umbilical cord falls off, it’s time for the first bath! Watching your child giggle as she splashes in the water is one of the great joys of parenthood. Even if your baby doesn’t seem to like the water at first, usually with time she will come around.

Here are a few tips to make sure your child stays safe while bathing.
  1. Be prepared: Assemble all of the items you will need for the bath before you put your child in. This includes a towel, soap, shampoo, diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes.
  2. Don’t turn your back: Not even for a second. Parents should ALWAYS keep baby in adult’s reach. Both eyes should be on your baby at all times as infants can drown in as little as 1 inch of water.
  3. Check the water temperature: Be sure you check the temperature of the bath water so your baby doesn’t get burned. Bath water should be between 90ºF and 100ºF (32.2 ºC and 37.8ºC).
  4. Direct the faucet away from the baby: You want to make sure that your child cannot accidentally kick the hot water on.
  5. Unplug and remove all electrical products in close proximity to bathing area: You don’t want them to slip into the tub while your child is inside.

A soft massage with a gentle moisturizer after a bath is a wonderful way to bond with your baby, relax, and get her ready for bed. Sweet dreams…