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Learn the basics of bathing a very young baby. from supplies you'll need to how to keep bath time safe.
Time it right
Don't give your baby a real bath until the umbilical cord stump falls off. Sponge baths are okay until then.
A baby tub (or just the sink), a washcloth or two, cotton balls (optional), baby soap, a towel, and a fresh diaper.
Heat the room if it's chilly, and run an inch or two of warm water (about 90 degrees Fahrenheit) into the tub or sink.
Take the plunge
Undress your baby and gradually place her in the tub on her back. Support her head and neck with one hand.
Keep her comfy
Gently pour cupfuls of water over your baby's body throughout the bath so she doesn't get cold.
Clean all over
Use a washcloth, cotton balls, or your hand to gently wash your baby's face and body. No need to scrub or use much soap.
Wrap it up
Gently lift your baby out, wrap her in a towel, and pat her dry. Be careful – babies are slippery when wet!
Put a fresh diaper on your baby as soon as possible to avoid a mess.
Download as a PDF
Guide to Firsts: Giving your baby a bath
See our whole Guide to Firsts series