Giving a Tub Bath

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Giving a Tub Bath

Guiding Your Child Through The Infant Year
29010
Bathing Your Baby
Giving a Tub Bath
Giving a Tub Bath
htmGivingTubBathInfants
Learn how to give your baby a tub bath.
335605
InteliHealth
2011-05-29
f
InteliHealth Medical Content
2013-12-10
Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Giving a Tub Bath
 

Once what is left of the umbilical (belly button) cord has fallen off, your newborn can graduate to a tub bath. Because a regular, adult-sized bathtub may be awkward or uncomfortable for you, and wastes water, many parents use the bathroom or kitchen sink. A plastic infant bathtub may be even easier; it may even include a mesh sling for use with newborns and have other attachments to accommodate your growing baby.

Wherever you choose to give your baby a tub bath, be sure to have everything ready before you begin. Once the baby is in the water, NEVER leave him unattended, even for a second. You will need soap and shampoo, cotton balls, a soft washcloth, a towel, a clean diaper, and pajamas or a change of clothing.

• Fill the basin or the sink with no more than two to three inches of warm (not hot) water. Test the water's temperature with your wrist or elbow; it should be cooler than your own bath water — between 90° F and 100° F. To make the tub less slippery, line it with a towel or use a rubber mat.
• Using both hands, gently and slowly lower your baby into the bath water, allowing him time to adjust to the new experience. Support his head with one arm securely under and around him, leaving your other hand free for washing.
• Wash your baby's body in the same order as you did when giving a sponge bath, except wash the hair toward the end of the bath, just before the diaper area.
• Use only water on the face, not soap. Gently massage your baby’s scalp with the pads of your fingers. When rinsing your baby’s head, cup your hand across the forehead so the suds run off the sides, not harming the eyes.
• For the rest of the body, use any gentle, moisturizing soap, such as Dove. It's not necessary to use special "baby" soaps. Many parents find it easier to soap their baby's skin with their hands, rather than a washcloth.
• When you're finished, lift him out with one hand around his shoulders and the other under his bottom. Immediately, wrap the baby in a towel and pat him dry, paying special attention to the skin creases. Make sure to cover the baby’s head with the towel.
• Lotions and powders are not necessary. However, if you do use powder, make sure it does not contain talcum, and never sprinkle it directly on your baby's skin. Instead, place some on your hand while standing several feet away from the baby and then spread it thinly on his skin. It is important that your baby not breathe any of the powder into the lungs.

Remember, no matter how shallow the water level, once the baby is in the water, NEVER leave the baby alone, even for a second.
Visit our slide show to see how to give your baby a tub bath.

Visit our slide show to see how to give your baby a tub bath.

 

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dmtChildGuide
Last updated August 12, 2014


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