Bath Time for Baby!

Bath Time for Baby!

Scrub-a-dub-dub with the baby in the tub (or shower, sink, or wherever you bathe your baby)! Here are some tips on making bath time as enjoyable, safe, and stress free as possible.

First, Sponge Baths

Babies cannot be submerged in a bath until the umbilical cord stump has fallen off by itself and healed over, which could be up to 4–6 weeks of life. Submerging your baby in a bath before the cord falls off could cause infection. Once the umbilical cord has fallen off, you should still check with your pediatrician before you submerge your baby in water. So how do you bathe your baby before then? Sponge baths! Check out this article for a great how-to.

You don’t need to give your newborn a sponge bath every day if you clean the diaper area thoroughly during diaper changes. In fact, bathing your baby too often can dry out their skin.

bath time for babyBathing Basics

Here are a couple of pointers to remember as you’re giving your baby a bath:

Monitor the water closely when you’re filling up the tub. Keep a hand underneath the running water, and use both the cold and hot faucets. Water temperature can change in an instant, and babies are more susceptible to burns (both amount and severity) because they have a large surface area when compared to their weight. Check your water heating settings, and make sure the highest temperature is set at or below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bathing is a hands-on activity—all the time. Keep both eyes and one hand on your baby at all times when they’re in the water. If the phone rings or someone knocks at the door, they get to wait until bath time is over (or at least until you get your baby out of the tub).

Being prepared makes it easier. You need to stay by your baby’s side once they’re in the water, so have everything you’ll need ready to go. That includes a towel, baby soap, a washcloth, and maybe baby shampoo. You might also want to keep a towel handy for yourself.

Work from the top down. You usually don’t need to use soap on your baby’s face, so clean their face with a damp washcloth first—that way, there won’t be any soap residue on the washcloth that can get into their eyes or mouth. Use soap on the rest of their body, and work from the top down so that you don’t get already clean areas soapy a second time.

For more information on the web, visit healthychildren.org. If you have questions or would like to discuss any concerns you have regarding your baby, you can schedule an appointment with me, Dr. Kathryn Mandal, by calling 817-617-8600 or scheduling online at continuumtx.com.

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