How to bathe your newborn

There’s so much to learn when you first bring a newborn baby home from the hospital. From diapering to feeding to getting them to sleep at the right time, being a new parent can be overwhelming.

Take bathing, for example. When it’s time to give baby his first bath, it’s best to gather all your supplies and keep them within arm’s reach, says Karen McGinley, a family care unit nurse at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill.

The necessary supplies include a hooded towel, two or three washcloths, a small bowl of warm (not hot) water, baby soap and a clean diaper.

Until the baby’s umbilical cord falls off, sponge baths are necessary so the belly button area stays dry, McGinley advises.

First, start by soaking the washcloth to get it wet but don’t use the soap just yet. Next, wash baby’s eyes and face first. Then, get soap on your washcloth and use a gentle touch to wash the ears and folds of the neck. Finally, Work your way down baby’s body, ending with baby’s dirtiest parts – the private area and bottom.

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About the Author

Lisa Parro
Lisa Parro

Lisa Parro, health enews contributor, is manager of content strategy for Advocate Aurora Health. A former journalist, Lisa has been in health care public relations since 2008 and has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. She and her family live in Chicago’s western suburbs.