Preparing a newborn bath
Place all the bath items you need within reach – towel/s, mild baby cleanser, washcloth, cotton wool, clean nappy and clean clothes. Have an unfolded towel ready to dry your baby. Make sure the room is a comfortable temperature.
Fill the bath with just enough warm water to wash your baby. Test the water with a bath thermometer, your wrist or your elbow. The water should be 37-38°C and feel warm, not hot.
Moisten a cotton wool ball or soft washcloth with warm water. Gently clean your baby’s eyelids, wiping from inner eye to outer eye. Use a new piece of cotton wool or a clean part of the cloth for each wipe.
Bathing a newborn
Once the bath is ready, undress your baby. Cradle your baby’s head and shoulders with one hand and support their body with the other. Gently lower your baby into the bath.
Use a soft washcloth for the following steps. 1. Gently clean your baby’s face. 2. Clean your baby’s neck and body. 3. Clean your baby’s genitals and bottom last.
Once or twice a week wash your baby’s hair. Gently splash water onto their head. You need shampoo only when your baby is older, has more hair, is more active or has oily-looking hair.
Newborn bath safety
Never leave your baby alone in the bath. If you have to leave the bath area, wrap your baby in a towel and take them with you. Babies can drown in less than 5 cm of water.
Support your baby’s head, neck and body when you take them out of the bath. Lay your baby on the unfolded towel and gently pat them dry.
Put your baby in a safe place, like a cot or bassinette, before you tip out the bathwater.
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