What Do I Need for Baby's First Bath?

I'm a wreck about baby's first bath! What do I need?
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ByThe Bump Editors
March 2, 2017
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Bath time isn’t so tough. Once baby’s umbilical stump comes off, you can move from sponge baths to “real” baths–in the baby bathtub, in the kitchen sink (make sure it’s clean!), or in your arms in the big bathtub (have help getting in and out, and use a non-slip mat).

What you’ll need

Washing station
Make sure your setup is steady, and position baby’s head away from the faucet.

Fill the tub with about 3 inches of water that’s a little bit hotter than lukewarm. Check with your wrist first.

Warm room
Keep the temperature raised so it’s not a shock to baby’s system when she comes out of the bath (75 to 80°F).

Use one color for bath time, another for diaper changes.

Plastic cup
For rinsing. Or squeeze a wet washcloth over baby’s head to get rid of soap.

Baby soap
A mild, tear-free cleanser for both baby’s body and hair is ideal.

Remedies that your doctor suggests should be in arms’ reach.

How to

Start by soaking baby. Always keep a hand on him (infants are slippery when wet). Start from the top and work your way down. Wash his face first, cleaning one small area at a time. As you move down, thoroughly wash inside all those folds (under the arms, in the neck, the genital area, etc.). Save baby’s dirtiest parts (aka the diaper area) for last. Then, move back up and wash baby’s hair. Since infants lose most of their heat through their heads, this should be your very last move. If the water is still warm, you can engage in a little playtime, but don’t splash for too long — as the water chills, baby will start to get cold.

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