How to Bathe a Baby

Giving a Sponge Bath

1. Begin by washing your newborn baby's face with plain water, especially behind his ears and under his chin.

2. Wash your baby's chest, arms and hands, making sure to cleanse thoroughly between his fingers. If you use a mild soap and cotton ball or washcloth, rinse immediately to avoid drying or irritating the area.

3. Wash your baby's back. With a washcloth or towel, gently pat dry the upper half of his body. Vigorous rubbing could irritate your baby's skin.

4. Wash your baby's genital area from front to back, then the legs and feet, especially between the toes. Gently pat dry the lower half of his body.

5. To wash your baby's hair, squeeze a bit of water on top of his head with a washcloth. Apply a dab of baby shampoo (a no-tears formula) and gently massage the scalp. Don't worry about the soft spot; it is actually tough underneath, and you can do no harm as long as you're gentle. Remove all traces of the shampoo with a washcloth dipped in warm water.

6. When you're finished, dry your baby thoroughly with a towel and put on a fresh diaper and clean clothes.

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