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Bathing

You can give a newborn baby a bath from the moment the umbilical cord stump drops off. Before then, you should "top and tail" your baby using a sponge, without submerging her in water.

A newborn baby does not need to be bathed every day, provided that the nappy area is kept clean every time you change it. For the first year, you can even give her a bath every other day and just keep her clean between baths (especially face, hands and bottom).

 

Bathing, step by step

If sufficient care is taken, bath time can be a wonderful moment, when parents and baby have the chance to get to know each other better and to play and love each other. Let's take a look at how to bathe a baby.

- Put the cold water in first, then fill it with hot water and test the temperature using a special thermometer for the bath. The water must be warm, but not hot (between 29 and 37 ºC).

- Take your baby's clothes off, wrap her in a towel and hold her on your lap to clean her eyes, mouth and face using cotton wool wetted with previously boiled warm water.

- Put your baby in the water, cradling her head in the crook of your arm while you support the outside of her shoulder with your hand. Put your other arm under her bottom and hold her by the leg. Slide her into the bath feet first.

- To wash your baby's head, keep her in an upright position, resting her head on your arm. Then very carefully apply soap.

- Wash the rest of the body using a bath mitt or a natural sponge. Carefully clean her "folds" of skin.

- To wash the baby's back, take her by the outside of her shoulder and pass your arm over her chest.

- Lastly, take the baby out of the bath. A trick: it is easier if mummy or daddy spreads the towel over their chest, holding it under their chin.