Baby's first bath

Make baby’s first bath experiences fun and stress-free by following these simple rules of thumb.

1. Get started

*Set out your supplies (towel, washcloth, clean clothes) and have them close at hand.

*Fill the tub with warm, not hot, water.

*Use your elbow to check the temperature.

*Undress your baby and swaddle her snugly for the initial washing you'll do before she goes into the tub.

2. Wash her face

*Wash her eyes with plain water, using a different corner of a clean washcloth for each eye and wiping from inner corner to outer corner.

*Then wash her face and outer ears, but don’t probe inside the ear. Pat dry.

3. Wash her hair

*Holding the baby close to your body like a football, with your hand supporting her neck and head, gently wash her hair.

*Wet her hair using a cup or washcloth, and then lather with a tiny dab of shampoo.

*Rinse thoroughly and dry well.

4. Wash her body

*Time to go into the tub. Just remember: never leave your baby unattended in the tub, even for a moment. Babies can drown in seconds in just a small amount of water.

*Unwrap your baby and, with one hand, hold onto her arm, with your wrist supporting her head and neck. With the other hand, hold the baby between her legs under her bum and gently lower her into the water.

*Hold her with both hands in the water until she relaxes. Throughout the bath, reassure your baby by talking softly to her and smiling at her.

*Now free your bottom hand and gently wash her body; don’t forget the creases in her neck, underarms and in the genital area.

*Turn your baby onto her tummy, with your hand still holding her arm and your wrist and forearm supporting her across her chest. Wash her back and bottom. Be sure to keep her face well up and out of the water in this position.

All done! Lay her on a warm, fluffy towel and wrap her up. Dry her carefully, paying special attention to all her creases.