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How to Bathe a Baby

Handling Your Baby in the Bath

When it's time to actually put your baby in the bath, you might be a bit nervous -- especially while you get used to how slippery a wet baby can be! But handling your baby is probably not as difficult as you might imagine. Some babies very much enjoy baths and become very relaxed, and others might not like baths and will squirm or fuss. It will take some adjusting for both you and your baby, so just be patient, and find the holding technique that works best for both of you.

During the first few weeks, while you're giving your baby a sponge bath, the key is to go in stages. As you undress your baby, support the head and torso with one arm and hand. Continue this support throughout the sponge bath as you wash his body. When it's time to wash the hair -- which should be near the end of the bath -- adjust your support so that you can tip your baby's head back to avoid getting water in his eyes.

When it's time to start giving your baby a tub bath, there are some extra tips to keep in mind -- after all, it can be a bit more tricky to handle a wet, partially submerged baby than one lying on a dry surface. While lowering your baby into the tub -- and while lifting your baby out when bath time is over -- use one hand to support your baby's bottom and legs and the other hand to support his neck and head. As you bathe your baby, gently and consistently pour water over his body so he doesn't get too chilly.

Just remember to always keep at least one hand on your baby at all times. Even if you eventually use supplies such as a bath ring or bath seat, it's important that you always support your baby with one hand while washing with the other.

Now that you're ready to handle your baby, read on to find out more about different methods of bathing your baby.