How to Bathe a Baby

Preparing to Bathe Your Baby

Planning ahead is especially crucial when it comes to giving your baby a bath. Your baby will require your undivided attention during the entire bath -- never leave your baby unattended in the water for even a moment. If you have to answer the phone or check the stove, wrap your baby in a towel and bring him with you. This constant supervision means you'll need to plan ahead and save yourself the hassle of having to move your baby constantly.

So what exactly will you need to prepare? The most important thing is to have all your supplies close by during the bath. You will need the following items:

  • Baby tub or basin -- even if you wash your baby in the sink, you'll want a clean container that's the right size for your baby.
  • Several clean washcloths -- you'll probably want at least three: one for washing with only water, one for washing with soap and one for rinsing.
  • Several clean towels
  • Mild, baby-friendly soap -- don't use strong, heavily fragranced soap or shampoo on a baby because the ingredients are typically too harsh for a baby's fragile skin and could cause irritation or dryness.
  • Sterile cotton balls or squares -- you'll need these for cleaning your baby's eyes and nose.
  • Rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide -- some experts recommend using it to clean the area around the umbilical cord until it detaches [source: WebMD].
  • Changing pad
  • New diaper and clean clothing

Arrange the items in a way that's convenient for you. The important thing is that everything you need is within arm's reach, since you always need to keep at least one hand on your baby. Read on to find out what to do next once your supplies are lined up and ready to go.