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How to Bath a Baby

It's best not to bathe your baby straight after a feed or when they're hungry or tired. Make sure the room you're bathing them in is warm.

Have everything you need at hand: a baby bath or clean washing-up bowl filled with warm water, two towels, a clean nappy, clean clothes and cotton wool.

  • The water should be warm, not hot. Check it with a thermometer and mix it well so there are no hot patches.
  • Hold your baby on your knee and clean their face, as described above.
  • Next, wash their hair with plain water, supporting them over the bowl.
  • Once you've dried their hair gently, you can take off their nappy, wiping away any mess.
  • Lower your baby gently into the bowl or bath using one hand to hold their upper arm and
    support their head and shoulders.
  • Don't add any liquid cleansers to the bath water. Plain water is best for your baby's skin in
    the first month.
  • Keep your baby's head clear of the water. Use the other hand to gently swish the water over
    your baby without splashing.
  • Never leave your baby alone in the bath, not even for a second.
  • Lift your baby out and pat them dry, paying special attention to the creases in their skin.
  • This is a good time to massage your baby. Massage can help them relax and sleep. Avoid
    using any oils or lotions until your baby is at least a month old.
  • If your baby seems frightened of bathing and cries, try bathing together. Make sure the
    water isn't too hot. It's easier if someone else holds your baby while you get in and out of
    the bath.

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