Check with your pediatrician about how often your baby should be bathed.
Most new babies do not need a bath everyday. Instead of a bath you
can "top and tail" her by gently washing her scalp with
a washcloth and thoroughly cleaning her diaper area.
Plan when you give your baby a bath. Have everything you will need
close at hand. Decide where you will place your baby for drying and
dressing. Have everything ready before you begin, because first baths
make many new parents nervous. Some parents are more confident, so
find your own comfort level. Getting used to the feel of your baby
takes a little time. Wait until you feel ready to hold her, when she's
slippery with soap and water.
Babies are bathed in different settings--bathroom or kitchen sinks,
baby bathtubs on the floor, a large pan of water on a table, or the
family bathtub. Find the place that is most comfortable for you.
Always, always, always keep your hands on your baby during your bathtime.
Let the phone and doorbell ring!
Be sure to check the water temperature carefully. Test the temperature
by dipping your elbow into the water. If it's OK for you, then it's
OK for your baby. New babies have sensitive skin and can't tolerate
water that is too warm. Water that is too cold is shocking and uncomfortable
for them as well.
Many babies love bathtime from the beginning. Don't be discouraged
if your baby doesn't. It may take some time for her to get used to
this new experience. She'll be unwrapped and exposed, and water is
a new sensation. Be patient and help her grow into the experience.
New babies don't need bath toys; there is time ahead for rubber ducks
and boats. A warm, loving, comfortable introduction to the pleasures
of water and bathtime is all they need. Your loving smile, supportive
hands, and gentle voice are the "bath toys" for now.