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What should I wash
first?
Most parents start with the baby’s face and
move on to dirtier parts of the body. Wash
inside skin folds, and rinse the genitals
carefully.
Should I wash my
newborn’s hair?
Wash your newborn’s hair if it seems
dirty or your baby develops cradle cap - a
common condition characterized by scaly
patches on the scalp.
Supporting your baby’s head and shoulders
with your free hand, gently massage a drop
of mild baby shampoo into your baby’s
scalp. Rinse the shampoo with a damp
washcloth or directly under the faucet,
cupping one hand across your baby’s
below 120 F (49 C). Always check the water
temperature with your hand before bathing
your baby. Be sure the room is comfortably
warm, too. A wet baby can be easily chilled.
What’s the best way to
hold my newborn in the
tub?
A secure hold will help your baby feel
comfortable - and stay safe - in the tub. Use
one of your hands to support your baby’s
head and the other to hold and guide
your baby’s body into the water, feet first.
Support your baby’s head and torso with
your arm and hand. Wrap your arm under
your baby’s back, grasping your baby
firmly under the armpit. When you clean
your baby’s back and buttocks, lean him
or her forward on your arm. Continue to
grasp your baby under the armpit.
forehead to keep suds out of his or her
eyes. If your baby has cradle cap, loosen
the scales with a soft-bristled baby brush or
toothbrush before rinsing off the shampoo.
Do I need a special type
of soap?
There’s no need to use special soap for
a baby bath. In fact, plain water is fine
for newborns. When needed, use a mild
moisturizing soap. Avoid bubble bath and
scented soaps.
Will lotion after a baby
bath help prevent
rashes?
Most newborns don’t need lotion after a
bath. The best way to prevent rashes is to
dry inside your baby’s folds of skin after
each bath. If you choose to use lotion, pick
one that’s hypoallergenic.
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