- Shampoo Baby's hair once or twice a week and rinse very thoroughly using a wet washcloth. Towel dry the hair right away.
- Use a moist, warm, sterile cotton ball to wipe the baby's eyes (one swab for each eye). Gently wipe around the outside of the ears and the face, too.
- Make sure to clean those adorable folds of skin (bacteria love the warmth there) on the neck, arms, legs, and chubby hands.
- Don't bathe pre-crawling babies more than every other day.
- Move Baby into a baby tub once he can crawl. Always keep in mind, however, a soapy baby can slip and slide.
- Know when to bathe your little one. Bath time just before bed is usually best since it will help relax your baby and start establishing the bedtime routine for when your child is older. Just before an expected feeding is not a good idea: Baby will be too fussy.
- Know how often to bathe your baby. Pediatricians warn that bathing your little one (especially when she's a very young newborn) can put her at risk for hypothermia as well as expose her to possible irritating or potentially toxic substances. As a result, some pediatricians advise using only warm water sponge baths to wash newborns.
- If your crawling baby is particularly dirty, use a wipe or soft sponge to clean between baths, after diaper changes, and after she eats.
We Know You Know, But ...
As a reminder, never leave baby unattended in or near water. Period. That means don't answer the phone, the doorbell, or your spouse who can't find the car keys. If you must leave the bathing area, quickly wrap baby in a towel and take him along.
Don't worry about introducing tub toys right away. The baby tub will be enough of an adventure for now.