Sponge baths: how to sponge bathe a newborn

Sponge baths: how to sponge bathe a newborn

The easiest way to keep your new baby clean? top and tail bath: a gentle, pleasant cleansing experience for your little one.

Recommended by experts

Those in the know say that daily baths aren't necessary since they could dry out his delicate skin. Three times a week will be just fine until your baby is a year old.

Five simple steps to success

1. Choosing a time

Some mums prefer mornings when babies are usually alert and raring to go. Other mums choose evenings as part of a calming bedtime ritual.

2. Gather everything you'll need before you start

Grab a change of clothes, a clean nappy, a couple of flannels, another big towel, a mild baby soap, and a bowl or cup of warm (not hot) water. Test the water with your inner wrist.

3. Keep your little one cosy

Make sure that the room is warm before undressing your baby. Plan to drape a warm, wet flannel over the parts of your baby that you're not cleaning at the moment so they stay comfortable.

4. Start at the top

Start with their face and head, using a flannel without soap so you don't get any suds in their eyes or mouth. Pay special attention to the neck and the area under the chin. The spaces between fingers and toes, under the arms and behind the ears also get surprisingly dirty. Wipe carefully around the umbilical stump, making sure to keep it dry. If you accidentally get the stump wet, gently pat it dry with a soft towel. Clean the nappy area last, and always support your baby's head and neck!

5. Protect to heal

If your son has been circumcised, wash his penis with just water until it heals (usually about a week to 10 days after the surgery). If he's not circumcised, just wash it as you would other parts of his body.

6. Wrap it up

Finish off by drying your baby with a hooded towel, putting on a fresh nappy and planting a kiss on their clean, soft belly. All clean, done!

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