Dove Baby Care Tips

Bathing a new born baby

You will need:

Two towels (in case of accidents)
Cotton wool clouds
Cotton wool wands
A baby sponge, if used
Baby bath liquid or soap, if used
Baby shampoo, if used
Jug of luke-warm water, if shampooing
A clean nappy
Nappy cream, if used
Clean clothes

1 First, gather everything you will need so it’s all within easy reach, bearing in mind that you will only have one hand free until you get to the point where you are lifting your baby out of the bath.

2 Run the cold water into the bath first, and then add the hot, testing the temperature at intervals by dipping your elbow in. The water should be no deeper than four inches, and should feel just warmer than tepid, as your baby’s skin is five times more sensitive than an adult’s. You can buy a bath thermometer to be extra sure, but always do the elbow test, too.

3 Begin by undressing your baby down to his nappy, then gently cleansing his eyes, ears, nose, face and neck creases, using luke warm water, and a fresh piece of cotton wool cloud for each area. Then gently clean around the ears with a cotton wool wand.

4 It’s easiest to wash your baby’s hair before you put him in the bath. Swaddle your baby in his towel, with his arms tucked inside, and a piece of towel folded over at the back, so that you can dry his head easily afterwards (or use a hooded towel). Hold him firmly under one arm, supporting his head with the same hand. Hold him over the bath, tipping him down slightly to avoid the water going in his eyes. Sponge or scoop some water over the back of his head using your free hand, then quickly pat his head dry.

5 It’s not really necessary to use shampoo until your baby has a fair amount of hair, but if you need to use one, choose a gentle product specially designed for babies. Squeeze a small, pea-sized amount on to the crown of his head and smooth it gently over his hair. Then, using a jug of fresh, luke-warm water, pour it over the back of his head until all the shampoo has gone.

6 Unwrap your baby and remove his nappy, cleaning the area with another damp piece of cotton wool. Cradle him in your arms and lower him into the water. Support his head and shoulders with your forearm, and grasp his shoulder and upper arm with the same hand.

7 Support his bottom with the other hand until he is touching the bottom of the bath, and then use this free hand to swish water gently over his body. There is no need to scrub your baby with a sponge or flannel. The idea at this stage is to get him used to the sensation of being in the water, and to help him to relax.

8 After a few minutes, lift him out of the water, holding him firmly, as his skin will be very slippery. Wrap him snugly in his towel, and lie him on the changing mat, then pat him dry, paying particular attention to skin creases in the neck, arms and legs. If you’re using nappy rash cream, apply it now, then put on a clean nappy and dress him. If he has a lot of hair, he may enjoy a quick spruce up with a baby hairbrush.