Bath basics for newborn babies

    Consumer Reports News: May 01, 2009 02:08 AM

    The idea of bathing a newborn may be daunting to new parents. For starters, don't worry about giving your baby an official bath right away. Except for sponge baths, bathing shouldn't start until the stump of your baby's umbilical cord falls off (between one and three weeks post-delivery).

    After that, you can give your baby a bath every day if you find it necessary, although two to three times a week is better because daily bathing can dry out a baby's tender skin. In addition to the tub, you'll need a soft towel (preferably hooded to cradle your baby's head), a baby washcloth, and an unscented, hypoallergenic baby body wash that doubles as shampoo. (See more about giving baby a bath.)

    There are a variety of baby bathtubs on the market. Keep in mind that just about any tub you buy will be awkward to use at first, mainly because bathing a wiggly baby—who may dislike temperature changes and being put in water—is awkward and daunting for even the most experienced parent. In other words, at first you'll just want to get the job done—and fast.

    Expect your baby to protest the first couple of times. After that, she will probably grow to enjoy bath time—and so will you. But remember, when your baby is in the bath, you should always have a hand on her. (See what not to buy: a baby bath seat.)

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