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Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Bathing Your Baby

You may be nervous about giving your baby his first few baths, and he may not enjoy them. But relax! Baths quickly become easier, even enjoyable, for both of you, with time and experience.

One good time to bathe your newborn is in the morning, before feeding, when a baby is most alert. Nighttime is also good, because the warm water may encourage your child to sleep. Many parents make nightly baths part of their bedtime ritual.

Give your baby a sponge bath until the umbilical (belly button) cord falls off, which usually occurs within two weeks or so after birth. Once the cord falls off, you can give your baby a tub bath. Some pediatricians recommend daily baths, while others advise bathing only once or twice a week.

Last updated June 24, 2005




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