Got Questions? We've got answers from experts and parents who've been there.
To get your little baby clean (without getting soaked yourself), follow these steps:
• Bathe your baby in a place that's comfortable for you -- put a plastic baby tub on the kitchen counter, for example, or give the bath in a clean bathroom sink lined with a special baby-bathing liner (a big, molded sponge) or a thick towel.
• For safety's sake, gather all your supplies before you begin: mild soap and shampoo, cotton balls, washcloth, a towel, a clean diaper, and clean clothes.
• Put about 2 inches of warm water the tub or sink. The water should be 90 to 100 degrees F. Test it with a bath thermometer (an inexpensive item available in drugstores) or with your elbow.
• Cradle your baby in one arm with his head resting on that arm and your hand grasping his thigh. Slowly lower him into the water.
• Wash him just as you did when sponge bathing, starting with cleaning his eyes with cotton balls. Always keep him cradled with one arm and hand and keep his head out of the water.
• Rinse soap and shampoo away promptly to avoid drying or irritating his skin.
• Support his head and neck as you lift him onto a towel at the end of his bath. Wrap baby up snugly in the towel, pat him dry, then diaper and dress.
• Remember, never leave your baby unattended in the tub.
The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.