How to Give a Sponge Bath
- For safety's sake, gather all your supplies together before you begin: mild baby soap, cotton balls, 2 washcloths, towel, rubbing alcohol, a clean diaper, and clean clothes.
- Fill the sink or a small bowl with tepid water.
- Undress the baby and wrap him in a towel. Some babies are alarmed by being naked. If this is the case for your infant, expose only one section of skin at a time.
- Dip a cotton ball in the water and wipe your baby's eyes, from the bridge of his nose outward. Use a fresh ball for each eye.
- Always keeping one hand on the baby, dampen the washcloth in the sink. Keep the washcloth just damp, not soaking, to minimize drips and the possibility of getting soap into baby's eyes.
- Wash his face and outer parts of his ears with the damp cloth. You don't need to use soap on his face
- Lightly soap the washcloth if desired. Wash his neck and scalp, then work your way down the front of his body. Make sure to clean between folds of skin.
- Rinse the soap off with a second damp cloth, drying and rewrapping your baby with a towel as you go. Do not wash the umbilical stump.
- Place baby on his stomach with his head turned to one side. Repeat the washing, rinsing and drying. Wash his bottom and genitals last. If your son hasn't been circumcised, do not attempt to retract the foreskin.
- Swipe around the base of the umbilical cord with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. (Do this at each diaper change, too).
- Pat baby dry, then dress in a clean diaper and clothes.
Once the umbilical stump (belly button) and circumcision (if any) have healed, it's time to give baby his first real bath.