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Bathing Your Baby

It may surprise you to learn that babies don't need much bathing in their first year. A gentle cleansing two or three times a week is plenty. More than that and you can dry out your infant's skin. There is one part of your baby's body; however, you'll want to clean thoroughly and often. That's the diaper area, to help your baby avoid diaper rash.

Things to remember while bathing your baby :

• Until his umbilical cord heals, you'll want to give your baby sponge baths only.

• One thing to keep in mind before you begin is that you should never leave your baby unattended. Not even for a second.

• To help keep your baby warm during his sponge bath, wrap him in a towel exposing only one body part at a time as you begin to clean him. Start with the face.

• Pour about one to two inches of water into a basin or a small baby bathtub with rubber backing; also check the temperature of the bath water.

• To eliminate the possibility of your baby catching a chill when you undress him, place him immediately, feet first, into the water. Then, using a small plastic cup, pour warm water gently over your infant's body.

• Warm baths are a great help in preparing your little one for sleep.

• When the bath is over, bundle your baby in a hooded towel. This is a neat way to keep your little one's head dry.

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