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Many new parents are slightly afraid of giving their new baby his or her first bath. If this includes you, you will want to know what to watch out for while giving your baby a bath. The dos and don'ts of newborn bathing are not all that difficult to understand, but they may not be obvious to people who have never dealt with a baby before. When my first baby was born, I was nervous about bath time as well! Tiny babies look so fragile, and I was worried that I might do something wrong. Fortunately, newborn bathing did not turn out to be hard at all.

Here is what you need to know:

While your baby's umbilical cord stump is still attached, you have to be careful about not getting it wet too much. Cord stumps fall off by drying out, and wetness can prolong the process and even cause infections. That is why many doctors recommend sponge baths only while the cord stump is still around. Make sure that the temperature of the bathwater is not too hot. You can do this by getting a thermometer, but if you don't have a bath thermometer around, feel the water with the tip of your elbows. To be on the safe side, make the water a little colder than you think is necessary. Adults are less sensitive to hot temperatures. Don't use highly perfumed bath products. Plain anti-allergenic baby soap is best. You can even opt for water only if your baby is not dirty. Make sure to hold your baby's head up at all times, because most newborns can't do this themselves. Obviously, it is also necessary to be present at all times don't turn around, even for a second. Newborn baths can be pretty quick, but you need to prepare all the products you need (like towels and creams) in advance. You can bath together with your newborn if you want, but you will probably benefit from a helper to take the baby from your arms when you are done. Newborns can be amazingly slippery when they are wet!

You may also like to read about newborn milestones.

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