Infant Care & Safety
Bathing your Baby
- Sponge or tub bathe your baby 2-3 times a week. Do not submerge your baby in a tub until after the umbilical cord falls off. Gently use soft cloths and towels on your new baby. Wash your baby’s face, neck, behind ears as needed. Use only warm water and mild soap. Before a bath, make sure the room temperature is warm.
- Immediately following the bath, pat your baby dry, diaper and wrap in warm blankets. Make sure you have all supplies, towels and baby clothes close by before your baby’s bath. It is important to support your baby’s head and neck during the bath.
- The umbilical cord will gradually dry and fall off in about 10 to 14 days after birth. After a bath and each diaper change, fold the diaper away from the umbilical cord to allow it to dry.
- Gently wash the buttocks and genital area after each diaper change, wiping from front to back. This is important especially for girl babies to decrease the risk of infection.
- A boy’s uncircumcised penis should be washed and rinsed every day. Do not push back the foreskin. Pushing back the skin may cause pain and bleeding. For more information on the care of your baby’s uncircumcised penis, talk to your baby’s doctor.
- You should not use powders, lotions or baby oils on your baby’s skin.
- At first your baby’s stools will be dark greenish black and sticky. The stool will change to green then yellow after several days.
- Breastfed babies may have 6-10 loose, runny, yellow stools each day.
- Bottle-fed babies may have 1-4 pasty, yellow stools each day.
- Diarrhea stools are green, watery, smelly and frequent (12 or more per day)
- Constipation refers to hard, dry stools passed with extreme difficulty.
- All babies may grunt and appear to strain during a bowel movement.
- Before letting anyone touch your baby have them wash their hands.
- Anyone who is sick should not hold your baby.
- Keep your baby’s crib free of pillows, heavy blankets, or stuffed toys.
- There should be no more than 2 inches (size of a soda can) between the slats of your crib. If a soda can fits through the crib slats of your baby’s crib, it is not safe.
- When bathing your baby, never leave him/her alone in the water.
- Place your baby on his/her back to sleep.
- Use a firm mattress.
- Keep the crib mattress at the lowest level to prevent falls.
- Place childproof covers on all electrical outlets.
- No smoking around baby at any time.
- Keep hot drinks away from your baby.
- Do not place pacifiers on a string around your baby’s neck.
- Do not use honey; it can make your baby sick.
- Do not feed your baby tea or anything not approved by your doctor.
- Never shake your baby.
- All children under 8, regardless of weight must travel, must travel in a child restraint or car seat. It must be the right size car seat for their age and weight.
- A child under 1 year old or weighing less than 20 lbs. may not ride in the front seat of a car with an active air bag system.
- Never leave a child in a car unattended.
- Protect the ears of your child by keeping the music level low.