Baby Basics: What You Need to Know

Administering the first bath

Once the umbilical cord is a memory (and if you had a boy and he was circumcised, that’s all healed up), you have the green light to run the inaugural bath. “The easiest place and position for bathing a newborn is in an insert in the kitchen sink,” says Douglas. (Bending over the tub can be a real pain in the… back.)

These inserts are shaped like mini reclining chairs and usually have a spongy, nonslip liner that helps keep baby from sliding around. (Wearing cotton gloves can help you get a solid grip on a super-slippery baby, and as a bonus, they act like built-in washcloths.) Many parents like to incorporate a nice, warm bath into the bedtime routine.

This is fine, say the pros, but choose a safe, mild cleanser and only use it every two to three days. “Until she’s outside getting really dirty or eating solid foods and putting spaghetti in her hair, warm water and a washcloth will do the job most of the time,” says Douglas.

NEXT: Caring for the circumcision site