How to Wash a Baby's Upper Body
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Follow a step-by-step guide to bathing your new baby, beginning with sponge bathing during the first few weeks, caring for the healing umbilical cord and then transitioning to full tub bathing.


Hi, I am Marylou Teitz with Lamaze International and I am showing you how to sponge bathe your baby. Right now I am going to show you how to wash your baby s upper body. Begin by folding the towel back revealing the upper body and use this opportunity to check your baby s umbilical cord stem, see how it is healing. Take a clean cotton swab, dip it in the water and use that to clean around the base of the umbilical cord stem, always observing for signs of infection such as inflammation, redness, oozing or a fowl odor any of which should be reported to your pediatrician immediately. Use the dry end of your cotton swab to dry the area around the umbilical cord stem and then fold the towel back over the area to protect it while we wash the baby s upper body. Begin now with your baby wash cloth, dipping it in the water and then adding a few drops of baby wash. We will start washing just below the baby s chin in the neck area were at most newborns have quite a lot of folds of skin. It is important to get into all of these folds. You will need to chip your baby s chin up to get into that area. Washing, beginning under the chin and then moving down across your baby s chest and tummy area and then off course down from the shoulder all the way across the arms and down to your baby s hands. Most new parents hold their baby's hands in tight little fist. You will need to peel away the fingers from the palm and wash between each of the fingers. Do the same thing off course on the other side beginning at the shoulder and working your way down the hands, opening up the palm and spreading the fingers, so that you can wash between each of those fingers. In order to wash your baby s back we need to role the baby over on to her side and gently wash the back. Now, we will begin rinsing, rinsing from the back and then across the arms, the hands and the chest area. So, that is how we bathe the upper portion of your baby s body and now we are ready to move on to bathe the lower body.