Keeping your baby clean is vital to their health. That's why it's important for you to bathe them regularly and in the proper manner.

If your baby isn't crawling yet, it's advisable to give them a bath 2 or 3 times a week, generally at a time when they are calm and not after they've eaten.

You should, however, clean their hands, neck, face, and bottom every day.

Because babies have sensitive skin, bathe them in water that is warm and definitely not hot. That means you should put the water in the tub before you put the baby in so you can test the water temperature.

You should normally put no more than 5 cm (2 inches) of water in the tub when bathing an infant. But infants can drown even in less than 5 cm of water, so never leave your baby alone while they're in water!

Doctors suggest washing the cleanest areas first and then progressing to the dirty areas, in order to keep the washcloth cleaner longer. Rinse well after washing. Areas to be especially gentle with include the face, genitals, neck, ears, and folds of skin.

Mild soap should be applied to the baby's skin only once or twice a week and shampooing should also be done once or twice a week.

Only wash the outside of the baby's ear and do not put anything inside the ear, like a Q-tip.

When you're done washing your baby, use a soft towel to dry them.

Written and reviewed by the MediResource Clinical Team