Until the umbilical cord falls off (usually around two to three weeks of age) and the circumcision is well healed (seven to ten days) limit bathing to sponge baths. When both the navel and circumcision are healed warm water baths may be given with particular attention paid to the diaper area.

Any soap can be irritating to your baby’s skin and should be used sparingly. Your baby can go many months with simple water and wash cloth baths without soap. If you do feel soap is necessary use a soap-free cleanser such as Aveeno or Cetaphil. The bath water should be approximately body temperature (between 95 and 98 degrees) for very young babies and be just long enough to cleanse the baby thoroughly. Never leave the baby unattended even for a second while he/she is in or near the bath. When the bath is over pat the skin dry paying particular attention to the folds and creases, powder or cornstarch may be used sparingly but is not necessary. It should first be placed in your hands and then applied to the skin. For girls, avoid heavy use of powder in the vaginal area as it clumps and can cause irritation. Avoid any powder or solution containing boric acid or zinc stearate.

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