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After a Bath – How to Tend to Your Tot Post-Tub

You've lathered and rinsed, and now your baby's squeaky clean – but before you bundle your little bundle off to bed, there's some right-after-bath business to take care of.

You've washed your baby from (adorable) head to (tiny) toes. You've filled cups and poured out water (over and over) to your bathing beauty's amusement and possibly endured some serious splashing. But your job's not over yet, Mom. Once the rub-a-dub-dub is done, it's time to tackle your after-bath to-do list.

Tip #1 may seem obvious, but for safety's sake, make sure you have all your post-suds supplies within arm's reach before you start your after-a-bath routine, and that includesa cozy towel or small blanket for keeping your critter warm and dry. (Remember, babies lose body heat faster than adults do – so after a bath, your child may be one Chilly Willy.) Hooded towels are best because most of that body heat escapes through her noggin. If you don't own a hooded towel, though, you can gently wrap your honey's head in a regular towel. If you're planning to put your little one to bed after a bath (a great idea since a warm soak will make her mellow), keep the lights dim and outside noises to a minimum as you go about your post-tub tasks. Now, here's the rest of your after-bath tactics:

Once you've dried your baby and wrapped her in that towel, lay her on a flat surface, giving her skin another light pat down with the towel to suck up any leftover water. Just like when you're bathing your baby, pay extra attention to creases and folds – you know, those roly-poly inner thighs, diaper area, dimply chin... anywhere a little chub can trap moisture (which could potentially lead to a rash).

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After a bath is the perfect time to do some major moisturizing. Use a fragrance-free hypoallergenic product for all-over slathering, and use diaper ointment or eczema cream if necessary. Skip the baby powder, though. This former after-bath basic is now considered a no-no since inhaled powder can irritate delicate breathing passages.

This is also a great time to clip those itty-bitty nails – mini-manicures are way easier when your baby's nails are slightly damp (and therefore softer and suppler). If cutting baby's nails with clippers are too daunting, try filing those teeny nails with an emery board instead – it's much simpler to shave off sharp edges after a bath.

Before you put your pipsqueak in her pajamas, consider giving her an infant massage. As long as the room is warm enough (at least 75°F),you can massage her while she's wearing just a diaper. Use a little baby massage lotion to help your fingers glide. A calming massage is an excellent addition to your baby's bedtime routine – after this bit of after-bath relaxation (and beautiful bonding), your lucky little one should be more than ready to go to sleep.

for more pregnancy and parenting information,

visit WhatToExpect.com