How To Bathe Your Newborn Baby

When you’re a new parent, learning the ropes can be tricky, especially when it comes to firsts like bathing your newborn for the first time. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Many new parents have plenty of questions when it comes to baby’s first bath. If you’re looking for some advice on how to bathe a newborn, these are some tips and tricks that will make bath time a breeze.

How soon should I bathe my newborn?

There is no set rule about how long you should wait to bathe your baby. Some hospitals will give your baby a bath right away and others will give mom and baby time to bond with some skin-to-skin contact. The only thing to keep in mind is that newborns should not be immersed fully in water until the umbilical cord or circumcision has healed. Until then, it’s best to give your baby a sponge bath. 

How often should I bathe my newborn?

Because newborns aren’t crawling around on the ground and getting dirty on a regular basis, you really only need to give them a bath once or twice a week. Between baths you can simply clean their diaper area, wipe their faces, and clean the creases in between the folds of skin. 

Baby bath supplies

Before bath time gets started, you’ll want to have all your supplies on hand so you don’t have to scoop up a slippery baby mid-bath. The essentials include gentle baby soap, soft washcloths, a soft towel, and a baby basin filled with warm water. Make sure the water is the right temperature by testing it on the inside of your elbow or wrist. You may also want to have a diaper and dry clothes on hand.

How to give your baby a sponge bath

If your baby’s umbilical cord or circumcision is still healing, skip the basin with warm water and opt for a sponge bath. To do this, simply place baby on a towel or blanket on a flat surface, wet a washcloth with warm water and wring it out, then gently wipe down baby, getting in the creases and folds and avoiding the areas that are still healing. 

How to bathe your baby

Once the umbilical cord heals, your baby is ready for their first real bath! To start, hold your baby firmly with one hand behind their head and the other supporting his or her bottom. Slowly lower baby feet first into the warm water. The water should cover just the lower half of your baby. Use only a little bit of soap on the hands and diaper area and a wet washcloth to clean the rest of the body. Scoop up a little bit of water in your hand to rinse off. 

After the bath

Be careful when lifting your baby out of the bath because the skin will be slippery and he or she may squirm a bit. Set bubs on a soft surface like a towel or blanket and gently dry him or her off, keeping them warm while you dry. A good hooded towel can help with this and makes for great baby bath time pictures. After baby is dry, you can put on a diaper and some bedtime clothes because by this point your little one will be squeaky clean, soothed and ready to slip off into dreamland.