How To Bathe A Newborn For The First Time

What Type Of Baby Tub Is Best

How to Bathe a Newborn

The usual baby bathtub with BPA-free materials, with non-slip features and as its own removable infant support should do.

But of course, that depends on your preference and where youre giving your newborn a bath.

There are bathtubs that can fit in sinks, bathtubs with stands, a bathtub that comes with the whole shebang diaper changing table, cabinet, etc.

Just think of your available space. And if youre okay with using a tub only for the baby phase or you want something big enough for a more mobile baby or toddler.

What Do I Need To Bath My Baby

After some practice runs, youll work out what suits you best. Generally, its helpful to have:

  • A table or bath stand which is stable and at a comfortable height so you dont need to bend over.
  • At least one large towel and a washer.
  • A mild cleanser any baby wash is fine or if your baby has dry skin, a non-soap, moisturising cleanser. Many baby washes are also suitable to use as shampoos, just make sure you rinse their scalp well.
  • A clean nappy and clothing.

Fill The Bath With Water

After youve gathered all of your supplies, place the baby bath where you will be bathing your baby. Make sure you place it on a flat surface.

Next, fill the bath with lukewarm water . Do not fill the tub, put your baby in, and attempt to carry the bath to the place where you will bathe your baby.

Its better to fill the bath with water at the spot where youll bath your baby and then put your baby in the water. You also dont want to fill the tub all the way to the top with water to prevent drowning and you need to be careful not to submerge babys umbilical cord.

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Gently Pat Your Newborn Dry

Once youve finished bathing your newborn, you can remove them from the bathtub and set them on a clean, soft towel. Use the towel to gently pat them dry, going in the same order that you washed their body.

Your baby might feel a little cold when first coming out of the bath, so it helps to dry them off quickly.

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Secure Pets Using Leashes Or Keep Them Inside Their Cages

Baby Bathtub Stock Photos, Pictures &  Royalty

I used to give my newborn a bath on the dining table and I almost had a heart attack when my cat decided to jump on my newborns clean, dry towel and clothes and lie down there.

So learn from my experience. Dont forget to lock away your pets, just for a short time, so you can bathe your newborn in peace.

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Bathing Your Baby Safely

You don’t need to bathe your baby every day, but if they really enjoy it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.

It’s best not to bathe your baby straight after a feed or when they’re hungry or tired. Make sure the room you’re bathing them in is warm.

Have everything you need at hand: a baby bath or clean washing-up bowl filled with warm water, 2 towels, a clean nappy, clean clothes and cotton wool.

When Should I Give My Baby A Bath

  • There is no set age when you should give your baby a bath. Babies get cold quickly, and thats more risky for them than being a bit dirty.
  • If youre anxious about bathing your little one, you dont need to put them into a bath until you feel confident about it.
  • You may prefer to just wash your little ones face and bottom to begin with. This is sometimes called topping and tailing.
  • If youre feeling confident about bathing your baby you can do so when you wish.
  • Choose a bath time when your little one is content and awake. Its better not to bathe your baby straight after a feed or when theyre hungry or tired.
  • Some babies love bath time to begin with, others dont. You may need to try different ways of bathing your baby and at different times of day, to find out what suits you both. Choose a time of day when your baby is happy and awake .

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Clean Baby Using A Soft Wash Cloth Or Sponge

Use one arm to support babys back, head, and neck use your other hand to sponge babys body parts one at a time.Start with the cleanest parts of your baby and work to the dirtiest parts .And be sure to pay close attention to any folds or rolls, under the neck, under the arms, in the upper thigh rolls, and the bum.

Helping Baby Enjoy Bath Time

How to Make Bathing a Newborn Super Easy: 3 Simple Tips | Storytime with Johnson®

To help your baby enjoy bath time, you can try placing your hand gently on their tummy. You can also place a warm wet washcloth on their chest and tummy. This can help your baby feel safe and secure in the bath.

If your baby doesnt like baths, give them a top and tail bath one day and a proper bath the next. Generally, babies get used to baths by around three months.

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How To Sponge Bathe A Newborn

For the first week or so after birth, youll want to give baby a quick, gentle sponge bath. Heres how.

Step 1: Gather supplies. Use our handy baby bath supplies checklist to make sure youve got everything you need. At a minimum, youll want a dry towel, clean diaper, washcloths and baby soap at the ready. Have all your supplies within arms reach so you dont have to step away, Smith advises. Never leave a baby alone in the bath, even for a second.

Step 2: Pick a place. Decide where youll be giving baby that newborn bath. While not strictly necessary, baby bathtubs are convenient. They can be placed in the sink or tub, and some have a hammock-style sling that supports babys head. Choose a spot thats fairly warm and where its comfortable for you to kneel or stand while keeping a hand on baby at all times.

Step 3: Wash small sections at a time. After removing her clothes and diaper and placing her in the baby bathtub , youll want to cover baby with another towel, lifting only a small area at a time and patting dry as you go. Using a washcloth dipped in warm water, gently wipe baby all over, paying special attention to her diaper area and any creases and rolls.

When To Bathe A Newborn For The First Time

According to the World Health Organization , caregivers should wait 24 hours after birth before bathing a baby. If this is not possible due to cultural or other reasons, they should wait at least 6 hours.

According to a 2019 study, in the past, hospitals best practice was to bathe a newborn around 2 hours after birth, but there is evidence that delaying a babys first wash can be beneficial. The study, involving around 1,000 newborns, found that delaying the first bath until 12 hours after birth improved the chances of successful breastfeeding.

In a smaller 2019 study , delaying the first bath until 48 hours after birth helped preserve the babys temperature, improved skin moisture, and might aid skin development.

Babies are often born with a white, creamy substance on their skin called vernix caseosa, which begins forming in the third trimester of pregnancy. This naturally occurring substance protects a baby in the womb and aids with delivery.

Vernix has

The American Academy of Dermatology Association advises caregivers to give a newborn baby sponge baths only until their umbilical cord stump has fallen off and healed, which can take 515 days.

After that time, caregivers can give a baby a traditional bath. Learn about these methods below.

Sponge baths are a good way to clean babies without submerging them in water. It can often be quicker, and some people may find it easier.

People will need to gather the equipment they need beforehand. This will usually include:

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What Is The Best Water Temperature For Your Baby’s Bath

When it comes to figuring out how to give your baby a bath, the water temperature plays a big role. You might even want to invest in a bath thermometer.

Generally, you should feel the water with the inside of your wrist as you draw your baby’s bath. It should feel warm, not hot. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using water below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This applies to water for a sponge bath or the water you draw for a baby bathtub.

Don’t forget the temperature of the bathroom, too. Babies get cold quickly, so you want the room to be warm, if possible. You can turn up the thermostat in or near the bathroom to about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

When To Give Babys First Bath

Every family wants the purest water possible. Isnât it time you get ...

It used to be the norm at hospitals to whisk newborns away right after birth for a bath. Not anymore. Recommendations have shifted in favor of waiting at least a few hours, if not longer, for babys first bath .

Research indicates that there may be significant physical and emotional benefits to delaying that initial newborn bath. Since young babies are especially sensitive to cold, it can decrease cold stress, says Katherine Williamson, MD, a pediatrician at Childrens Hospital of Orange County in Orange, California. Cold-induced stress can cause the body to work to keep itself warm, which can cause blood sugar levels to drop, she explains, citing studies that show delaying babys first bath decreases rates of hypothermia and hypoglycemia. Plus, babies are born with a waxy, cheese-like coating on their skin, called the vernix, which you dont want to wash off, Williamson says, since it helps retain heat and can serve as an additional barrier to infections. In addition, a 2013 study found that delaying babys first bath in the hospital until at least 12 hours after birth led to an increased breastfeeding success rate, since mom can nurse more quickly and have more time for skin-to-skin bonding, Williamson adds.

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How Often Do Babies Need Baths

In your babys first year, they may only need about three baths a week. This is usually frequent enough if you wash the diaper area thoroughly every time you change your baby.

Bathing once a day or every other day is also OK, but any more frequently than that could dry out your babys skin. Thats especially the case if you use soap or other baby wash.

Is A Sponge Bath Good Enough

Based again on popular opinion and some studies, yes, a sponge bath can be good enough, especially if your baby hates bathing in a tub.

But theres been some research lately about how sponge baths can actually be more stressful for the whole family. Most babies cry during their sponge bath, making it a distressing time for parents as well.

A bathing option called swaddle immersion bath, seems to be the better option, according to UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital Womens Care Unit in Colorado, USA, and a whole lot of other hospitals.

Its also recommended for preterm babies, as based on the research review company from New Zealands leading specialists.

A swaddle immersion bath is basically giving a swaddled baby a bath in the tub. Yes, thats right, you put them in a tub with water, completely swaddled.

Heres a demo of how it looks like:

Heres more:

Which is blowing my mind because I have never seen this bathing technique! Not until I was doing my research for this article!

I feel like this should be the standard way to give newborns a bath.

I wished I knew about this. I did the traditional bath, bathing her in a bathtub without the swaddle. Which my newborn hated initially.

But I discovered a trick she stopped crying when I started singing to her! Also, I noticed a draft coming into the room and once Ive taken care of that, my baby started enjoying her traditional bath.

Heres some water and washing related Q& A on how to bathe a baby

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Dry Flaky And Peeling Skin

Even natural soaps tend to be way too harsh for babies sensitive skin. Whats more? Many cleaning products contain parabens and fragrances. In studies, these ingredients are linked to hormonal disruption, eczema, asthma, and other respiratory irritations.

And because there is so much greenwashing, deciphering labels can be tricky. Many products are labeled natural or eco-friendly, despite the fact that they contain harmful ingredients. When you give your baby a bath, use very little soap .

Start With Their Head

How to Bathe a Newborn Baby | JOHNSONS®

Gently wipe your baby’s face with a damp, warm washcloth. Don’t introduce any soap yet. Be sure to wipe the top of their head, behind their ears, around their eyes, under their chin and in their neck folds.

Until your baby grows a lot of hair, this wipe-down method should be sufficient. Eventually, you’ll want to shampoo their hair with baby shampoo, but doing this too early or too often can remove the oils their scalp needs. You can skip the shampoo while you’re sponge bathing, and only introduce it when your baby’s hair seems like they really need it.

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How To Bathe A Newborn Baby

Article Contents

Bathing your babyis about more than just getting them clean. Its a chance to play and spend time with themand its fun for both of you! Your newborn may take some time to get used to the idea of bath time and become distressed when you are first starting out, but this phase usually passes quickly once they feel the warmth of the water and your gentle touch.

Can You Bathe Your Baby While The Umbilical Cord Stump Is Still Attached

During your babyâs first few weeks, while the umbilical cord stump is still attached, you should only give sponge baths.

A sponge bath is as simple as wrapping your baby in a towel, and wiping her with a damp washcloth and soapy water. Youâll want to do this on a comfortable surface such as a changing table. Keep your baby wrapped in the towel, bathing one part at a time.

The umbilical cord stump typically falls off in a few weeks. If it stays on longer than that, you might want to check with your babyâs healthcare provider.

Youâll want the umbilical cord stump to dry up and fall off on its own, which is why only sponge baths are recommended until that time.

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What Else To Know About Newborn Baby Tub Baths

Bathe baby 2-3 times per week in the baby tub.

  • The youngest babies don’t need a daily bath, unless they have eczema.

If baby is upset about the tub bath, don’t worry.

  • Transition back to the sponge bath for a few times, then try the baby tub again.

And remember: closely supervise baby at all times when you bathe them — no matter what type of bath you give!

For more essential ways to keep baby safe in the bath — as a newborn and beyond — don’t miss our previous article on bath safety tips.


All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your babys health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

See the FDA Peanut Allergy Qualified Health Claim at the bottom of our homepage.

All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your babys health.

FDA Acknowledges Qualified Health Claim Linking Early Peanut Introduction and Reduced Risk of Developing Peanut Allergy in 2017:

When To Start Bathing A Baby Daily

First Bath Newborn Baby Girl Mom Stock Photo (Edit Now) 486716908

There are no hard rules about it as most of the time, the decision to bathe your baby daily can be based on a number of factors: climate, infants needs, family beliefs, cultural values, etc.

However, studies suggest and based on popular opinion, you can start giving your newborn their daily baths once their umbilical cord falls out and their circumcision heals .

Giving a daily bath to newborns might dry out their skin and getting their umbilical cord and circumcision wound might cause infections.

Until then, you can give your newborn a bath at least 2-3 times a week.

But again, it also depends on personal preference.

Personally, I gave a bath to my newborn every day and she had no issues or whatsoever.

If your newborn has eczema, its best to consult your pediatrician on when to give a daily bath.

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Setting Up A Baby Bath Safely: Tips

Drowning and scalds are the two main risks with bath time. With these simple tips, you can avoid these risks and keep bath time fun and safe for your baby:

  • Take the phone off the hook or turn your phone off while bathing your baby. Youll be less likely to get distracted.
  • Make sure you have everything you need nearby for example, towel, washcloth, bath toys, lotion or shampoo, clean clothes and clean nappy. This way you can keep your eyes and hands on your baby at all times.
  • Make sure all bath lotions, shampoos and electrical appliances are out of babys reach.
  • Take off your watch and jewellery. Wash your hands.
  • Check the water temperature is 37-38°C before you put your baby in.
  • Dry and dress your baby on a towel on the floor if possible. Its safer than on a change table. If youre using a change table, always keep one hand on your baby.
  • Place your baby in a safe area like a cot after theyre dry and dressed.
  • Empty the bath as soon as youre finished with it. Remove bath plugs from the bath when theyre not in use.

Children can drown in a few seconds in very shallow water. Never leave your baby alone in the bath, even if youre using a bath seat or cradle. Never leave older children or siblings to supervise. If youre disturbed by the phone or another task, take your baby out of the bath.

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