Start The Sponge Bath
Now you can undress your baby and lay them flat. Put some mild baby wash on a soft washclothbut don’t overdo it, since newborn skin is prone to irritation. “Look for products that don’t have added perfume or dyes, which can irritate sensitive skin,” says Parents advisor Ari Brown, M.D., founder and CEO of 411 Pediatrics in Austin, Texas.
Wash their neck and scalp, then work your way down the front of their body. Make sure to clean between the folds of skin. Rinse the soap off with a second damp cloth, drying and rewrapping your baby with a towel as you go. Don’t wash the umbilical stump, and try to keep it dry.
Flip Baby over onto their belly with their head turned to one side. Repeat the washing, rinsing and drying. Wash their bottom and genitals last. If your son hasn’t been circumcised, don’t try to push back the foreskin.
When Will Your Baby Be Ready For His First Tub Bath
After your babyâs umbilical cord stump falls off, you can transition from sponge baths to actual baths in a sink or a baby bathtub.
His first bath in a tub should be gentle and quick however, you might need to go back to sponge baths if your baby fusses a lot and simply doesnât like this new activity.
Start With Your Babys Head And Face
When bathing your newborn, its best to start with their head and face because you want to wash those areas before the water gets too soapy. This reduces the chance your bundle of joy will get soap in their eyes when youre rinsing them off.
Again, you can use a washcloth or your hands. Some parents like to use cotton balls for their babys head and face, and thats also a great option!
Maybe your baby has cradle cap and youre not sure how to tackle it during bath time. First of all, cradle cap can present itself as thick and flaky skin on your babys scalp. It can be more trouble to deal with than it is harmful.
To effectively treat your babys cradle cap, try our Cradle Cap Duo. It gently exfoliates your babys scalp and rinses away flakes. It can also help reduce the chance of your babys cradle cap recurring.
This is important because cradle cap is most common in babies up to three months old but can last up to a year or longer.
To use correctly, apply a small amount to your babys wet hair and gently massage into their scalp. Let it sit for one to two minutes and then rinse it off carefully.
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Delaying Your Newborns First Bath Minimizes Stress And Body Temperature Loss
Adjusting to the relative harshness of the outside world is no mean feat for a newborn and after the toasty warmth of the womb and their relatively thin skin versus ours, they have to use a lot of energy just to keep warm. A bath will almost certainly involve a loss in body temperature.
Your newborns first bath can also be a little stressful although they were surrounded by fluid during pregnancy, its not quite the same as even a simple sponge bath. Remember, anything new and different can potentially stress. The stress response can lower blood sugar levels, something best avoided soon after birth.
How To Bathe Your Baby Like A Pro
If youre feeling nervous about washing your baby for the first time, thats normal for a new parent. Who wouldnt be nervous to wash a delicate baby with little to no sleep?
Rest assured that the process is much easier than you think. Although the following steps may seem overwhelming, they will soon become second nature to you as you get the hang of baby bath time:
- Check the water temperature. Always check the water temperature before bathing your little one. You can do this by dipping your elbow in the water or by purchasing a bath thermometer .
- Gently place your baby in the tub. As you lower your baby into the tub, be sure to support their head and neck. With one arm supporting the head and neck, use your other arm to gently bathe them.
- Use cotton pads to wipe their eyes. Gently swipe a damp cotton pad across your babys eyes. Use a different cotton pad for each eye to avoid spreading a possible infection.
- Use a washcloth for their head and neck. Use a baby washcloth to clean the neck, head and behind the ears. Dont forget the creases and rolls.
- Rinse off the cleanser. Using a small cup of water, carefully pour water to remove all soap residue from your babys skin.
- Remove them from the tub. Pick your baby up from underneath their arms, making sure that their head is supported. Place them on a flat surface and gently pat them dry.
- Apply moisturizer. Before getting them dressed, slather a baby-safe moisturizer all over their skin to prevent dryness.
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Baby Bath: Time For A Sponge Bath
Gentle sponge baths are perfect for the first few weeks until the umbilical cord falls off, the circumcision heals, and the navel heals completely.
The basics of bathing a baby:
- First, undress baby — cradling the head with one hand. Leave the diaper on . Wrap baby in a towel, exposing only those areas that you are washing.
- Using a baby bath sponge or wash cloth, cleanse one area at a time. Start behind the ears, then move to the neck, elbows, knees, between fingers and toes. Pay attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck.
- The hair comes toward the end of bath time so baby doesn’t get cold. While newborns don’t have much hair, you can sponge the few wisps that are there. To avoid getting eyes wet, tip the head back just a little. There’s no need for shampoo just use water.
- Now it’s time to remove the diaper and sponge baby’s belly, bottom, and genitals.
- Wash little girls from front to back. If there’s a little vaginal discharge, don’t worry — and don’t try to wipe it all away. If a little boy is uncircumcised, leave the foreskin alone. If circumcised, don’t wash the head of the penis until it’s healed.
- Gently pat baby dry. Rubbing the skin will irritate it.
Bath time is over, and your fresh little baby is ready for a clean diaper and clothes!
How To Bathe An Infant
This article was co-authored by Kylee Money. Kylee Money is a Parenting Consultant and the Founder and CEO of Parenting Made Joyful. Since 2001, Kylee has worked with over 1,000 parents and families on sleep training, behavior management, potty training, and more. She is a contributing writer and board advisory member at Pampers.com, a CBS News Parent Expert, and featured on Fox and Friends and Buy Buy Baby. Kylee also speaks nationally at parenting expos on the subject of sleep training.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 403,025 times.
Bathing a newborn for the first time can be a little daunting. It is important to keep babies safe and cozy, especially during their first few months, and that’s tricky to do during bathtime. With the right supplies and a bit of practice, bathing your child can be a fun, playful experience, and the perfect time for the two of you to bond together. Read on to learn how to prepare for the bath, wash your baby safely, and make them comfortable after you’re finished.
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Best Kind Of Soap For Babies
Newborns dont need a ton of soap, and baby shampoo isnt strictly necessary.
Doctors recommend using the most mild soap you can find, as baby skin tends to be very sensitive. Unscented soaps are usually your best bet, and you can stay away from antibacterial soap or soap with many additives.
Read labels: If the soap has a long list of ingredients, its probably best to try something simpler. After bathing your baby, it can be helpful to follow up with some baby-friendly moisturizer, especially if your baby tends to have dry skin.
Is It Better To Bathe My Newborn Baby In The Morning Or At Night
This is up to you. The most important thing is you have adequate time and dont have to rush and can avoid being interrupted.
Another consideration is how much your newborn enjoys a sponge bath. It can be a lovely start to a bedtime routine, but only if it calms and soothes. If it upsets your newborn, rather bathe her at a different time.
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How To Give Baby A Sponge Bath
Your newborn should be bathed with a sponge bath for the first few weeks of life. This is the simplest way to clean your baby before the umbilical cord falls off.
Sponge baths are also the best way to bathe boys who were circumcised while the circumcision site heals.
You can also give your baby a sponge bath anytime you want to wash one part or all of their body without getting them soaking wet.
Before giving your baby a sponge bath, make sure you have all the supplies you need within easy reach. Youll also want to warm up the room to keep your baby comfortable.
Once youve gathered your supplies, follow these steps:
How Often To Bathe Your Newborn
You may be surprised to learn that your newborn doesnât need bathing every day â although thatâs fine too, if he or she really enjoys it.Otherwise, two or three bath times a week is enough, as long as you give your baby a daily clean-up of the face, neck, hands and bottom , and thoroughly clean the nappy area at each nappy change. In terms of when to give that first official bath, itâs up to you! You may like to wait a few days and just give âtop and tailâ cleanses in those first few days instead of proper baths, but you might also like to start a bathing routine as soon as you bring your baby home.
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How To Wash Babys Scalp And Hair
Plan to wash your babys scalp or hair twice a week. To wash your babys scalp or hair, gently massage a baby shampoo into their hair, if they have any, or directly onto their scalp. Rinse it out by dabbing with a wet washcloth.
In a baby tub, you can also gently tip your babys head back and keep one hand over their forehead while you pour on some warm water. The water will spill over the sides of their head to rinse out the shampoo.
Gently washing your babys hair will not hurt a soft spot, but talk with your pediatrician if you have concerns. If your baby has cradle cap, you can gently brush your babys hair and scalp. But take care not to pick or scrape at their scalp.
Bath Time For Girls And Boys
There isnt a huge difference in bath time for boys versus bath time for girls. However, you do need to be aware of a few anatomical differences that will affect your bathing technique.
Bath time for boys: Gently wash the penis with a baby washcloth and pat dry. Avoid pulling back the foreskin on uncircumcised boys.
Bath time for girls: You can use a cotton pad, water and gentle soap to wipe your baby girls genitals. Just take care to scrub the vulva only, not the vagina. To keep this area as clean as possible, always wipe front to back when changing her diaper.
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Change Of Clothes For Baby If Necessary
Its only necessary to change your newborns clothes when they are actually dirty newborns are comforted and soothed by familiar smells, including their own smell, so no need to bring out new clothes just because youre bathing. If baby has only been in her pre-bath clothes a few hours or even a day and theyre still relatively clean, refrain the urge to bring out clean clothes.
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How Often Should You Bathe A Baby
If you said “everyday” to the above question, unfortunately youre wrong! You don’t have to bathe your newborn every day. In fact, doing this can just make your baby’s skin dry! If you’re good at cleaning your baby’s face, neck and diaper area, then that would already do. However, you have to try your best to choose a time when you’re not in a hurry so you won’t be interrupted when cleaning your baby. Most parents bathe their babies in the morning because it is the time when the babies are in good mood. If you are considering bathing your baby after feeding, you have to wait a little bit.
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When Should Baby’s First Bath Be And When Should You Bathe Your Newborn
Wondering whats a good time to give your newborn a bath and when baby’s first bath should be? The scheduling of this event is entirely up to you as long as you pick a moment when you wont be interrupted or tempted to hurry through the bath. You should probably plan for baby’s first bath within a week after birth. Just avoid bathing your newborn right after a feeding or when she’s overtired.
Babies tend to be more alert in the morning, which is appealing to some, though others may slate it in the early evening as part of her goodnight activities. When its time to wind down, make her bathtime part of a relaxing bedtime routine that also includes a final bottle or nursing session, a book and a little song.
Keep in mind, however, that newborns dont need a lot of washing and at first, youll just be giving her a quick a sponge bath until her umbilical cord stump falls off, which usually happens about one to three weeks after birth.