How To Do A Sponge Bath For A Newborn

How To Take A Sponge Bath

How to Give a Newborn a Sponge Bath | CloudMom

Once you have gathered together everything, you need you are ready to start bathing. Depending on the size and location of your basins, you can either stand inside a tub or on the bathmat or a towel.

If your tubs are small, you can put one foot in the tub as you wash that leg and switch when you are done with that side. Either way, you will wash and rinse one small area at a time.

Large tubs are great for eliminating a mess. If you have two, you can step from the soapy basin into the rinse basin.

If you are bed-bound, use a couple of towels to put under you to keep your bed dry. Bedding should be changed as you clean an area.

If you are hiking, you may not have three towels or multiple washcloths. Rinse the washcloth thoroughly as you wash each area. Use organic soap to lessen your footprint on the environment. Bathing in a river or small body of water can be very refreshing, and it makes rinsing off very easy.

The same process can be used to bathe newborn babies or small children.


  • Fill both basins with warm water make sure the water is not too hot before you start and place a washcloth or sponge in each basin
  • Add a little liquid soap to one basin do not use soap that has exfoliating beads, your sponge or washcloth will be sufficient for exfoliating
  • Wash your hands before you start to make sure you are not adding dirt to areas as you wash
  • Start at the top and work your way down
  • Wash your chest and belly, rinse, and dry
  • Wash, rinse, and dry one leg at a time
  • Preparing To Give The Bath

  • 1Fill two basins or washtubs with warm water. One is used for washing, and the other for rinsing. The water temperature should be 115 degrees F or less. You want it to be comfortable to the touch, but not too hot.XResearch source
  • 2Choose a soap that’s easy to rinse away. Most bar soaps are fine to use. Body washes are also acceptable as long as they don’t leave a residue. You may add soap to one of the basins to create a bowl of warm, soapy water for washing, or keep the soap separate and apply it directly to the patient’s skin.XResearch source
  • Avoid using soap that has exfoliating beads or other substances that could end up staying on the patient’s skin and causing irritation.
  • No-rinse soaps are available at drug stores. This is a convenient solution for a quick cleanse, but they leave a residue so you’ll still need to rinse the patient’s body from time to time.
  • 3Get shampooing supplies ready. If you plan to shampoo the patient’s hair, you’ll need a shampoo that’s easy to rinse out and a special basin designed for washing hair in bed. You can find one at a medical supply store, and it’s a big help when it comes to washing hair in bed without getting water everywhere.XResearch source
  • If you don’t have a special basin, you can make do by placing an extra towel or two under the patient’s head to protect the bed from getting too wet.
  • Be sure to adjust the temperature in the room if necessary, to prevent the patient from getting a chill.
  • When Should A Newborn Get His First Bath

    The timing of your babys very first bath has changed over the last few years. While most institutions used to bathe babies within an hour or two of birth, many are changing their policies. The World Health Organization recommends delaying babys first bath until 24 hours after birth or waiting at least 6 hours if a full day isnt possible for cultural reasons.

    Why wait?

    Here are some reasons why it is now recommended to delay babys first bath:

    • Body temperature and blood sugar: Babies who get baths right away may be more likely to become cold and develop hypothermia. The minor stress of an early bath can also make some babies more likely to have a drop in blood sugar .
    • Bonding and breastfeeding: Taking the baby away for a bath too soon can interrupt skin-to-skin care, mother-child bonding, and early breastfeeding success. One study 1) showed a 166% increase in hospital breastfeeding success after implementing a 12-hour delay in babys first bath compared to those bathed within the first couple hours.
    • Dry skin: Vernix, a waxy white substance that coats a babys skin before birth, acts as a natural moisturizer and may have anti-bacterial properties. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, its best to leave vernix on a newborns skin for a while to help prevent their delicate skin from drying out. This is especially important for preemies, as their skin is highly prone to injury.

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    Warm Or Able To Accommodate A Heater

    When it comes to the step-by-step of how to bathe a newborn youll see youre not going to strip baby bare, but having said that, the warmer the room the better.

    In the womb, baby was floating around in about 98 Fahrenheit/37 Celcius so anything a lot lower than that will feel cold, especially since newborns have a much thinner skin than us and a larger surface area to volume ratio.

    The closer to that temperature, the less physically demanding your newborns first bath will be.

    As a guide, if youre comfortable in a t-shirt, the room is probably just warm enough for your newborns first bath. Instead of cranking the temperature of the entire room up, you can of course use a space or fan heater close to where youre going to carry out the sponge bath.

    What Will You Need

    How To Give Sponge Bath To Baby

    The most important thing is to gather all supplies that you would need for baby bathing. Never leave your baby alone or take your hands off them during the bath. Stores that you would require are listed below:

    • Bowl of warm water
    • Towels
    • Baby lotion

    PS Most of these items are available online, so make you buy them from there. Not only is it more accessible, but it will also prevent you from making an extra trip outside the house. Keep your digibank debit card handy to avail exciting offers on various brands.

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    When To Give Babys First Bath

    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.

    Washing And Bathing Your Baby

    You dont need to bathe your baby every day. You may prefer to wash their face, neck, hands and bottom carefully instead. This is often called topping and tailing.

    Choose a time when your baby is awake and content. Make sure the room is warm. Get everything ready beforehand. Youll need a bowl of warm water, a towel, cotton wool, a fresh nappy and, if necessary, clean clothes.

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    What You Need To Know About Your Babys Skin:

    • Your babys skin is sensitive and fragile. Your healthcare provider may tell you to wash your baby only with warm water during the first month after birth. If you do use soap, use only gentle baby soap on areas that are dirty, such as his bottom. The soap you use on your baby should not contain any preservatives, alcohol, or perfumes. Ask your babys healthcare provider what type of soap is best. Wash your babys skin gently. Do not rub.
    • If your baby was premature, his skin may be thinner and more sensitive than other babies. Your premature baby may not need a sponge bath as often because his skin may dry out faster. Soap may irritate his skin.

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    Why Do Babies Need A Sponge Bath

    How to Give your Newborn Baby a Sponge Bath on a Counter Top

    Newborns need sponge baths to keep the umbilical cord stump dry and infection-free, which are necessary for fast healing. The stump usually falls off when the baby is one to two weeks old . If it doesnt, consult your pediatrician as it may indicate an underlying problem.

    A sponge bath is also essential for boys whose circumcision hasnt healed completely. It takes about one to two weeks for a circumcision wound to heal . So, until the wound heals, keeping the area dry can help in speedy healing.

    Note: Remember, babies need not bathe daily. Bathing more frequently may dry out the babys skin. A bath twice or thrice a week or every alternate day is sufficient for the first year of an infants life .

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    How Often Should You Bathe Baby

    • Theres no set time of day when baby should get a bath. While baths are great for kicking off a nighttime routine once babies are past the newborn days, do what works for you in terms of your schedule and your little ones mood.
    • Babies dont need a bath every day. As long as youre keeping dirt-prone areas clean , youre all good.
    • Theres also no need to wash your little ones hair at every bath simply wetting their head down with a washcloth will get the job done.
    • Babies get cold easily. Try resting a washcloth over your little ones body to help them stay warm during a bath.

    Where To Bath Your Newborn

    You can give your newborn a bath in a small plastic bath or even in the kitchen sink. The kitchen sink might be easiest in the first few weeks. A plastic baby bath is probably the best option once your baby gets bigger.

    You can bath your baby in any room thats warm, safe and clean it doesnt have to be a bathroom.

    You can also shower with your baby. Keep your babys face away from the pouring water and make sure to use warm, not hot, water.

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    Can My Baby Have A Bath Before The Umbilical Cord Falls Off

    Only give your newborn sponge baths until the stump of the umbilical cord falls off, which usually happens by about one or two weeks of age. If it remains beyond that time, there may be other issues at play. See your babys doctor if the umbilical cord has not dried up and fallen off by the time your baby is two months old.

    How To Give Your Newborn A Bath: A Beginners Guide

    How to give your newborn a sponge bath

    If you ever thought that giving birth was the most difficult part then I would hate to break it to you that it isnt. Once the baby arrives, even the tiniest bit of task related to your baby can give you cold feet.

    In the long list of such tasks is one that soon comes after giving birth and i.e., giving your newborn a bath.

    Giving your newborn a bath can be a nerve-wracking experience for both you and your baby but theres nothing to stress over as a little practice can help you as well as your newborn enjoy bath time.

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    What You Will Need

    Taking a sponge bath is really about using what you have access to.

    Whether you are cleaning up in a river, a tub in your home, or just a couple of basins, there are a few things you will need to gather together before you start cleaning you do not want to get halfway through and discover you forgot to grab a towel.

    Prepare your bath by deciding where you are going to bath and then collect the following items and set them where you are bathing.

  • Two washbasins one for soapy water, the other for rinsing the soap off
  • At least two washcloths or sponges again, one for soap, the other for removing or rinsing the soap off
  • Soap I prefer liquid soap added to the soap basin as this reduces the problem of too many suds, but you can use a bar of soap
  • A table on which to put your items
  • Thin shampoo, no-rinse shampoo, or dry shampoo
  • Three towels or more plus either a towel or a bathmat on which to stand to prevent a wet mess
  • Body lotion optional
  • Additional Newborn Bath Tips

    • As you move from one area of the body to another, change the washcloth parts to keep the clean cloth on cleaner parts of the body.
    • Pat the skin with a washcloth and blot dry with a towel rather than vigorously scrubbing, which may irritate your bathing babys sensitive skin.
    • Spot-cleaning works best for babies who do not like either a total sponge bath or an immersion bath. Clean the areas that get the oiliest, sweaty, or dirty.
    • Clean the eyes on an as-needed basis rather than during the regular bath. Infants often protest eye cleaning, which may set off a protest for the entire bath. Using cotton balls and warm tap water , wash accumulated discharge out of the corners of your babys eyes.
    • Cotton-tipped applicators are handy when cleaning little crevices in and behind the outer ear, but never try to clean inside the ear canal, as you may damage the canal or eardrum.

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    How To Give Your Baby A Sponge Bath

    To give your baby a sponge bath, follow these steps:

    1) Gather Supplies

    Gather your supplies beforehand and set them on a sturdy surface, like a kitchen counter or table.

    2) Lay Your Baby Down Next To Your Supplies

    Lay your baby on a thick towel on a flat surface. This could be a changing table, bed, kitchen counter, or table. The towel makes the surface comfortable and warm for your baby.

    If your baby is on a raised surface, make sure to use a safety strap, like the one on the changing table. If a safety strap isnt available, always keep one hand on your baby, like when theyre on a counter or table.

    3) Prepare Your Washcloth

    Dip your washcloth in your bucket and wring it out to make it damp. Then use a small amount of a gentle cleanser, like our Gentle Cleansing Gel, and apply it to your damp washcloth.

    4) Begin Washing Your Baby

    Use your soapy washcloth and begin by washing your babys face first. Be careful not to get water in their eyes or mouth.

    Dip the washcloth in your bucket of water and then repeat step 3 and continue washing the rest of their body, washing their diaper area last. Remember to avoid getting their umbilical cord wet.

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