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.
If Your Newborn Hates The Bath
Its actually very common for newborns to dislike bath time, especially at first. You may be surprised to learn this, and even think you are doing something wrong or that there is something wrong with your baby if they cry or fuss during bathtime.
One reason some babies resist bathtime is that they dont like the sudden temperature changes that happen. You can mitigate this by gently transitioning your baby into the water. Wrap them in a towel at first and gradually immerse them in the water, keeping the towel on until they are all the way in.
You can also experiment with bath temperatures to see what your baby likes best. And always have a warm towel ready when they come out so that transition isnt too jarring.
Some newborn prefer bathtime if you are holding them completely. As such, many parents decide to bathe with their babies in their arms. This can be a wonderful bonding experience. However, you must consider safety here. Only bathe with your baby when you are fully alert. Make sure you have a towel ready, and possibly another grown-up to hand your baby to when you are done. Dont use soaps and other bath products geared toward adult skin.
Finally, keep bathtime fun for your baby! Newborns cant play with bath toys yet, but that doesnt mean they cant be entertained by them. Funny faces and games of peek-a-boo can be very helpful as well.
You can spot clean your baby in the meantime. And most babies will eventually enjoy bath timeall in good time.
When To Give Your Baby A Bath
You can bath your baby at any time of the day. Its a good idea to pick a time when youre relaxed and you wont be interrupted. Try not to bath your baby when theyre hungry or straight after a feed.
If bathing relaxes your baby, you can use it as a way to settle your baby in the evening. Some babies sleep longer after an evening bath.
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How Often Should You Bathe A Newborn
For newborns, a sponge bath one to three times a week should be sufficient. Babies dont need to be bathed that often, Williamson says. Newborns dont really get dirty. Keep in mind that you shouldnt fully immerse baby in water until the umbilical cord falls off. For circumcised baby boys, sponge baths should continue until their penis is healed.
Jacoba C. waited several weeks to give her daughter her first newborn bath at home, and rarely washed her after that. She was so clean and smelled so good, I didnt see any reason to, she says. Of course her diaper area was getting cleaned all the time, and I made sure to wipe down all the little fat roll crevices under her neck and behind her knees regularly.
Some parents prefer to give regular baths as part of a bedtime routine, which is fine as well. Baths can help soothe babies who are fussy and be part of a healthy sleep regimen, says Sabrina Fernandez, MD, a pediatrician at UCSF Benioff Childrens Hospital San Francisco.
Place Your Baby Face Up Between Your Legs:
Sit in the tub with your legs together. Set your baby between your legs facing up and looking at you.
This is a very stable position, so your baby will stay safe the entire time. Its also great a great position so they can look up and make eye contact with you while you talk and bond throughout your bath.
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Giving Your Newborn A Bath: Steps
These steps make bathing your newborn easy:
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.
Is It Better To Bathe My Baby In The Morning Or At Night
Bathing your newborn in the morning or evening is preferable to bathe them at any other time of day. This way, they will be able to sleep through long periods when they are older.
Morning baths are popular because theyre quieter and parents tend to have more energy in the morning, but nighttime routines can also be calming with a bath as part of it. Consider waiting for your babys tummy to settle before bathing them, if they just ate.
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How To Bathe A Newborn
Bathing a newborn may seem daunting at first, but with a little preparation and the right setup, babys first bath can be a stress-free, joyful experience. Yes, baby will likely cry, but it doesnt mean youre doing something wrong.
Dont worry about it so much! advises Mary F., a mom of two. We were so concerned about how to handle our first baby. She was so tiny! So breakable! And then we watched the nurse give our daughter her first bath in the hospital. You would have thought she was washing dishes! That was the moment where we were like, Ohwere not going to break her.
Here, we lay out step by step what you need to doand what you need to knowwhen it comes to bathing a newborn.
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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What’s The Right Temperature For Baby’s Bath
The water should be comfortably warm and not hot before you put your baby in. Never put your baby in the bath when the water is still running. The water temperature can change quickly. You can use a thermometer to check the temperature. Some thermometers can also be a fun bath toy such as a mat. An ideal temperature would be 98-100 F , which is around the body temperature. An easy way to check is to use the elbow rather than your hand to gauge temperature. The water should feel neither hot nor cold.
How To Bathe A Newborn In 10 Simple Steps
At first, bathing your newborn might seem like a big ordeal. After a few weeks, however, giving your baby a bath will be as easy as changing their diaper.
We mentioned this earlier in the article, but its worth repeating: until your babys umbilical cord stump falls off, stick to sponge baths. The steps below are instructions for bathing your newborn once their umbilical cord is gone.
Heres how to bathe a newborn in 10 easy steps!
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What Do I Need For A Tub Bath
Nonslip mat or pad
Bath thermometer . These often have “safe” bath temperature ranges marked on them.
When bathing your baby in a tub:
Clear the counter or table top of breakable objects and electrical appliances to prevent injury.
Fill the tub with warm water, making sure the water is warm, not hot. Always test the water before placing your baby into the tub. Some parents feel most comfortable using a baby bath thermometer to confirm the correct temperature of the water.
Follow the same general bathing instructions for a sponge bath.
NEVER take your hands off your baby, or walk away, even for a moment.
Be sure to clean the bathtub after each use.
How To Bathe Your Baby
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Get Everything Ready Beforehand
Trust me. You dont want to have to reach all across the bathroom once youve gotten in the tub or the shower with your baby. It is challenging, it gets everything wet. And it increases the chances of you dropping your baby.
As you get ready, take a few minutes to make sure to gather everything you need before you start. You want to have all of your shower supplies ready, plus anything you need for your baby.
Ill link a few of our bath time favorites below so you can see what we have ready for our baby when we start our bath.
What Is The Best Time To Bathe A Newborn
Bathing a newborn is an important task for parents to learn quickly. Newborns need to be bathed every 2-3 days, as they have immature skin which makes them more prone to bacteria and infection.
The best time to bathe your newborn is in the morning or evening when their body has had enough time to rest during the day. This will help them sleep through longer periods of time at night once they are older. Your babys bath should last about 15 minutes, but dont forget that if youre breastfeeding your baby it can take up to 45 minutes!
You can bathe your baby at any time in the day, as long as you take into account their hunger and sleep levels.
Traditionally, infant baths are given before sunrise or early in the morning. This is probably to make sure they are warm for when it gets warmer outside at later hours.
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How To Clean Baby Thoroughly
- Ears: Clean outer parts of the ear of your baby with cotton balls and clean the ear wax that irritates him often. Dont use cotton buds.
- Nose: Use water to wash his nostrils so that he can breathe easily. Use baby nasal aspirator for thorough nose cleaning.
- Eyes: Use moist cotton balls to clean his eyes corners and eyelids.
- Face: Every time after feeding, wash his face as dirt accumulates more on the face. Use wipe tissue, wet cloth, or water to clean the face.
- Nails: Dont trim his nails until he becomes 2-3 months. Use a nail cutter with a magnifying glass to trim his nails.
- Umbilical Cord: Take good care of his naval head. Use sterile cotton balls to keep it disinfected.
Prepping For Bath Time With Your Newborn
- Establish a regular bath time routine
- Keep the room nice and toasty. A cozy 75 degrees-plus will work just fine.
- Gather all your necessities: Youll need two washcloths, a towel, a few cotton balls, a diaper, and a change of clothes.
- Start in a few inches of warm water. Keep the water at about 90 degrees. Swirl your fingers through the water to make sure there are no hot spots.
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How Often Do I Give My Newborn A Bath
It is recommended for newborns to be bathed every 2 or 3 days at this stage. This helps establish the healthy bacteria on their skin which can help prevent infection and allows time for them to rest between baths so that they will sleep better in later weeks.
Bathing your newborn too often can dry out their skin, so stick with quick and thorough washings that keep his face, neck, and diaper area clean.
You should always consult your pediatrician if you have any questions about the frequency of your newborns baths.