Bathing a Newborn

image001Bath time can be a great opportunity to bond with your baby while keeping them squeaky clean at the same time! Many babies find bath time relaxing and learn to love being in the water, but others will need a little more time to get used to it. Whichever category your baby falls into, the following tips can help keep bath time safe and fun, along with useful information on bathing a newborn.

How to Give Your Newborn a Bath

1. How to Give Your Newborn a Sponge Bath

During the first few weeks of life, you will need to give your newborn a sponge bath to avoid irritating the umbilical cord stub. Sponge baths will need to be given until the cord stub has fallen off completely.

The sponge bath can be given on any flat surface. Make sure the area is warm and well lit. Make sure you have all of your supplies within arm’s reach, so you do not have to get up to get something. You will need a bowl of warm water, several towels, a wash cloth and baby soap. Soap is optional in the first few weeks because your baby really doesn’t need it, but if you opt to use it, make sure it is formulated for baby’s sensitive skin.

Start at your baby’s feet and work your way up, gently wash each part of your baby and make sure to wash all the folds and crevices.

Keep the parts of your baby you are not washing covered with a warm blanket or towel.

2. How to Give Your Newborn a Tub Bath

Once your baby’s umbilical cord stump has fallen off, you can give them a tub bath by using a non-skid baby tub. Use a tub that is the right size for your baby. Gather all the supplies you will need, as it is not safe to leave your baby unattended for any reason in the tub.

Keep your baby warm by pouring warm water over them at regular intervals during bath time. You can use the same techniques you used to give your baby a sponge bath. Start at the feet and go up slowly. Save the head and face for last, as most babies do not enjoy having their faces cleaned!

When you are done bathing your baby, transfer them directly into a towel and dry them promptly to avoid giving them a chill.

Watch this video and find out some basic tips on bathing a newborn:

Other Frequently Asked Questions About Bathing a Newborn

1. When to Give My Newborn a First Bath After Birth

As long as you can keep the umbilical stump fairly dry, you can give your baby a bath whenever you feel it is necessary.

2. When to Give Regular Baths

Newborns do not need to be bathed as often as older children. You can begin regularly bathing your baby as soon as you feel like it. For the first few weeks, you may find it easier to simply wash their faces and bums.

3. What Time of Day Is Best for Giving My Newborn a Bath?

You should bathe your baby at a time of day that is calm and free from distractions. In the winter months, you may want to bathe your baby midday when it is warmer. If you find that your baby is soothed by bath time, you might find it beneficial to bathe him or her at night before bed.

4. What Is the Best Way to Keep My Newborn Clean for the First Few Days?

During the first few weeks of life, it may be easier for you and your baby to stick to sponge baths. It is less stressful for the baby and takes less time than a tub bath.

5. How to Keep My Newborn Safe

Bath time can be fun, but safety precautions should always be kept in place.

  • Never leave your baby unattended.
  • Keep all your supplies within arm’s reach.
  • Make sure your water heater is set low enough to avoid scalds when the hot water accidentally is turned on.
  • Use as little water as possible. A baby can drown in less than an inch of water.