How to Bathe a Baby (3 Steps)

image001Bath time for a baby is a challenging thing, especially if the baby is a newborn and is about to have his first bath. Babies have to be kept safe from infection in their early years of life, but it can be pretty difficult to do this while bathing them. However, knowing what to use and how to go about the task of bathing a newborn can help in making this exercise enjoyable for both you and the baby. So, if you want to learn how to bathe a baby safely, then continue reading the article below.

How to Bathe A Baby--Before the Bath

  • Get everything ready. Since the baby will require your full attention after he has been put in the bath tub, it is important that you gather everything required for the bath in advance. The things that you will require for bathing the baby include a tub, a cup, bath soap, cotton balls and washcloths. You may put some toys in the tub for the baby to play with as well. The things that will be needed after the bath include a towel, diaper lotion, diaper, clean clothes and a hair brush.
  • Dress yourself appropriately. Proper dressing is vital when bathing the baby. You must be attired in clothes that do not have any zippers or attachments that might injure the baby while bathing. Thus, it is best to wear a bathrobe for this purpose. Moreover, don’t wear any jewelry as well since it might fall on the baby during the bath.
  • Prepare the tub. The bathtub used for the bathing must be a baby tub that has been designed specifically for the purpose of bathing the baby. It would have a nice depth and would keep your baby safe from slipping underwater. You can place the baby tub in a regular bathtub or kitchen sink when bathing the baby but make sure that the faucet of the kitchen sink has been properly covered to avoid any injury to the baby’s head.
  • Fill the tub with warm water in proper quantity. Since baby skin is sensitive, too much heat can scald it thus the water should be kept warm, but not too hot. Make use of a bath thermometer for checking the temperature before putting your baby in the tub. Fill the tub with water in such a manner that the baby does not get submerged in it.

How to Bathe A Baby--During the Bath

  • Check your baby’s body before bathing. Before bathing your baby, make sure that his nappy is clean. If you find poo in it then you must clean it first and then commence the bath.
  • Lay your baby’s feet first. When lowering the baby into the tub lay his feet in first. Keep a hand under the baby’s neck and back for support and wash him with your other hand.
  • Wash baby’s body. Start the washing process by using a cup to wet the baby. You can use a washcloth for cleaning he arms, legs, face and body of the baby but you will have to make use of cotton balls for cleaning his eyes and ears. Don’t forget to clean the areas under the baby’s neck and behind his ear where dirt and moisture usually gets trapped in. The genitals should be washed in the end. When washing the hair of the baby, you must lean him forward and then pour water on his head. You can use either baby soap or baby shampoo to massage his scalp and hair but using soap is a better option. Make sure that the shampoo or soap does not get in the eyes of the baby.
  • Lift your baby up. When the washing is done, you should lift the baby out and wrap him in a dry towel as quickly as possible.

How to Bathe A Baby--After the Bath

  • Dry your baby up. You don’t need to rub the baby, just pat a little and let the towel absorb the water. Make sure to dry the areas where water and moisture tends to accumulate like the skin folds and region behind the baby’s ears.
  • Apply baby creams if necessary. Baby creams and ointments are not necessary, but you can use them if you like. However, do apply some ointment on the diaper rash that the baby might have.
  • Clothe the baby. After the bath is done, quickly dress the baby in a nice, comfortable dress and wrap him up in a blanket to keep him warm. If you will be putting him to sleep then it best to dress him in a loose and comfy outfit that does not have buttons.

Want to know more about how to bathe a baby? See how this mum gives her cutie a bath:

When Should I Bathe My Baby?

1. When to Give My Baby His First Bath after Birth?

Newborns have to be kept warm and therefore, it is not safe to give them a bath straight after birth. You can give him a bath after an hour of birth only if he is healthy and his body’s temperature is normal. Mostly, the first bath is given to the baby at home in a closed area so that the baby remains warm.

2. When to Give Regular Baths?

It is up to you to decide when to start giving regular baths to your baby. It can be from the first day or after a few weeks or after his umbilical cord stump has disappeared. However, in the meantime, you can clean your baby’s body by using a sponge.

3. During Which Time of the Day Should I Bathe My Baby?

Usually it is better to bathe the baby in the day time when he is in between feeds. He would be fully rested and you don’t have anything else to worry about. However, as the baby ages, you would find it easier to bathe him in the night because after a warm bath, he would feel sleepy and would get a good night’s sleep.

How Often Does My Baby Need a Bath?

Babies that love the water and bathing can be given a bath daily. However, it is not necessary and you will have to decide on your own about the frequency of baths.

Newborns should not be bathed more than three times during a week. The reason for this is that the baby’s skin might become dry if he is given a bath every other day.

When not bathing the baby, do wash and clean his genital when changing the baby and his face in the morning and after every feed.