How To Bathe A Baby
A guide for new parents on how to bathe a baby because the task can be a little bit daunting when you’re caring for a 6-10lb newborn.
(This post contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it here.)
Have you just brought a newborn home, or expecting to bring one home soon? How exciting! Congratulations.
When you bring home your newborn baby, the hospital leaves you with so much overwhelming information alongside you needing to heal, sleep, and survive the first few weeks with your baby. Alongside all of that survival, you’ll need to give your baby a bath.
For a new family, bath time is a big deal! There won’t be nurses or hospital staff to help you bathe your newborn. you’ll be on your own and that can seem very overwhelming for brand new parents.
The thing is, bathing your baby shouldn’t be so overwhelming. It’s really all about being gentle, and carefully washing your baby. If you have the right tools such as a baby bathtub, baby conditioners and soaps and towels, you’ll be all set for a wonderful, and fairly easy bath time.
To make bathtime easy, get all the essentials you need together before bringing your baby to the bathing area. If you haven’t brought your baby home yet, or are still expecting gifts from friends and family, why don’t you add the baby bath essentials to your baby registry on Amazon?
For information on how to bathe a baby, keep reading.
How To Bathe A Baby
While it seems like a straightforward task, you might find yourself a little bit scrambled if you aren’t properly prepared when it comes to bathing your baby.
Here is how you properly give your baby a bath at home.
Get Essentials Together: Before you start running the bath, gather all the tools and supplies you will need for the bath and for after the bath. Put all the products within reach of where you will bath your baby. Products you will need: Soap, washcloth, baby brush, rinse cup, baby tub, towels, clean diaper, clean outfit, baby change mat if you want somewhere soft to place baby, and baby lotion.
Check Room: Most baby baths don’t happen in the bathroom because it can be difficult to bathe a baby in the large tub. If you have a baby bath tub then you could bathe your baby on the kitchen island, kitchen table, in the bathroom on the sink counter top or wherever else you can be comfortable while bathing baby. If you do place your tub on a higher surface, DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THE BABY. Make sure the room you choose is free of drafts and is warm enough for a naked newborn to be in.
Run The Water: Fill your baby tub with warm water that is 37°C/98.6°F. You won’t need more than 5cm or 2inches of water for your newborn bath. Use a baby bath thermometer to check the temperature or use your wrist or elbow to ensure the water is simply not too hot.
Undress Baby: Get your baby undressed so they are ready to get into the tub.
Getting The Baby Into The Tub: You’ll want to carefully cradle the baby and pick them up and then gently place the baby into the bathtub. If your tub has a raised part, that is where the head goes. Keep one hand on the baby at all times, and use your free hand to wash the baby.
Start With The Face: When washing the baby always start from clean to dirty. This means you will want to clean the cleanest part of the baby first, and then end with the dirtiest. This is done by starting with the face and ending with the bum. To wash the baby’s face, dip your washcloth into the warm water and gently run the cloth from the inside of the eye to the outside of the eye. Use a different part of the cloth to do the next eye the same way. Gently wipe around the nose and the rest of the face. Run the washcloth behind the ears and around the neck as well. If your baby has reflux, then the ears and neck can get gunked up really quickly and these areas stink.
Washing The Body: Add some soap to your washcloth and wash the body gently. If your baby still has the umbilical cord attachment, do not wash that area. You can gently wipe around it, but you should not get it wet. If the umbilical cord has fallen off, gently wipe the belly button to get rid of any gunk. Make sure to get any creases and folds in the body including between arm rolls, leg rolls, armpits, neck, and under the belly too.
Washing The Back: Once you have washed the baby’s body, you should flip the baby gently over and resting them on your forearm and wash the back as well. While the baby is flipped over you should wash the bum too.
Washing The Hair: Use a clean washcloth to add water onto the head of your baby. Once all the hair is wet, add a dab of baby shampoo and then massage the shampoo into the head with a wash cloth. Use a rinsing cup to get shampoo off, making sure to very carefully not get any water in the baby’s eyes.
Drying Off: Once your baby is washed up, make sure your towels are ready for a quick dry. Grab your towel and drape it over your shoulder. You’ll want to grab the baby and place them in the towel fairly quickly as they will be very unhappy when cold and wet. Be sure to wrap the baby hood of the towel around the head. Pat the baby dry, making sure to get all the creases.
Dressing The Baby: When you have finished drying off your baby, you can leave the diaper off for a few minutes and lotion up the body. You can put some Vaseline onto all the baby creases to prevent them from getting red and irritated at this point. Once the lotion has dried off and you’ve given your little one a mini baby massage, you can get a clean diaper on, and a clean outfit too.
Place Baby In Safe Space And Clean Out Tub: Once the baby is all clean and dry, give the baby to your spouse, or place them into the bassinet, playpen, crib, bouncy chair, swing or another piece of baby equipment and deal with the tub. Empty out the bathtub and wash it and wipe it dry so it is ready to go for next time. Put away all the baby items that you used and place all the dirty towels, washcloths and clothing into the laundry basket.
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Bathe A Baby
Wrapping Up How To Bathe A Baby
While you might be thinking bathing your little one is going to be exhausting and a lot of hard work, think again. It’s quite easy, you just have to be really gentle and careful with your newborn when giving them a bath.
Remember that babies can get slippery when wet, so you have to be extra careful not to do anything dangerous while the baby is wet in the bath.
Additional Baby Care Tips:
- How To Cut Baby Nails
- How To Store Breast Milk
- How To Choose A Crib Mattress
- How To Weigh A Baby At Home
- How To Make A Crib Mattress Softer
- How To Have A Baby On A Budget (Checklist)
- How To Use A Nasal Aspirator
- Which Crib Mattress Height Should You Use?
(This post contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it here)