Tips On How To Bathe Your Newborn

Many new parents, especially first-time parents are a bit scared to bathe your newborn for fear of doing it wrong, so here are some excellent tips on bathing your newborn. Although your newborn may seem to be unhappy in the bath at first, following these tips will soon have you relaxed and your infant too.

Remember that everyone is nervous when first bringing a little being home and realizing that they are now responsible for this little life. Most fathers especially are scared that they will drop the infant or hurt it somehow and may be very nervous about bathing the baby. The following tips on bathing your newborn are easy to follow and even the recalcitrant fathers should be able to bathe an infant with no trouble by following them.

What You Need For Bath Time

Pick a suitably warm room in which to bathe your newborn and gather the following essential items for baby’s bath time:

A Baby Bathtub

The First Year's Infant To Toddler Tub
There are differing opinions regarding investing in a baby bathtub, so this depends entirely on what you feel comfortable with. Infant tubs with supports for the head and neck, tubs that supposedly mimic the womb experience and many other types are readily available, so you have a wide range from which to choose.

A Changing Table or Changing Pad

Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad
Again this will depend on whether you prefer to change your baby on a table or on the bed or floor. There are various kinds of changing tables and non-slip changing pads on the market, and if this is the way you want to go, it could be a good investment.


Baby Shampoo and Soap

A gentle soap and a special tearless baby shampoo are vital as part of your infant grooming.


Hair brush or comb

Skip Hop Hare Brush and Comb Set
Many babies are born with a full head of hair which requires combing, so investing in a soft brush or comb is highly recommended.



After bathing your newborn you will need to rub them down with some lotion; there are oodles of lotions specifically designed for this purpose. Be sure to check out They have a whole article on the best and safest lotions that are great for you baby. Apart from lotions, you can also apply baby hair and body oil onto your baby’s scalp and body.


Special soft towels that are used only for your baby, like those Monogrammed Bath Towels, are amongst the essentials for your newborn, as they will not scratch their gentle skin. There are lovely ones with little hoods which are perfect to keep your precious bundle warm between bathing and dressing.

There may be other items that you will see and want to buy for your infant to make bathing easier and fun, but all the tips on bathing your newborn that are given by pediatricians state that the above-mentioned items are the most important and by far sufficient in the beginning whilst you are still getting to know how to handle baby and bathing times.

Whilst many parents like to bathe their baby every day, it really is not necessary as the most important bits, and those that get the dirtiest are generally covered by diaper changes and burp cloths, and the best tips on bathing your newborn suggest that until your baby starts crawling around and getting messy, once or twice a week is plenty.

Sponge Baths

When you first bring your newborn home they will most probably still have the umbilical cord attached, and until this falls off it is recommended that you only give your infant a sponge bath using a washcloth that has been lightly moistened with lukewarm water.

Amongst the best tips on bathing your newborn are the following:

Once you have the perfect spot, place your infant onto a flat surface and undress them. Dampen the washcloth with lukewarm water only and wipe your baby’s eyes gently, one at a time, wiping from the inner corner to the outer corner. Using the washcloth, clean the infant’s ears and nose. Wet the cloth again, and using a tiny bit of baby soap, wash his or her face gently and pat it dry.

Next, take a little bit of baby shampoo, create some lather and gently wash your baby’s head and rinse it off with a bit of lukewarm water. Dampen the washcloth again and add a bit of soap and gently wash the rest of your baby, with extra attention to the creases under the arms, around the neck, behind the ears, and the genital area. Dry your baby off with a soft fluffy towel and diaper and dress them.

Sponge baths should be continued until the umbilical cord falls off (1-4 weeks), the circumcision heals (1-2 weeks), and the navel heals completely (1-4 weeks). The face and hands should be washed frequently and the genital area must be cleaned and dried thoroughly after each diaper change, but do not bathe your newborn more than about three times per week in the first few months, as it is not necessary and may dry the skin out.

Tips On Bathing Your Newborn In A Tub

Once your baby is old enough to be bathed in a tub, you should start off with gentle and brief baths, as they may not take to be placed in a tub immediately. If they fuss when placed in a tub, resume the sponge bathing for a week or two then try the tub again. Some infants love the feel of warm water and may find it very soothing, in which case linger a while when bathing them; conversely, some will cry throughout the bathing exercise, in which case you will want to make the bath as brief as possible.Bathe Your Newborn

Make sure that the room in which you are bathing your infant is warm. Do not put more than 2 to 3 inches of lukewarm water, which you have tested with your elbow to gauge how hot it is, in the tub. Undress your little one and place them in the tub, using one hand to support its head and the other to guide the baby in feet-first. Slowly lower your baby up to its chest into the tub, all the while speaking gently in order to calm him or her. Support your baby’s head and torso with your arm and hand. Wrap your one arm under your baby’s back and grasp the infant firmly under the armpit. To clean the back and buttocks, lean the infant forward on your arm whilst continuing to grasp it under the armpit.

Use a damp washcloth to wash the face and hair, and then gently massage the scalp with a soft baby hairbrush or the pads of your fingers, taking care to include the area over the fontanel’s (soft spots) on top of the head. Cup your hand across your baby’s forehead when rinsing their heads so that the suds run off to the side and do not get into the eyes, even if it is gentle baby shampoo or soap. Now you can gently wash the rest of the body using water and a little bit of soap.

Regularly pour a bit of warm water gently over your infant’s body throughout the bathing process by cupping it in your hand, so that he or she does not get cold. Wrap your little one in a towel, making sure to cover the head, or use the special baby towels with hoods to keep them warm. Pat your baby dry, apply lotion if necessary, and diaper and dress them immediately.

Bathing Safety

These tips on bathing your newborn are of extreme importance and need to be read carefully and heeded at all times:

  • Never leave your baby unattended, not even for a minute, as it just takes a split-second for an accident to happen. If you need to answer the doorbell or phone, lift your baby out of the water, wrap it up warmly in a towel, and take the precious little bundle with you.
  • Never put your baby into the tub whilst the water is still running, as the water could become too deep and the temperature could become too hot.
  • Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, as it is possible for a child to get third-degree burns in under a minute at 140 degrees. Test the water with your elbow anyway before you place your baby in the tub; it should not be hotter than about 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A child can drown in less than and inch of water in under sixty seconds, so do not get distracted even for a few seconds when busy bathing your newborn.
  • Make sure that everything you will need is within arm’s reach of the bathing area.
  • Lining a tub with a clean nappy or towel will make it less slippery and a lot safer.

Remember that no matter how many tips on bathing your newborn you read, you will probably still be a bit nervous when first bathing your newborn, but by following the above methods and taking is slowly, perhaps with someone who has done it before to be with you the first few times it will soon become old hat and your nervousness will fade.