Everything you need to know before giving your baby a bath
So, are you a new parent whose priority task on the to-do list right now is to learn how to bathe your baby? Bathing your baby can get tricky at times. First, of all none of us who aren't already parents have experience giving a baby bath.
Also, there are constantly so many questions that pop into our heads as new parents, like when is the perfect time to bathe your baby, the best bath accessories, etc. So, here is our complete baby bath guide to help you out.
In a hurry?
If you don't have time to go through the following article in order to discover all of the necessary items for your newborn's first bath, don't worry; we've already done it for you. We've compiled a list of the top three products, so you won't have to look at everything!
Skip Hop Baby Bath Tub
Overall Rating: 4.6/5.0
- Dual layered mesh and comfort-edge construction securely cradles baby from head-to-toe.
- The slings adjusts to a cushioned seat that comfortably supports babies learning to sit. Remove the sling when baby has mastered sitting and easily bathe baby in the spacious tub—no uncomfortable plastic bumps.
- Tub grows with baby through three stages: Stage 1: Newborn (0-3 months; up to 15 lbs); Stage 2: Infant (3-6 months; up to 20 lbs); Stage 3: Sitters (6 plus months; up to 25 lbs)
- Featuring: Drain plug; Swivel hook for hanging on showerhead, shower bar or towel bar; Non-slip interior texture
Baby Dove Tip to Toe Wash & Shampoo
Overall Rating: 4.9/5.0
- FROM TIP TO TOE. Baby Dove Rich Moisture Hypoallergenic Baby Wash 20 oz gently nourishes and replenishes your baby's delicate skin, leaving it soft and moisturized
- SAFETY TESTED. Our caring baby wash and shampoo formulas are created without dyes, parabens, sulfates, or phthalates and ophthalmologist, dermatologist, and pediatrician tested
- NOURISHING BABY WASH. Made with 100 percent skin natural nutrients, which are nutrients identical to those naturally found in skin, and prebiotic moisture to support baby’s skin natural health
- GENTLE SKIN CARE. The rich, creamy lather of this moisturizing baby wash leaves baby's skin feeling clean, soft, and hydrated
- TEAR FREE & HYPOALLERGENIC. Gentle enough for newborn’s first bath, our tear free and hypoallergenic baby wash helps take the stress out of baby bath time
Burt's Bees Baby Hooded Towels
Overall Rating: 4.7/5.0
- Burt's Bees Baby - Hooded Towel, Set of 2 - Dimensions: 29" x 29"
- Soft and absorbent single ply knit terry fabric. Smooth on one side, loop on the other
- Perfectly sized hood, not too large or deep so it does not cover baby's face
- Combed and ring-spun for durability, softness and no-pill washing
- The purest layer: 100% organic, GOTS certified, breathable cotton - one of the most absorbent fibers there is
how to get ready for a newborn bath?
- Take the phone off the hook or turn your phone off while bathing your baby. You’ll be less likely to get distracted.
- Make sure you have everything you need within reach – for example, towel, washcloth, cream or ointment, clean clothes and clean nappy.
- Avoid using soap because this will dry out your baby’s skin. If needed, use a fragrance-free oil or a gentle non-soap cleanser at the end of the bath.
- Position the bath somewhere stable and at a height where you can comfortably hold your baby.
- Fill the bath with just enough warm water to wash your baby. Use jugs of water to fill the bath if you’re planning to bath your baby away from the tap.
- Take off your watch and jewellery and wash your hands.
- Check the water temperature is 37-38°C before you put your baby in the bath. If you don’t have a thermometer, use your wrist or elbow to test the temperature – it should be comfortably warm, not hot.
How To Give The Newborn A Sponge Bath?
A sponge bath is a great way to clean your baby and gives you that chance to bond with them. It also saves on the number of daily changes needed, making life just that little bit easier for new parents.
Here are some tips on how to give your newborn a proper sponge bath:
Fill the bathtub with few inches of lukewarm water
Gently lower your baby's body in water and make sure you have your hand as support under the head at all times. 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit is usually the best bath water temperature for a newborn. Keep the water comfortably warm. If it is too warm, it can cause harm to your baby's beautiful and ultra-sensitive skin. But also, if the water is too cold, your baby might catch a cold.
Keep your baby covered during the bath
Even if the water temperature is quite warm, babies can feel cold since they lose body heat faster. It is always advisable that you keep your baby wrapped in a warm washcloth at all times. It would help if you also changed the washcloth very often during the bath. You can even give your baby sponge baths with a warm washcloth on some days.
Give baby a good wipedown
Wet the sponge in warm water and squeeze out excess liquid, so your baby is not cold when touching it.
Use mild soap without perfumes or dyes, apply only to the dirty areas of your child's body, wipe it clean with a damp cloth, wash off any soap residue thoroughly with clear water. Ensure that the neck and genital area, the area behind the earlobe, and creases under the arms are thoroughly clean.
How to dry and dress your newborn after the bath
After the wet wipe down, put your hands under your child, supporting their neck and body with both hands. Lift your baby out of the water and place them on a soft surface like a changing pad or a soft dry towel. Try to wrap them up and dry them at the same time to avoid getting the cold.
You can use washcloths or cotton pads to pat your baby dry. Take your time dring all your baby's skin creases, including armpits, groin, under the chin, around the neck, and behind the ears as well.
Ensure to moisturize your baby's skin after body washes if your baby's skin is dry, and put on a fresh diaper and clean baby clothes.
Don't forget to wash your hands before and after you touch your baby.
When can a newborn have a sponge bath?
Newborns cannot be given a full bath until they are at least 3 to 5 days old because their skin is still prone to peeling. If you wash them too often while they are going through the initial stages of peeling, it will cause their skin to come off in the bathwater.
The best time for your baby's first sponge bath is when they are between 1 week and 2 weeks old after their umbilical cord stump has fallen off, but before it begins to bleed again if it does start bleeding, clean with cool boiled water until it stops.
If you would like to start giving your baby a sponge bath sooner, you should consult with your pediatrician first to see if it's safe for the baby.
- Newborns only require a bath every two to three days. Occasionally, a ‘top and tail' is acceptable.
- Make certain that everything you'll need is immediately accessible before bathing your baby.
- Washing newborns in a shallow basin of warm water is an excellent way to stimulate their natural attention.
- Babies should never be left alone in the bath. They can quickly drown in shallow water.
What Is A ‘Top And Tail' Bath?
A ‘top and tail' bath is one in which cotton wool and warm water are used for the eyes and face, while a washcloth is used for the hands and bottom. ‘Topping and tailing' refers to concentrating on areas that truly require washing, allowing your child to keep most of their clothes on while you do it.
Should You Top And Tail A Baby Every Day?
It's not necessary for your kid to take a bath every day, but if they enjoy it, there's no reason you can't. You may top and tail your newborn every day or several times each week, or as needed.
How often should you bathe a newborn?
Newborns are not supposed to have full baths until they are at least 1 week old after their umbilical cord stump falls off, but before it begins to bleed again if it does start bleeding, clean with cool boiled water until it stops.
After that, you can bathe your baby at least once a week or when they get dirty. Although daily baths are not recommended because although newborns need lots of washing, the frequent use of soap and water on their still-developing skin can cause it to dry up and become irritated.
Instead of giving them a full bath every day, it is best to gently wash the dirty areas, such as behind their ears, in their armpits, and on their genitals.
In any case, have your baby's pediatrician give you specific instructions regarding regular bathing because many factors can affect how often your baby is supposed to have a full bath.
How long should a newborn bath last?
To keep your newborn warm, limit their bath time to a few minutes. A newborn bath should last no more than 5 to 10 minutes. This is especially vital if your child has dry or sensitive skin. Over-bathing can strip moisture from their skin, leaving it dry and prone to irritation.
When you are done washing your baby, you can gently buff away dry skin with a towel. You can then dress them in a clean diaper and outfit. Don't forget to wash your hands before and after you touch your baby.
Don't make the bath time too big of a deal. It will only make your baby more stressed out, which means their heart rate and breathing rates will increase. Just make it a quick, happy activity that they can look forward to each day.
If your child is not very responsive during their first three days of life, you may have difficulty establishing a good bath time routine with them. A newborn may not want to stay still while being bathed, so it can be helpful to enlist the help of another person to gently hold your baby if they are very wiggly or writhing around in discomfort while getting bathed.
Additional safety considerations for baby bath time
- Make sure to place a non-skid mat near the bathtub every time you bathe your baby to avoid slipping.
- Always keep any sharp objects in your bathroom like bath sprouts or shower doors covered. Nothing is more painful than your baby's heat hitting those objects.
- Don't keep any electronic equipment within your baby's reach during bath time. If your toddler pulls it in the bathtub, it can cause severe accidents.
- Don't leave your baby alone in the bathtub even for a second. You can also learn child CPR to avoid bathtub deaths.
Best time of day to bath baby
There is no "perfect" baby bath time. You can bathe your toddler whenever convenient for you, and you have sufficient time in hand. But make sure to stick to a single bath time every single day to develop a routine or body clock. It is a good idea to give your baby a daily bath before nap time. Bathing helps in relaxing your baby for better sleep. But make sure you don't bathe your little one just after a feed or when they are hungry.
Benefits of bath time for babies
Why should you bathe your baby every single day? Because there are several benefits of bath time for your kid, such as:
- If your baby is too fussy or cries a lot, bathing your baby regularly is a good choice. Your baby feels calm and comfortable after a nice, warm soak. After you wash your baby and massage them with moisturizing lotion, your baby's dead skin cells come off.
- If your baby has a tough time sleeping, a bedtime routine that involves a cozy, warm bath can be so helpful. Your baby will love the safe and magical feeling of a nice bath and doze off to sleep soon.
- Your baby's bath sessions can be an excellent way for you two to have fun together and bond. You can sing to your baby, gently touch your kid and even give them kisses.
Health risks of not bathing your newborn regularly.
- Baby's skin tends to get dry and itchy very often. If you don't give them a nice bath every day and hydrate, the skin can quickly develop eczema or other skin infections.
- Your baby's immunity towards water tends to get lower when you don't bathe them for a long time. So the next time you expose your baby to water, they might catch cold.
Tips For Making Baby Bath Time Fun
It is not that easy to make your baby bath if they are too fussy or reluctant. How can you still make it an enjoyable and loving experience for your baby? Here are a few tips:
- You can place some fun bath toys in the tub while bathing your baby, like a cute duckling or a tiny ball. Your baby will not make too much of a fuss if they are distracted with these items.
- Give your baby some comfort during bath time. For instance, you can rub the warm washcloth over the tummy or place the towel in different textures for a cozy sensation.
- Don't bore your baby while bathing them! Talk to your baby sweet nothings or play with her hands and feet.
- Give your baby a luxurious and pleasant bath experience by massaging their skin at times while bathing. Your baby is more likely to love the experience and will fall asleep soon after the bath is over.
How to bathe a newborn with umbilical cord - Step by step video guide
Baby Bath Supplies Checklist
Before you can give your baby a good bath, you need to keep all the essentials handy. Here is your checklist:
- Baby Tub or Basin: Bathe your baby in a kitchen sink or directly under the bathroom tap is not safe or advisable. You should instead buy a separate baby bathtub for your toddler.
- Baby-safe cleanser: Babies have ultra-soft skin and chemical-free, gentle baby soaps, and natural cleansers are always a good option for them. It would help if you went for the ones with a mild formulation.
- Washcloths and Sponge: Until your baby's umbilical cord falls off, you can use a delicate sponge to wipe your toddler's skin. After the cord stump heals, you can switch to baby washcloths.
- Hooded bath towels: These are not just some cute fancy stuff but rather prove to be of great use in keeping your infant comfortable and warm after a bath. You can wrap this hooded towel around your baby while dipping them in water.
#3 Best Baby Bathtubs
It would help if you had a special bathtub for your tiny one for obvious safety reasons. A baby bathtub offers the flexibility and convenience of bathing your newborn without any hassle. Some of the popular ones are:
Skip Hop Moby Bathtub with Sling
As first-time parents, it is understandable why bathing your baby seems scary and intimidating. But this toddler-friendly bathtub offers precisely the perfect amount of support and stability with its mesh sling insert to hold your fussy, floppy baby tight.
Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling 'n Seat Tub
The Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling 'n Seat Tub adjusts over time, so your baby can get squeaky clean in style as they grow. First, the soft mesh sling cradles newborns, and the insert helps keep infants and new sitters from slipping and sliding. Then, everything removes to make space for mermaid singing practice in a roomy toddler tub.
Angelcare Baby Bath Support
With the Angelcare Bath Support, bath time is a breeze! Bath time is a special time to connect with your baby, and Angelcare makes handling your slippery infant safer and easier. The ergonomic design offers baby a comfortable place to recline, relax and enjoy - and it offers parents peace of mind knowing that baby is secure. The soft mesh material helps protect baby's delicate skin, and because the unit drains easily and dries quickly.
#3 Best baby shampoo and body wash
Your baby deserves the best bath time experience with skin-friendly, pure and mild shampoos, and body washes. Shower your baby with the goodness of these products:
Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo
Are you wondering if your toddler's baby skin can handle body washes and shampoo? This ultra-mild cleanser is best suited for the delicate skin of babies. It has a tear-free, hypoallergenic formula and forms a good amount of bubbles. Your baby will love the soft, sweet fragrance, and it also has oat extracts that keep your baby's skin smooth and hydrated for long hours.
Cetaphil Baby Wash and Shampoo with Organic Calendula
When it comes to your little one, you should always stick to an authentic and widely trusted brand. Cetaphil's baby body wash and shampoo have been formulated with the natural extracts of calendula flower, which heals your baby's body rashes or eczema. Your baby will also have a fun time with all the rich lather and the calming feel of the wash. The shampoo is excellent for the hair health of your baby.
Baby Dove Tip to Toe Body Wash
If you are worried about your baby's dry skin or kitchen skin, you have to go for this super moisturizing body wash. It does not contain harsh chemicals like sulfates, parabens, dyes, or phthalates and is very gentle on your kid's skin. Do you what is the best part? It has no artificial fragrances that can irritate your child's skin.
#3 Best Baby Lotions
The skin of babies is so sensitive that it tends to get dry very quickly. So, after a nice, warm bath, you should always hydrate your toddler's skin with a gentle moisturizing baby lotion. But you have to make sure that all the ingredients in it are natural and soft. Here are your best choices:
Earth Mama Baby Lotion
This ultra-gentle baby lotion is available in different non-irritant fragrances like Sweet Orange, Calming Lavender, and even the non-scented, earthy blends. Your baby's smooth skin will love the moisturizing blend of organic herbs and oils.
Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Body Lotion
Nourishing, non-greasy baby lotion that protects delicate skin and moisturizes for 24 hours. Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion contains natural colloidal oatmeal blended with rich emollients that soothe and help protect your baby's delicate skin. The nourishing, non-greasy formula absorbs quickly, moisturizes for a full 24 hours, contains no drying alcohols and won't clog pores. It’s formulated to be hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and gentle enough for daily use on baby's sensitive skin
CeraVe Baby Moisturizing Lotion
This one is a gentle, fragrance-free, and dye-free lotion with ceramides that naturally protect the moisture barrier of your baby's skin and keeps it hydrated at all times. The best part is that it has no parabens or phthalates and is blessed with the goodness of vitamins.
#3 Best Baby Washcloths
If you have to get your baby squeaky clean after a bath, a soft and durable piece of a washcloth is all you need. It would help if you always kept a washcloth handy when it is time for cleanup after a meal or changing a diaper. You can get these best quality baby washcloths for your kid:
Aden + Anais Washcloth Set
These washcloths are super soft and comfy and are available in quite an enormous size. The muslin material feels very cozy on your baby's skin and can be the perfect belly warmer for their bath time.
Brooklyn Bamboo Baby Washcloths
These are super-absorbent, extra soft cotton washcloths that feel like heaven on your baby's skin. The material is crafted with organic bamboo, making the washcloth feel silky smooth on your child's skin.
Spasilk Soft Terry Washcloth
This 10-pack durable washcloth will be accessible both on your budget and your baby's delicate skin. The washcloths are pretty colorful and fancy with stripes, solids, and even cute polka dots. Your baby is going to love the sweet pops of colors and bubbles here and there.
#3 Best Baby Hooded towel
The hooded baby bath towel is an indispensable attribute of hygiene. If you like your child, choose well-chosen and stylish items that will bring pleasure to both parents and children. Make sure that the towels are made of cotton, which guarantees pleasant softness. As for the design - it is possible to find towels with lots of different shapes and forms, here are our top three picks:
Premium Ultra Soft Organic Bamboo Baby Hooded Towel from Miniboo
This hooded baby towel combines the extraordinary softness of bamboo with the durability of cotton. This excellent blend is the softest, most absorbent, and most durable on the market.
After a pleasant bath, snuggle your child in our soft and large towel, and then read him one of the bedtime stories while relaxing songs play in the background. With the help of a professional audio mixing team, they have created for your little one 10 magical lullabies meant to provide him relaxation and peaceful sleep.
Burt's Bees Baby Hooded Towels (2 pack )
These baby hooded towels are made with 100% organic cotton. They are gentle on baby's thinner, more porous skin, made to keep sensitive skin irritation free.Designed to stay soft and get even softer after multiple washes, combed and ring-spin for durability & and no-pill washing
MODERN BABY 3 Pack Hooded Baby Bath Towel Set
When it comes to baby towels, there are a lot of options out there, but there is a certain peace of mind on choosing a brand that takes special care of details.
The premium Modern Baby towels are made out of a super soft and delicate fabric, which is ideal for your baby’s sensitive skin.
Their perfect size makes them suitable for both newborns and toddlers, while their ultra-absorbent capabilities allow for an easier and faster drying.
Bathing your baby can seem like quite a big deal at first! But once you get familiar and habituated, you will find it to be the best bonding time for you and your baby. Just get the bath supplies handy, and you are good to go.