Giving your newborn a bath is one of the many magical firsts that comes along with becoming a parent, but it can often bring about a bit of anxiety about “doing it right”. So, we’ve put together some helpful tips to make the process run as smoothly as possible for you and your newborn. Bear in mind that in the first few weeks, your baby will only need sponge baths. But after the umbilical cord falls off, it’s the perfect time to introduce the bathing process.
Below you can watch Corky Harvey, Founder of The Pump Station & Nurtury, break down each of the steps for baby’s first bath.
Some Honest tips for bathing your newborn:
- Time it right. Most newborn babies don’t need frequent bathing if their diaper areas are kept clean during diaper changes. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), three baths per week may be enough for most babies. Time of day is up to you, but bathing your baby at night can help establish a nighttime routine and may help them feel relaxed before bed.
- Prep. Gather everything you might need — baby wash, washcloth, towel, lotion, diaper — and place it within arm’s reach so that you can keep one hand on baby at all times.
- Check the temp. The AAP recommends filling the tub with 2 inches of water that feels warm (not hot!) on the inside of your wrist or elbow.
- Wash. Using a fragrance-free body wash and a clean washcloth, gently wash your baby. Start with the face and chest, and work your way down to the diaper area.
- Rinse. To keep bath time extra gentle, carefully use a cup to pour water over your baby and rinse away soap suds.
- Dry. After removing your baby from the tub, quickly wrap them in a towel so they stay warm. Make sure to thoroughly dry every cute little crease to help avoid irritating their sensitive skin.
- Moisturize. Before dressing, use a gentle, fragrance-free lotion to moisturize and leave their skin feeling soft and smooth. This is also a great time for baby massage, which can be a special bonding moment for you and your baby.
Not all babies will like baths in the beginning, so if you get a few tears, don’t stress. And, every baby is different, so take your time and find a routine that works best for you. Lastly, remember to never leave baby alone in the tub – even just for a moment.