Bathing a newborn can be frightening especially when you are a first-time mom. Bathing is paramount for your baby; it contributes to your child’s daily body hygiene and sensory development. It is also a unique moment of exchange of emotions and connections with you the mother. Discover our newborn bathing tips below in this quick easy guide on how to take care of your baby while in the bath!
Tips for Before the Bath
These are all my tips on what you should consider doing before even getting your baby into the bath or special newborn bathtub.
Gather Your Supplies
Before you even think about putting your newborn into the bath you will need to make sure you are well prepared. You cannot leave your baby alone in the bathtub to grab something that you may have forgotten. This is the time before the bath to get everything that is necessary like a mild baby soap, baby shampoo, two soft washcloths (one for the butt and the other to wash the rest of the body), a soft towel, baby bathtub, and a change of clothes.
That is no short order of things that you will need to have on hand by you when giving your baby a bath. Make sure that everything is rather accessible and close reach to you. Try to have all of the soaps and shampoos already open so you don’t have to spend time doing that.
Warm Room and Water
The house may not feel chilly to you but to a newborn that is naked ready to get in the bath, the house might feel super cold. Babies lose a lot of heat from their bodies, so it is very important to adjust your thermostat in your house to make it warmer. Try to get your house up to 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit before bathing your baby.
The water also needs to be warm but not to warm. How do you tell if the water is to hot for a baby? One tip is to fill the water about halfway before putting the baby inside the tub. Test the temperature of the water by taking a very sensitive part of your body and feeling the water with it. An example of this would be splashing some water on your forearm or dipping your elbow into the water. if the water seems too hot on those areas then it is to hot for your baby.
Get Some Help
Another easy tip I can offer you is to have some help standing by in case you need it. The first couple times you bathe that newborn baby of your, especially if it is your first time, have someone there in case you need assistant opening something or holding the baby. Even if you do not need any help it is still nice to have support in case you start feeling anxious.
Don’t Bathe too Much
Bathing your baby too much can damage and dry out your babies’ super soft skin. Make sure you don’t over bathe your baby. They typically only need two to three at the most baths a week. Babies don’t tend to get too dirty unless they have a huge blowout in their diaper.
Pick a Good Time of Day
Picking the perfect time of day will influence if your baby is ready for a bath or a nap. Newborns sleep and eat a lot, so you want to find that perfect window to slip in the bath time. Try to wait until they are fully rested. Try to feed your baby first that way they are content. Don’t put them in the bath right after a feeding in case, they have burbs or spit-up. Try to wait thirty minutes after you have fed your baby to give them a bath. A great time is always in the evening before they are going to go to sleep.
Tips for During Bath time
Here are a few tips to follow while your child is in the bath. Just a few things that will make the entire experience go a lot smoother.
This is most likely your newborns first or the first couple of times going into the bath so everything is still very new. Your baby could be happy and calm over very fussy and sad. You simply will not know how your baby will react until you put them in the water. what you need to do is expect the worse or expect for there to be some fussiness from your baby. When you expect that reality, you will go into bathing your baby calmer.
A sponge bath is a great way to start off a bath without having to get your baby into the tub. This is a great way to just wipe your baby clean in a few areas. This is a great way to keep your baby clean if your child’s umbilical cord hasn’t fallen off yet. We go more in depth on all things sponge bath in our how to give a baby a sponge bath article.
Mild Tear Free Soap
You want a mild soap to use on your babies’ skin when bathing them. Babies also don’t need much soap because a little goes a long way on their little babies. You can use a little to was their creases and folds and some on their hair. Also purchase baby products that are tear free because it will not harm your baby’s eyes if the soap runs into them. If you are looking for a good shampoo and tear free body wash try the Aveeno Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo.
Shampoo the Hair Last
Once you are finished washing your baby’s body, you can start on the hair. The reason we save this for last is because once the head of the baby gets wet, your child will start to feel colder. The suds from the shampoo is also very drying on the skin. That is why we shampoo last that way your baby doesn’t sit in the soapy residue water leaving their skin dry. Your baby does not need to have their hair washed every time they are in the bath. Only when they get really dirty.
Hold on to your baby
This tip is especially important if you have a newborn at home. Always keep one hand holding on to the baby when bathing to prevent slips down into the bathtub. You don’t want anything to happen to your precious baby so always be observant and aware of what is going on. In a blink of an eye your child could slip underwater so always have a hand on your newborn.
Tips for After Bath Time
Here are my tips and tricks of things to do with your baby once they get out of the bathtub.
Dry all the folds
Do you have a chunky baby with a lot of creases and folds? I did with my children and it is vitally important that after bath time that you dry your baby very well. Water can get stuck in between all of the folds and creases on your baby and if you do not dry those areas it can irritate your baby’s skin. A baby can grow yeast in those areas if you are not properly cleaning and drying those areas.
Limit Lotions and Powders
As you may already know from reading above, a baby’s skin is very sensitive. If you start putting perfume smelling lotions on your baby they can start to break out and develop a nasty rash. If you are going to but a little bit of lotion on your baby after bath time you need to purchase a lotion specifically for babies without a fragrance.
Baby powder is also something you should avoid. Babies don’t need to be powered up after each diaper change. This will dry out their skin for constant use. In my personal opinion, I would skin the powders unless a doctor recommends you to use a specific kind. So again, if you are going to use a baby lotion on your baby; use a small amount and get one that is fragrance free. I recommend this baby lotion the Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal.
Dress Baby Quickly
Once your baby leaves the bathtub they will get very cold easily. I suggest moving quickly after getting the baby out of the bath. Get baby’s clothes ready before the bath starts that way it will be very easy for you to grab the diaper and clothing to get the baby dressed. Most likely after you dress your baby, they will be fussy; so, it will be the perfect time for a feeding and they will fall fast asleep.
These tips are essentially a guideline on how to have a successful bath. Giving a newborn a bath can be very difficult, overwhelming, and anxious time especially if you are a first-time mom. Let me help you make bath time much smoother! I hope these newborn bathing tips helped you. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask, I will get right back to you in the comments below.
My name is Frankie, and I am here to help you get the best gear for your baby, do everything right, and avoid problems raising your child. I am absolutely in love with babies, and I could talk about them all day! I have two children one three year old boy and a newborn baby girl. I am a stay at home mom and I absolutely love to stay at home with my babies! Here at MotherhoodPro you’ll find guides, roundups, reviews, news and info for every problem that you might have, from the ground up to the complex and demanding stuff you need to prepare for. I hope you’ll have a great time exploring the site.