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Your Guide to Giving Your Baby a Bath

December 18, 2019, Author: Tamra Cater

As a new mom, I was terrified of bathing my new baby. She was so tiny, and I was afraid of dropping her! That being said, my mother-in-law walked me through it a few times while she was visiting. This helped me become more comfortable with it! Thus, I did learn how to become an efficient baby-bather!

giving your baby a bath

How Often Should You Bathe Your Newborn?

According to an article done by Healthy Children, newborns don’t need to bathe every day, as they do not sweat often or get dirty enough for a full bath. Babies may only need about 3 baths a week as long as their face, hands, and diaper area are cleaned daily (if more than 3 are given, it may dry out their skin). Some parents may prefer to give their baby more regular baths in order to develop a nighttime routine that helps soothe the baby.

Also, the article by Healthy Children suggests giving your newborn a sponge bath until the umbilical cord stump falls off. For instructions on how to do a sponge bath (which is like a regular bath, except the baby is not put in water), please click here. This post will focus on regular baths.

Where Should I Bathe My Baby?

Initially, I would recommend bathing your baby in your sink-it’s more contained, and it’s much easier to handle your little one! Once your baby has more control over his or her muscles (can hold head up, sit up, etc.). Then, I would move to the bathtub (with some sort of baby tub), of course.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends using a “hard, plastic baby bathtub that has a sloped, textured surface or sling that keeps your baby from sliding.” Thus, a sink or baby bathtub that fits this description would be best. But, do avoid bath seats as these can tip over and cause drownings.

This post will just focus on baby baths during the first several months, so I will first recommend products for this stage. Here are my recommendations:

Baby Bath Products

1.Baby Bath

This product is recommended for infants between 0-6 months of age. We used one just like it and loved it! It’s soft, cuddly, and easy to clean, and it also has great Amazon reviews!

2.Baby Bath Towel

I love these hooded bath towels. Initially, we didn’t have a hooded towel, but I wish we did. My daughter got cold quickly- This one has a hood to keep the head warm rather than just wrap a towel around her. These have great reviews on Amazon!

3.Baby Washcloths

These have great reviews on Amazon. These baby washcloths also have no added chemicals or pesticides, so they are great for babies with sensitive skin or allergies. They also have other uses as well- diaper accidents, spilled milk, etc.!

4.Baby Shampoo and Wash

I always loved the Aveeno products we used when my daughter was a baby. This particular wash and shampoo is highly recommended on Amazon, and it is formulated for those with sensitive skin.

This shampoo and body wash has good reviews on Amazon, and it has a nice orange-vanilla scent.

Steps and Tips For Giving Your Baby a Bath

1. Always use touch supervision. No matter where you bath your baby, always keep some part of you touching your baby. If you’ve forgotten something or need to do something, always take your baby. This is a great time to start practicing water safety!

2. Have all supplies within reach before you start. Ensure you have shampoo, towels, washcloths, etc. before you start the bath. When I washed my daughter in the sink, I’d have the baby bath in the sink and a towel rolled out on the counter next to the sink. I put the shampoo on the counter close the sink, and I went ahead and opened it.

3. Make sure the room is warm enough. Babies lose heat very quickly, so consider having the room temperature at 75-80 degrees before you give a bath.

4. If you are using a baby bath (such as the one recommended above), go ahead and put it in the sink. 

5. Fill the sink with about 2 inches of water. Then, check the temperature of the water with your hand and wrist. You will want the water to be warm, not hot. The temperature should never be more than 120 degrees.

6. Put the baby in the water soon after you undress him or her. This will help prevent your baby from getting chilled. Pour warm water over your baby frequently to keep her warm.

7. Use soap sparingly and cleanse gently. Be sure to rinse the soap off the sink as soon as possible, as soap can dry out your baby’s skin. Also, be sure not to scrub or tug at your baby’s skin as you wash. Gently massage your baby’s scalp. Use a cup to rinse off the shampoo, while also cupping your hands over your baby’s eyes so that the water flows to the sides of your baby’s head.

8. Once the bath is complete, dry your baby off. Quickly wrap your baby in a towel. Gently pat your baby dry and then apply some baby lotion to your baby’s skin. Then, put a diaper on and then pajamas!

9. Have fun with it! Sing to your baby or talk to your baby. Let your baby splash and play in the water if they seem to enjoy it.

Final Thoughts on Giving Your Baby a Bath

Enjoy these moments, as bathing your baby is one way to bond with your little one! Sooner or later, bathing your baby will become a breeze.

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comments (5)

  • avatar image
    This brings back memories. I remember bathing my little guy by myself for the first time. I was petrified! They seem so tiny and helpless, it can be a little scary. And great tip! Always stay with baby, never ever leave them unattended in water. I've heard horror accident stories and they're always preventable.


    December 20, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    You'd think that most of these tips are common sense, but I wish someone would've told me about #2 when I was a new mom! I freaked out because I was by myself bathing the baby and the soap and towel were down the hall in his room! It was terrible lol


    December 20, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    Great advice! I love that this is step by step. A lot of these are things you may not initially think of, even though it seems obvious now, looking back. Having everything within reach is so key!


    December 20, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    Great tips for bathing a baby. It is such a scary step as a new parent.

    Lorena |

    December 21, 2019 Reply
  • avatar image
    I have a lot to learn about taking care of a baby. Their skin is so sensitive during its early stages. Oooh, love the different products available! Thanks for sharing all of these tips! :) Nancy ♥


    December 27, 2019 Reply