Bathing a Baby Health Resources

Bathing your newborn for the first time can be scary! Don’t worry! It’s easy to do and it’s bonding time with your newborn. Bathing your baby can be a little tricky as they get older and a little more squirmy. Here are some tips and directions on how to bathe your baby.


Bathing Your Newborn

Newborns seem so delicate! Until the umbilical cord falls off, you only need light sponge baths to keep them clean. Newborn babies only need to be given sponge baths twice a week for the first month or two.

What You’ll Need:

  • couple of soft towels
  • two cotton washcloths
  • baby lotion
  • clean diaper
  • fresh clothes
  • rubbing alcohol
  • cotton balls
  1. Lay down two towels on the floor.
  2. Undress your baby and lay her down on the towels using another towel to cover the parts of her that aren’t being washed.
    Dip the washcloth in warm, but not hot water and gently clean your baby’s face, head, neck, and ears. You don’t really need soap because newborns aren’t very dirty! However, if there’s stubborn stuff on the chin or face, it’s okay to use just a little bit of mild baby soap.
  4. If your baby has no hair, simply wash their little head with the washcloth and warm water. If your sweetie does have some hair it’s okay to use a little baby shampoo to wash their hair. Make sure to rinse thoroughly!
  5. Using a different washcloth, wipe down the arms and torso. Be careful around the umbilical cord stump!
  6. Now, make sure you cover up the arms and torso of your baby and wash the legs, genitals, and feet. It’s important to wash their little tushies! Use a little soap for this part. We all know how that part can be a little dirty!
  7. Grab a fresh towel to pat dry your newborn baby and apply baby lotion to their body. Make sure you warm up the lotion on your hands first! Brrrr.
  8. All clean? Time to put on a fresh diapers and some clean clothes!

Note: you don’t need to do anything with the umbilical cord! It will fall off in about a week and you just need to keep it clean and dry for it to dry up and fall off.


bathing a baby


Washing Your Baby
You can use your kitchen sink or a small baby tub for bathing time. Just make sure you clean the kitchen sink first!

What You’ll Need:

  • towel
  • washcloths
  • clean diaper
  • fresh clothes
  • mild baby soap
  • mild baby lotion
  1. Gather everything you will need to bathe your baby. It will be much easier to have everything you need instead of having to run around and grab stuff.
  2. Fill your tub with warm, but not hot water. You only need about 3-4 inches of warm water to bathe your baby.
  3. Undress and undiaper your little baby. Gradually place your baby in the tub and pour the warm water over her body. (You’ll need to continually pour water over her to keep her warm!)
  4. Using a little bit of mild baby soap, use the washcloth to gently clean your baby. Use a cloth with no soap to gently wash her face and ears. Be sure to wash her little tushie and gentials!
  5. If she has hair use a little mild baby shampoo to wash her hair. If your cutie is still bald, just wash with a little baby soap!
  6. After your baby is washed rinse her off with clean water and wipe her dry with a washcloth or towel.
  7. If your baby’s skin is dry use baby lotion and if your baby has a little diaper rash use some diaper cream to soothe her skin.
  8. Diaper and dress your little sweetie and voila!


My Baby Doesn’t Like Bath Time

If your baby screams and squirms when you give them your first bathe, don’t worry. That’s very normal! Make sure you keep the bath time routine the same and make sure water is warm, not hot! If baby starts to get stressed, try singing or talking to your baby as you bathe her.

Some babies go through phases where they like baths. If your baby doesn’t like bathtime, you’re not a bad parent!

As baby gets older, try to make bath time a fun routine! If they still don’t like bathing you might have to get in the tub with her to make her more comfortable while bathing.

Again, if your baby screams and cries during bathtime, it’s OK! You’re not a bad parent and that’s completely normal. You might have to make some adjustments to your bathtime routine to go quicker, but make sure you don’t skip bathtime because baby doesn’t like it.

Baby Images by, Brandon BaunachTakuma KimuraLara Torvi and Ray Dumas