How to bathe a newborn baby for the first time

Follow our easy guide with tips to learn how to bathe a newborn baby for the first time.

Updated

bathing products for new born

It may feel like a daunting task when you decide to start bathing a newborn for the first time, but once you have the right products to use in order to protect their sensitive skin, and some tips for how often to bathe a newborn and tricks to get washing a newborn right, you’ll be fine. Have a read through our beginner’s guide to how to bathe a newborn baby to feel confident washing your little one from their first bath.

When you are washing newborn baby faces, hands and bodies, use a gentle product like Baby Dove Head to Toe Wash which is designed to protect their sensitive skin.

When can you start washing a newborn baby?

As long as your baby was born full-term and healthy, you can give them their first bath within just two hours of birth, but be sure to keep it no longer than ten minutes. Many people, however, prefer to wait until the umbilical stump falls off and heals.

How often to bathe a newborn

When it comes to knowing how often to bathe a newborn, the most important thing to understand is that it doesn’t need to be every day! Topping and tailing is a great way to make sure your baby is clean in between bath times.

What do you need for a newborn bath?

If you are topping and tailing, all you need is:

  • A bowl of warm water
  • Cotton wool balls
  • A soft, clean towel

If you decide to use a baby bath, all you need is:

  • A baby bath
  • Warm water
  • A soft sponge or wash cloth
  • A thermometer to check the water temperature

How to bathe a newborn baby safely

Washing a newborn is easier than you think, following these easy steps:

  1. Be sure to have everything you need ready and within reach before you put baby into the bath.
  2. If topping and tailing, use cotton wool balls and warm water to clean their face, hands, neck and bottom.
  3. Gently pat your baby dry with a clean towel, paying careful attention to any creases.
  4. Try to bathe them in a warm room.
  5. Always check the water temperature.
  6. Mix the water well to ensure there are no hot spots.
  7. Always support your baby’s head throughout bath time.
  8. If your newborn seems scared or cries during bath time, try bathing together, as this will comfort them.

Now you have some tips for how often to bathe a newborn and tricks to get washing a newborn right, you can be safe in the knowledge you’ll be ok when you decide to start bathing a newborn for the first time.    

  • Gather everything you need and keep them within reach throughout.
  • You don’t need to bathe newborns every day, try topping and tailing instead.
  • Use specialist products like Baby Dove Head to Toe Wash to protect your baby’s sensitive skin.
  • Try bathing together if your baby cries during bath time.
  • Originally published