First time parents: how to bathe a baby

If you’re a first-time parent, here’s everything you need to know about baby bath time.

Updated

First time parents: how to bathe a baby

When you’re a first-time parent, there’s a lot to learn! You might even feel a bit overwhelmed, but that’s perfectly normal - it is your first go at looking after a little baby after all, which can be pretty scary. Something you might not know much about is how to bathe a newborn baby, but don’t worry! We’ve got everything you need to know, from the ideal baby bath temperature to how often you should be washing your little one.

Create a newborn baby bath schedule so you can get into a good routine and keep your little one clean! Wash your baby’s towels with a kind-on-skin detergent and fabric conditioner that will protect their delicate skin after the bath, such as Sunlight and Comfort Pure.

What you’ll need for baby bath time

Here’s everything you’ll need when washing your baby:

  • Baby bath
  • Baby sponge or wash cloth
  • Clean diaper and clothes
  • Towel
  • Warm water
  • Kind to skin baby wash and shampoo
  • Rinsing cup

How hot should a baby bath be?

Baby bath water temperature should be about body temperature, so 37-38⁰C. Make sure it’s not too hot by checking the water on your wrist first and give the water a good swirl around to make sure there aren’t any sneaky hot spots!

How to bathe a newborn

Follow these steps on how to bathe a baby so that you get it right every time:

  1. Support your baby's back, neck, and head with one arm and place them gently in the bath, using your other hand to wash them.
  2. Use a damp cotton bad to wash around your baby’s eyes, before using a washcloth for the rest of their face and behind their ears.
  3. Use a gentle body wash and your washcloth to gently wash the rest of your baby’s body, leaving their nappy area until last.
  4. Use the rinsing cup to carefully pour clean water over them, rinsing off the body wash.
  5. Lift your baby out of the bath and immediately wrap them in a towel, drying them well - be sure to get all the creases in their skin too!
  6. Dress them in clean, dry clothes washed with a kind-on-skin detergent like Sunlight.

When to bathe a newborn

If you’re wondering how often to bathe a newborn, we’ve got a newborn baby bath schedule you can follow. We suggest washing your baby three times a week, leaving a day or two between each wash. This’ll stop your little one’s skin from becoming dry, and they just don’t need a bath every day - unless they have a pretty nasty accident, of course!

Bathing your baby should be a nice time for you where you can bond with your little one and enjoy taking care of them, so don’t get too stressed. Honestly, you’re going to be fine! Just follow our guide and it will all go perfectly. 

  • Keep the water shallow - your baby doesn’t need a whole tub, after all!
  • Keep your baby bath water temperature at 37⁰C.
  • Have everything you need in reaching distance.
  • Never run the tap whilst your baby’s in the bath; the temperature could be very hot or very cold.
  • Originally published