Everything You Need to Know about Baby's First Bath
The first bath for the baby is so emotional, but it also can be a bit tricky and requires a stable hand. Starting to get nervous? Don’t!
Want to cut to the chase?
Free Baby Milestone Cheatsheet
Get My Free Printable Guide NowGet it Now
Here’s a how-to guide to prepare you for your newborn’s first bath. Scroll down!
Bathing a baby is a great experience that all parents treasure. This ritual has plenty of benefits beyond a basic cleanup, here are just some of them:
- Bathing boosts the parent-baby bond
- It’s a good learning experience for the baby
- It comforts fussy little ones
- It promotes better sleep
- Last but not least, parents have a great opportunity to make hundreds of adorable photos!
On the other hand, the first baby bathing usually comes with many questions and anxiety - new parents don’t know when and how to do it well.
No worries! In our post, you’ll find the best baby's first bath tips to make this bonding routine safe, soothing, and special.
When Baby Can Have the First Bath?
Experts recommend waiting at least 24 hours before your baby’s first bath. This delay regulates body temperature, blood sugar, keeps the newborn’s skin from drying out, boosts breastfeeding, and promotes mom-baby bonding.
Newborns aren’t ready for the bathtub until the umbilical cord stump falls off, and the circumcision is healed if your baby-boy has had the procedure. The healing process usually takes about 2 weeks. During this period, you’ll be giving your little one a sponge bath.
Baby First Sponge Bath: What to Use?
To be safe, you should gather all the stuff you need before you begin to bathe your little one. Never and ever take your hands off the baby while bathing him/her, otherwise, there is a high risk of dangerous accidents.
Here are supplies you may need for a baby sponge bath:
- A baby wash
- A bowl of warm (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit) water
- 2 washcloths
- A towel (consider the best baby hooded towels)
- A few cotton balls
- Lotion (optional)
- A diaper
- A change of clothes
How to Give Baby a Sponge Bath?
Here are well-tried tips on how to give your little sweetpea a quick, gentle sponge bath.
- Have all supplies we listed above within reach
- Make sure it’s warm enough in the room. It should be 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit because babies lose body heat very quickly. You can also wrap your little one in a dry hooded towel and uncover only the parts of the body you are washing.
- Put your little one on the flat surface. This could be a counter next to the sink, bed, changing table. Pad this surface with a fluffy towel or a blanket prior to placing the baby on it. Do not leave your baby unintended and keep your hand on him/her to prevent falls.
- Wash the baby’s face first. Use a damp sponge or cotton ball and gently wash her/his face. Be careful not to get water into the baby’s eyes and mouth. Wipe under his/her chin where milk and drool can pool, and inside & behind the ears. Never use a cotton swab to clean inside the little ears.
- Dip the sponge in the warm water and clean the baby’s neck and torso, maneuver around the umbilical cord. Then, wipe under his/her arms and between fingers. Make sure to get into creases and skin folds.
- Finally, clean the diaper area. Use high-quality, mild baby first bath soap to prevent allergy and skin dryness.
- Dry and cover with a towel to keep your little one warm.
- If your newborn is prone to eczema or has dry skin, apply lotion before putting on a diaper and outfit.
When Should You Start Regular Baths for Your Baby?
When the umbilical area is healed over, it’s time to try to place your little one in the bathtub. New parents often ask “How long does the baby's first bath should last?” Well, it must be as brief as possible since the water can irritate his/her skin, plus he/she might get chilly.
Although babies usually love bathing, they may protest at first. If your little sweetheart protests too loudly, return to a sponge bath for a week, then try again. The baby will let you know when he/she is ready, so don’t push!
Bathing Safety Tips:
- As we mentioned above, do not leave your baby alone and hold him/her with one hand while washing with another - it’s a rule of thumb.
- Do not use a bath seat for a newborn, it can easily tip over.
- Check the temperature of the baby’s first bath, it must be no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent burns.
- Do not rub the baby's delicate skin, clean gently.
- Use only high-quality products for the baby’s first bath to prevent allergies and other skin issues.
- Use tear-free baby shampoo.
- When bathing is finished, wrap a hooded towel around your little one to keep him/her warm.
- Pat your baby dry very gently to avoid damaging his/her sensitive skin.
In conclusion, there are lots of things to think about when it comes to the first bath for a baby. But don’t stress! Soon, bathing a little one will become your second nature. Before you even know it, your baby will sit up on his own and splash away in the tub. That’s when bathtime will become really fun for both of you!
Care to Share?
Get Sanity, Delivered to Your Inbox.
About the Author
Rachel Hudson is a mom to 2 adorable kids. She worked as a therapist prior to her maternity leave. Now Rachel enjoys writing blog posts on topics related to parenthood and children’s health. In her free time, you’ll find her reading or walking outdoors.
My Motto: When you love what you have, you have everything you need.
Motto: When you love what you have, you have everything you need.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and occasionally participate in other linking programs, but I will never link to anything I don't like.
Copyright © 2021 The Stay Sane Mom