Close Close
Mother and Baby
Advertisement Feature

How to bathe a newborn baby

You don't need to bath your little star every day. Two or three times a week is enough, but you should wash baby's face, neck, hands and bottom carefully each day.

It's best to bath babies during a quiet time in the day, when they're happy and alert.

Some mums bath their baby in the sink and others use a baby bath or get in the big bath with baby.

If you're worried about giving your newborn their first bath, you could try a bath support to cradle them, which leaves you with both hands free.

Buy these essentials before baby bath time:

  • Baby bath
  • Clean towel
  • Bath thermometer
  • Cotton wool
  • Pouring jug
  • Clean nappy
  • Clean change of clothes

After your baby is one month old you can use:

  • Mild non-perfumed soap
  • Mild non-perfumed shampoo
  • Mild non-perfumed lotion or oil

 

How to bath your newborn safely

  1. Before you start, make sure the room is warm, and check that everything you need is to hand. Once your baby is in the bath, you must never leave them alone.
  2. Getting the bath temperature for babies right is important. Fill the bath with 8-10cm of lukewarm water and swirl it around to even out the temperature. Check the temperature of the water with the inside of your wrist or an elbow. The perfect bath temperature for a newborn is 37°C.
  3. Plain water is the best cleanser for your newborn's delicate skin. There's no need to add anything to your baby's bath, except for a mild non-perfumed soap if needed, once baby is more than one month old.
  4. Lay your little one on a towel and undress them down to their nappy. Wrap the towel around them and clean their face with damp cotton wool, starting with the eyes. Use fresh cotton wool for each eye, and sweep outwards.
  5. Hold your newborn's head over the bath to wash their hair. If your baby has cradle cap, gently massage in a mild non-perfumed shampoo or cradle cap cream to remove any loose scales (after one month), then rinse thoroughly.
  6. Pat your baby's head dry before taking off their nappy. Wipe their bottom clean, then gently lower baby into the bath, making sure the head, neck and spine are all supported.
  7. Hold your little one's head and neck above the water and use your free hand to wash gently around the umbilical cord and in between the creases, leaving on the creamy vernix, which protects their skin. Finally wash the bottom and genitals from front to back.
  8. Carefully lift your baby out of the bath straight into a towel, and give them a big cuddle. Pat them dry, particularly around the umbilical cord and between all the creases. If you like, you can give your baby a massage, but you don't need to use any lotions or oil until after your baby's first month.

Comments

No comments have been made yet.


Win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack
Win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack

Click here for your chance to win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack

Pampers Baby-Dry
Win a 1 month supply of Pampers Baby-Dry nappies

Enter now for your chance to win a 1 month supply of Pampers Baby-Dry nappies PLUS £100 John Lewis voucher.

Lemonade Money
Protect your loved ones this Valentine's Day with Lemonade Money

Valentine's Day is an opportunity to let your partner know just how much they mean to you. If you don't have the time to sort out your life cover, financial planning firm Lemonade Money is here to help.

Win an NCT antenatal course
Win an NCT antenatal course

Click here for your chance to win an antenatal course with NCT and make sure you're baby ready.

How to deal with nappy rash with Superdrug's My Little Star range
How to deal with nappy rash with Superdrug's My Little Star range

Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby. Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash…

Celebrating parenting's small wins
Celebrating parenting's small wins

As mums, we're constantly told to enjoy every moment; in reality, parenting can sometimes be challenging. That's where small wins come in...

Subscribe to Mother&Baby!
Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week.