That first bath can be pretty nerve-wracking. We show you how to get confident – you’ll both be looking forward to a wind-down bathtime
Make sure your bathroom is warm and you have a towel, nappy and sleepsuit ready before running the bath. Pick a time when your baby isn’t hungry or tired, so she’s not irritable.
Check the temperature
Fill your baby bath with around five inches of water; enough to cover your baby’s shoulders. It should be 37c, which is body temperature. Use your elbow or wrist to test, as these areas are more sensitive to heat than your hand. If you’re unsure, use a thermometer.
Ease her in
Lower your baby slowly into the water, supporting her head, neck and body with one arm. Wash her gently with a sponge or flannel using your free hand.
Go in order
Always wash your baby from top to bottom and from front to back to avoid spreading infections. Use wet cotton wool to clean her eyes and face.
Keep it simple
It’s best to bathe your newborn with just warm water for the first few weeks. As her skin is so delicate, using toiletries could leave it feeling dry or prone to irritation.
Let her splash around in the water so she learns that bathtime is fun. And opt for toys that allow you to sprinkle water on her – as she’ll love the sensation. Don’t let her get cold, though, placing a warm flannel on her tummy can help.
Wrap her up
When you’re done, lift her out of the water and immediately wrap her up in a warm, fluffy towel. Cover her head and give her a cuddle so she warms up quickly.
Dry her gently
Gently pat her dry, paying particular attention to her bottom, any folds in her skin and her fingers and toes, where dry, chapped skin is more likely to form.
Don’t overdo it
Stick to two baths a week as any more may dry her skin. In between, ‘top and tail’ her using cotton wool dipped in water to clean her face and nappy area.
Skin-to-skin contact is brilliant for bonding, so you or your partner can get in the bath, too. Just make sure you have warm towels to hand and always dry and dress her first.