How To Bath A Baby? 7 Top Tips To Bath Your Baby For The First Time

It can be quite daunting as new parents to think about how to bath a baby for the first time. Do not panic! I am here to help you overcome any worries you may have so that you enjoy this lovely time with your little one. 

Remember after you have done it a couple of times it will become completely natural and be such a breeze.

Its also nice to remember that your baby’s first bath is one of the first milestones that you will go through together. It’s lovely to remember this moment as it will for sure be one of those memories to look back on and cherish.

I found that this was also the perfect time to have special bonding time with your baby. This is such a great opportunity for your partner to get involved as an opportunity to really have that regular bonding time with your newborn.  

If you are reading this before baby arrives why don’t you check out my list of baby essentials that can make shopping for your newborn so much easier.

We are going to cover all the most common questions first time parents have on how to bath your baby:

  1. When should newborns have their first bath? 
  2. Can you give a bath to baby with umbilical cord still attached?
  3. How do you bath a baby step by step?
  4. What temperate should a baby bath be?
  5. How often should I bath my baby?
  6. Are baths good for babies?
  7. What equipment do I need to bath my baby?

When Should Your Baby Have Their First Bath?

It is recommended not to give a bath to baby until their umbilical cord has come off. In this time, you can give a sponge bath using a Top and Tail bowl. Be sure to keep the umbilical cord dry after. 

Can you give a bath to baby with umbilical cord still attached?

It is not recommended as you don’t want to immerse the cord in water. It’s also important to keep the cord as dry as possible to reduce the risk of infection. However, if it has been pooed or weed on then you will need to softly clean with some plain water and dry gently

How to Bath Your Baby Step by Step

The key to a successful baby bath is BE PREPARED

  • We want to make sure the room is warm enough so baby doesn’t get a chill. 
  • Get everything we need out and ready so that its all at hand

Step 1 – Get Everything we need

  1. Babys bath with water of 37 degrees – No need for soap at this stage
  2. Two towels – One to lay flat and one to wrap baby in
  3. Soft sponge or cloth
  4. Clean nappy & Clothes
  5. Nappy cream if needed 

Step 2 – What do I do?

  1. Check the temperature of the water with your elbow to check its warm and not hot
  2. Take off babies’ nappy and wipe clean any areas if needed
  3. Lower your little one gently into the bath using one hand to support their head.
  4. Use your hand to keep babies head supported whilst using the other hand to gently wash and put water on baby.
  5. Once finished (It only needs to be short at first) lift your little one out of the bath and lay them on the towels. Gently pat dry making sure you get all the creases.
  6. Put nappy on and dress as you would normally.

Congratulations! You have bathed your baby for the first time!

No1 Bath Rule

Never leave your baby alone! If you have to get something or do something urgently, take baby out of the bath. Don’t leave them alone not even for a quick second!

What is the ideal temperature for a baby’s bath?

The general guidelines are that bath water for a baby should be around 37 degrees Celsius.

We always test the water first by either dipping your elbow or wrist into the water. You are making sure that the water feels lovely and warm but not hot. 

As a side note it’s a good time to point out that you don’t need anything in the water at this point. Just plain water will do the trick as baby’s skin is sensitive at this stage. Once baby is a bit older you can get the bubbles out which they will absolutely love!

person holding baby s feet

How often should I bath my baby?

Your baby doesn’t need a bath every day, however some babies love their bath time and you may want to add this as part of your daily routine. We bath every other night which seems to work well and our little one gets a good clean and a little splash.

What I would recommended is washing your baby everyday just to freshen them up. I found ‘Topping and Tailing’ great in the first few weeks which I would do every morning before I got my little man dressed.

To explain a bit more ‘Topping & Tailing’ is using a bowl that has to sections. One section is to wash the face and the other is to wash the bottom half. Its super easy to do and I literally used a soft cloth or some cotton wool and it took all of 2 mins.

Are baths good for babies?

Super simple answer is YES! baths are great for babies not only is it great bonding time for you and your little one its also great for stimulating their senses.

The feel of water and watching it pour etc can have such a positive effect on your little one. Also there have been studies to suggest that bath time relaxes your baby ready for a great nights sleep. Im not 100% sure on this one but I always thought it was worth a try!

Not all babies love bath time, at first your baby might cry and not enjoy it. Don’t worry, this is natural to something that is so new for your little one and that can feel different at first. Our eldest son who is now nearly 5 didn’t enjoy the bath at first, it took a little time but we got there in the end. The important thing is to keep going and eventually your little one will start to enjoy it.

What equipment do I need to bath my baby?

  1. Baby Bath

2. Soft Towels / Baby Hooded Towel

3. Soft clothes for washing

4. Bath Thermometer

5. Top & Tail Bowl

A Few Little Extras We Did At Bath Time Which You May Enjoy Or Find Useful

Baby Massage 

After the bath its really nice to utilise maybe 30 seconds to give your baby a little massage. I found that this really soothed both my little boys and relaxed them before bedtime.

It’s good to point out that it’s not advised to use baby oil or lotion until baby is at least one month old. However, I still used massage motions and my little ones loved it. 

Singing or Chatting

We are definitely a house of singing and dancing in the kitchen. As a family it’s so much fun and the boys just love it.

When we started bathing our little ones we were naturally nervous. My husband always starts singing when he is nervous and it instantly lightens the mood and our little boy loved it.

This is something we have continued to do and just makes it that little bit more fun, especially as your little ones get older. 

Cradle Cap

If your little one suffers from cradle cap then bath time is a great opportunity to start shampooing baby’s hair. This is the one we used from Dentinox

It was so easy, all we did was massage a small amount onto baby’s head and the rinse off. We did this over a few weeks and the cradle cap began to disappear.

Bath Round Up

It will take a few times before you feel confident and relaxed but don’t worry this feeling is totally normal. Have faith in yourself, you will get there!

In no time you will be enjoying spending quality time with your little one and it may soon become one of the highlights of your day. Babies/children love bath time, splashing around playing with their toys fills them with so much joy. A perfect way to end a lovely day with your family.

See you soon!

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