Step-By-Step Guide for Bathing Your Newborn

Many parents don't realize newborns only need about two to three baths per week. Bathing a newborn is simple, but you'll want to take some safety precautions to keep your small baby safe. Here are some tips on newborn baths and a step-by-step guide below.

Key takeaways:
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    If your baby loves baths, you can bathe them once a day but be mindful of their skin drying out.
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    Stick with sponge baths until your baby's umbilical cord stump has fallen off.
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    Use a baby bath insert to make baths easier and safer.
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    Pay attention to the water temperature when bathing your baby.
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    Use a natural, non-toxic soap for bathing your baby.

How to bathe a newborn in the bathtub

To bath your baby in a bathtub, follow these steps:

  • Place the baby bathtub into the larger bath and start the water.
  • Fill the tub with a few inches of water.
  • Check the water temperature to make sure that it isn't too hot or too cold before placing your baby in the tub.
  • Place your baby in the bath while supporting their head with your hands.
  • Use a washcloth to gently wash their body and face.
  • Use baby soap in moderation to wash them and avoid drying out their sensitive skin.
  • Continuously splash or pour water over your baby, so they stay warm.
  • Rinse the soap off and remove them from the tube.
  • Quickly get them to a towel and dry them, so they don't get too cold.
  • You can apply baby lotion or oil following the bath to moisten their skin.

How to give a newborn a sponge bath

To give your baby a sponge bath, follow these steps:

  • Gather your supplies. You'll need warm water, a couple of washcloths, and a dry towel.
  • Lay your baby flat on a surface and use a wet washcloth to wipe them down with warm water.
  • Put soap on one washcloth and wipe them with it.
  • Use another wet washcloth to wash off the soap.
  • Dry them with a towel.

How soon after birth should a newborn get its first bath?

There are some benefits associated with delaying a baby's first bath. Some doctors recommend waiting a few days before giving a baby their first bath because it can reduce the risk of infection, stabilize blood sugar, and improve mother-baby bonding.

This is because babies are born with a white substance on their skin called vernix. Vernix is naturally beneficial for a baby's health, offering antibacterial and moisturizing properties, so scrubbing it away as soon as they're born isn't the best idea.

You'll also want to wait to place your baby in a bathtub filled with water until its umbilical cord falls off. Until the umbilical cord stump falls off, give your baby sponge baths because you don't want to submerge the umbilical cord stump in water.

Is it okay to bathe a newborn in the sink?

It is considered safe to bathe your baby in the sink. Most baby bathtubs or bath seats are small enough to fit in a kitchen sink, so you can follow the same steps when bathing your baby in the bathtub. Make sure to wipe out the sink ahead of time with warm water and a cloth.

What type of soap is best for bathing a newborn?

It is best to use non-toxic baby soap. Look for soaps free from artificial fragrances and made with natural ingredients. Make sure you use a tear-free soap if your baby has hair that you'll be washing. Pay attention to whether your baby reacts to the soap you use because they may have sensitive skin and require a hypoallergenic option.

Infants need to be bathed two or three times a week. You can do a sponge bath or use a baby bath insert in the bathtub or sink. Remember to use baby-specific tear-free soap.


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