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Baby Bath Time

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Baby Bath Time

Mar 31, 2020
baby in robe

Bathing Your Newborn

Your baby doesn't need a bath every day as long as you are washing them thoroughly from diaper changes. Three times a week during her first year may be enough. Bathing too often may dry out her skin, particularly if soaps are used. Patting your baby dry and applying a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizing lotion immediately after bathing can help prevent dry skin.  Bathing should be a very relaxing and soothing experience, so don’t rush unless she’s unhappy.

Sponge Bathing

Until after the umbilical cord stump falls off (usually in the first couple weeks), your newborn should have only sponge baths.  You can do this anywhere comfortable for you and your baby.  Lay the baby somewhere flat - a changing table, bed, floor, or counter next to the sink will do. If the baby is on a surface above the floor, use a safety strap or keep one hand on the baby to make sure that they do not fall.  

Use the dampened cloth first without soap to wash the face, so you don’t get soap into the eyes or mouth. Then dip it in the basin of soapy water before washing the rest of the body and, finally, the diaper area. Pay special attention to creases under the arms, behind the ears, around the neck, and, especially with a girl, in the genital area.


When its time to start giving a bath, most find it easiest to bathe a newborn in a , sink, or plastic tub lined with a clean towel. Fill the basin with 2 inches of water that feels warm—not hot—to the inside of your wrist or elbow. The hottest temperature at the faucet should be no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid burns. In many cases you can adjust your water heater.

Do not undress your baby until you have the water ready so they are not cold.  Use your hands to support the head and guide them in feet first. Their face and most of their body should be above water; you will need to pour warm water on them to keep them warm regularly.  

Use a soft cloth to wash the face and hair and be gently due to the soft spots.  When you rinse the soap or shampoo from their head, use your hand on the forehead so the soap suds run toward the sides, not into the eyes. Should you get some soap in the eyes, simply take the wet washcloth and liberally wipe the eyes with plain, warm water until the soap is gone. Wash the rest of her body from the top down.

Stork Helpers tip on baths

Bath Time Needs

As you prepare to give your baby their bath, here are some things you want to make sure you have handy and ready before you get started—and prepare to get wet!

  • Water Basin
  • Clean washcloth
  • Extra Towel for splashed water
  • Hooded towel—keeps head warm
  • Mild baby Soap/Shampoo
  • Nail Clippers (if you are going to clip nails)
  • Baby Lotion
  • Fresh Diaper
  • Baby Wipes
  • Fresh Pajamas
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