Bathing a Newborn Baby – Do’s and Don’ts

How to bathe a newborn baby?

How to give your newborn a bath? 

Bathing a Newborn Baby – It can be nerve-wracking for a new parent, when you are going to bathe your baby for the first time. Your baby looks tiny and fragile and you are scared to hurt her in any way. But, it is just a matter of time before you will become a pro at it.

How often should you bathe a newborn?

Many people avoid bathing the baby, till the umbilical stump has fallen off. If you feel the same, you can just sponge the baby for first couple of weeks.

Later too, you may choose to bathe your baby daily or on alternate days till yo are comfortable, as babies do not really get that dirty.


Bathing baby


How to sponge a newborn baby

Be very gentle when sponging a newborn baby.

  • Take warm water in a basin
  • Take a soft wash cloth
  • Dip the wash cloth in water and squeeze out extra water.
  • Now gently wipe baby’s body specially areas like face, neck, hands and bottom.


Do’s while bathing baby

  • Ensure baby is fed and comfortable. A hungry baby may not cooperate with you when giving bath.
  • Accumulate all bathing accessories before you get the baby ready for bath :
  • If you are not comfortable using a baby bath tub or basin, you may use a baby bather specifically meant for bathing babies. This bather ensures that baby can lay easily and safely and you do not have to worry about holding the little boy while putting soap and poring water at the same time.

Click on the image to see the baby bather on amazon.

    • Warm water in a tub / basin
    • A gentle baby soap (Johnson & Johnson and Himalaya are quite popular in India), though you can get many imported brands in India now.  See Himalaya Refreshing Baby Soap review


    • Baby oil for massage
    • No-tears shampoo

    • Towels – hooded or otherwise

    • Wash-cloths

    • Clean clothing to put on after bathing

  • Make sure, there is no draft where you are bathing your baby. Check the temperature of the water with your elbow.
  • Undress your baby completely, massage baby with oil of your choice.

What is the right way to massage baby?

  • Gently lower the baby into tub/basin.
  • Hold the baby firmly.
  • Use your hands or a soft wash-cloth to apply soap and wash it off with water.
  • There is no need to apply any soap on face. Wash gently using a soft wash cloth.
  • Pay special attention to genital area.


Don’ts while bathing baby

  • Never leave the baby unattended in water

  • Never put baby in bath before checking the temperature of the water with your elbow.

  • Do not give a bath just before or after a meal, as it can cause spitting up due to pressure on stomach due to bath.


How to wash hair while bathing baby

Some babies are born with a mop of hair and some with no hair for many months to come. However, it important to take care of baby’s crowning glory. There is no need to shampoo baby’s hair every day. Once of twice a week is enough. You may want to wash upto three times a week in case baby has cradle cap

Use a no-tears shampoo or a gentle soap to wash baby’s head.

You can wash hair every second or third day, as it does not get dirty as much.

Use a spray nozzle if you have one. You may also use this shampoo visor/ shower cap which guards the eyes from flowing water and shampoo.


After bath, towel dry gently and wrap the baby in a towel and dress.



Is it OK to use talcum powder after bathing baby

It has been a common practice to apply baby talcum powder after bath. However, experts these days recommend not using talcum powder on babies. If baby inhales powder by mistake, it can be dangerous.

Cornflour-based powder can be used sparingly, if required.

Do you follow these do’s and don’t while bathing your baby? What supplies do you use for bathing baby?

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