Your little one’s first bath is one of the milestones in your parenting life. However, when to start, how to start, and what the things you need are the questions that every new parent has. Doing your baby’s first bath takes a lot of practice. Just relax. It will get easier every time. Your baby might be screaming now but he or she will come to love water later.

How Often Do You Need to Bathe Your Baby?

For newborns, as long as you keep the diaper area well-cleaned and wash the baby’s hands and face multiple times a day, two to three times of sponge bath a week is enough. Babies don’t need to be bathed that often. Newborns, especially, don’t really get dirty.

For older babies, bathing every day can become a part of their bedtime routine. Having a warm bath before going to bed is a great way to help your baby relax and unwind for the night.

Giving your baby a bath helps them in sleeping. [Image Credit: Dean Wissing / flickr]
Giving your baby a bath helps them in sleeping. [Image Credit: Dean Wissing / flickr]

How to Give a Newborn Baby a Sponge Bath

Before the umbilical cord of your baby falls off (normally, it happens between 10 days to three weeks after birth), it is best to give your little one a sponge bath to avoid getting the cord stump wet.

  1. Lay down your baby on a soft and flat surface (placing the baby on top of a clean towel works best). Have a basin of warm water and a sponge ready.
  2. While warmly wrapping your baby, expose a limb one at a time and gently wash it with the warm water.
  3. Pat the area dry and start washing the other limb.
  4. In case you accidentally get the cord stump wet, use a dry towel to gently pat it dry.
A sponge bath is good for newborn babies. [Image Credit: Oleg Sidorenko / flickr]
A sponge bath is good for newborn babies. [Image Credit: Oleg Sidorenko / flickr]

How to Give Your Baby a Full Bath

Once the umbilical cord has fallen off, your infant is now ready for a real bath in a baby bathtub or sink. Whichever you plan to use, pad the bottom part with a towel to make it softer for the baby. Having your partner nearby to help you is better to hold on to your little one. Before you give your little one a full bath, assemble everything you need beforehand.

Here are the things you need:

  • A large, hooded towel
  • A sponge or soft flannel
  • Baby soap or bath wash
  • Cotton balls
  • A baby comb or brush

1. Fill the tub with water. You need to have about two inches of warm water to give your infant an effective bath. You may place a warm flannel over the baby’s belly to keep him from getting cold.

2. Keep your baby covered during the bath. Even if you are giving your baby a warm bath, your baby can lose heat quickly.

3. Using a soft washcloth, give your baby a good wipe down. The bath does not need to be long, but you need to get the job done. Hold the baby firmly and gently wash the loose skin or debris that is accumulated. You have to cradle the baby’s head and back as you bathe him. As you wash the baby, pay particular attention to the following:

  • Genital and diaper areas
  • Hands and feet
  • Folds at the back of the knees, things, and neck
  • Face
  • Armpits
  • Behind the ears
Make sure to be very careful when giving your baby a bath.
Make sure to be very careful when giving your baby a bath.

Newborn Hair and Cradle

Although not all babies have a full head of hair at birth, if your baby has full hair, gently wash it with baby shampoo. Just dab shampoo to your baby’s hair, gently massage it and let it sit for a minute before rinsing it out. Wash the baby’s hair last so it will not sit in soapy water.