Bathing Baby

Bathing Your Newborn Baby

Gather together everything you need:

  • Clean clothes
  • Nappy
  • Liquid soap, if using
  • Bottom cream (barrier cream and/or nappy rash cream)
  • Towel
  • Sponge and/or flannel
  • Cotton wool pads are ideal for washing a new baby’s face in the first few weeks (to avoid any contamination to the baby’s eyes use cool boiled or sterile water)
Check room temperature as a newborn requires a warm bathroom - 20°C

Bath temperature needs to be 37°C (body temperature).

​Always test water before placing baby in the bath.

Run cold water first then add the hot to reach required temperature.

A newborn baby could feel nervous when all their clothes are removed and may cry when first bathed. Speak gently and reassuringly, telling them what is happening as you gently wash their body.

Bath time needs to be a happy occasion.

It is preferable to sponge bath your baby only, in the first few days. This is often referred to as ‘top and tailing’. You do this by gently washing the face, hands and bottom with warm water once or twice a day.

You will have been advised to use warm water, rather than wipes, at nappy changes, however if this is not possible for you, endeavour to wash your baby’s bottom with water once or twice a day.

As the first few days in the world are generally confusing for a baby, it can be an ordeal to have all their clothes removed at once. As baby adjusts to the new environment his confidence in his surroundings grows.

​By the fourth or fifth day at home, baby will feel more secure, therefore when he is first lowered into a bath it will be less traumatic for him. He may cry loudly, so speak gently and reassuringly to your baby, explaining the delights of the bath.

Most babies have a real and instinctive fear of falling. Always lower and take your baby from the bath with gentle movements.

Before long, the bath will become one of the joys of your baby’s day and he will love kicking and splashing.

It has also been noted that babies are less anxious during their first bath if their tummy is full. We will discuss this during the Bath Routine.

Key Points To Take Away

  • Gather together all the necessary items as stated above
  • Check room temperature
  • Check temperature of water (37°C)
  • Test water before putting baby in
  • Gently lower baby into their bath
  • Top and tail baby for the first few days
  • Babies will become more comfortable and feel more secure in their surroundings and bathing will become a happy occasion