Newborns spend much of their day sleeping, so don’t sweat a lot and unlike toddlers who can get messy when eating and playing, newborns don’t. With this in mind, bath time does not have to be an everyday exercise, however some babies find it soothing, especially before bed. Some parents introduce bathing early on - this is to help normalise the bathtime experience and create a routine.
Which soaps can newborns use?
For their first few weeks, soaps are not essential but if you choose to use them, choose wisely. Use soaps and shampoos with natural ingredients to avoid irritating your baby’s skin. Non-scented or non-coloured products are generally more skin friendly.
Some babies may seem to have dirty or flaky hair, but it could be cradle cap. Cradle cap is not harmful and affects healthy newborns regardless if they are bathed or not. To remove it, wet their head and gently rub with a soft brush, either with or without shampoo.
When can I begin bathing my Newborn?
Babies can begin bathing after 2 weeks or when the umbilical cord falls off (usually at 10-14 days). Until your baby’s umbilical cord comes off, just wash them with warm water and a damp cloth. Like any exercise or event with your baby, the key to an enjoyable bath is good preparation.
Preparing for bathtime
Have your soap, towels and shampoo all within arm’s reach. If you’re bathing in a full size tub, you may want to place a non-slide mat down too. A change of clothes and nappy should be on hand but make sure they don’t get caught in the splashing. Consider using spout covers if they are in the centre of the bath or near your baby.
How much water should be in my baby’s bath?
Baby baths should be between 3 to 5 inches deep, the water should never exceed the height of your baby’s bent knee. It’s important once you reach the correct depth you turn off the water straight away, a few extra mls will make all the difference in a baby bath.
What’s the right temperature for my baby’s bath?
Running a bath for your baby is everything to do with scale - small changes make a big difference and accuracy and safety go hand in hand. The ideal baby bath will be 37-38oC or 100 Fahrenheit - it’s the equivalent of body temperature. Make sure the tap is off before checking the temperature, as with less water used the temperature changes in the bath will be more noticeable.
How do I hold my newborn in the bath?
Lower your baby into the bath in a cradled position. Keep one hand behind their neck at all times. This support at the neck allows you to wash your baby with the free hand, and at this point you will be glad you kept everything you need very close. If for any reason you need to leave the bathroom, never ever leave your baby in the bath alone.
When bath time is over
Gently lift your baby from the bath, immediately swaddle with the towel and dry them thoroughly. When wet, your baby will cool down quite quickly so limit how much time is spent drying then put on the nappy and clean clothes.
For some babies, bath time is a relaxing experience and prepares them for bed, but for others it can make them more alert. If bathtime stimulates your baby at bedtime, why not try a different approach to soothing your baby? The Babocush has been used all over the world to help settle and calm babies and means your hands are free for a few minutes to enjoy a cup of tea or relax near your baby. Many parents, like you, have integrated Babocush into a relaxing bedtime routine. For more information on the wider benefits of the Babocush including soothing colic, countering reflux and safe relaxing see more here.
Early pregnancy loss deserves empathy
Establishing good sleep habits for you and your newborn
Baby Colic - All Your Questions Answered
Dads’ helpful tips to enhance bonding with your new baby
Why “mummy time” is essential for a happy home?
How to keep your baby comfortable
A fussy baby or a baby in pain?
You and your baby – the first few days