The New Moms Guide to Giving Baby their First bathTips For Giving your Newborn their First Bath

Most likely, your baby’s first hospital bath will be heavily assisted by your postpartum nurse and he or she will guide you through each step. But once you are home, bath time can be a little intimidating! How will you support the baby’s floppy neck, while simultaneous cleansing each little crevice? Meanwhile baby is NOT happy that any of this is happening.

Bath time doesn’t have to be stressful though. Here are some tips to help baby’s first bath at home go smoothly, and hopefully peacefully

Prepare your environment

Gather all of the things you’ll need before hand.

Here’s a suggested list:

You may choose to give the bath in a kitchen sink with the baby tub placed on the counter or in the sink. Or you can begin using the bathroom space. No matter where you choose, be sure the environment is warm. If you’re in the kitchen, warm up the room by turning on the oven. If in the bathroom, keep the door closed.

Have the baby’s towel laid out and ready to go before undressing the baby

Make it a two person job

Eventually you or your partner will be able to master bath time solo, but these first few baths require all hands on deck. While one of you is getting baby undressed, the other is preparing the warm bath water in the sink. (Check temp by dipping elbow in.) While one is washing, the other is comforting baby and preparing the towel. While one is holding baby, the other is washing baby’s hair. Teamwork will make this time go much smoother

Have a plan

Until your baby’s umbilical cord falls off, baby’s baths will be sponge baths. Read up on how to properly care for baby’s umbilical cord here. This means not soaking the baby in water until the cord is gone. It is best to avoid getting the umbilical cord wet at all, so just work around it while washing the belly area.

Always start with the most clean parts of the baby, working your way to the most dirty. The baby’s face does not need any soap, just water. Begin with baby’s face and under the chin. Add some soap to your washcloth and start with baby’s trunk, arms, legs, feet, hands and end with the little booty.

Babies take comfort in having an extra towel or light baby blanket placed on top of them. Only remove the blanket as needed to wash each part. After you are done washing the baby, place baby in towel (baby will be slippery!) and swaddle up. Then take this time to wash the baby’s hair over the sink or tub. You will want to use the extra wash cloth or a soft cradle cap brush and work in a circular motion.

Once the bath is complete, diaper up baby, and if baby isn’t too upset, use this time for applying some baby lotion.

You made it!

Baby’s bath time can be a bit scary, but with following these tips, you’ll master bath time in no time! Eventually, it will become one of your favorite things to do with baby, and as baby grows, they too will learn to love the splash time!


Meet The Author

Hello, I’m Erika! I live in Omaha with my husband and our 3 kiddos, 2 dogs and 1 cat. I have a background in early childhood education, but currently staying at home with my littles. I am a yogi-wanna be, cookie connoisseur and snuggle-aholic. You can find my other blog posts featured on Omaha Moms Blog.


The New Moms Guide to Giving Baby Their First Bath. All the supplies needed plus strategies to make things run smoothly!
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