How to Bathe a Newborn Baby – First Baby Bath Procedure

How To Bathe a Newborn
Photo by Henley Design Studio from Pexels

Congratulations on being a new mom!!! I know loads of questions and concerns are arising on your mind now and then. I can very well understand the pressure of trying to do everything right for your baby. You have just taken a small step ahead by landing on this page while trying to find the answer to the question – “How to Bathe a Newborn Baby?” Also, there is always a doubt about when to start the first baby bath.

You will find some valuable information in this article as you read on. Also, I have tried to cover most of the common questions asked by new mommies.

So, here you go..

When should newborns have the first bath?

Many doctors recommend bath for newborn baby for the first 24 hours. Also, this period can extend up to 48 hours. Although, this solely depends on the doctor as he or she will know the best thing suitable for your baby.

Also, many experts suggest giving a sponge bath to the newborns until the umbilical cord dries out. So, they suggest that you wipe the baby’s hands, legs, face, and genitals gently twice a week. So, you can start bathing newborns once you get a nod from your baby’s doctor.

In India, I have seen bathing newborns start after 48 hours. Although, in my case, I took the doctor’s advice and started giving a sponge bath to my baby after 24 hours. I started bathing my baby after 5 days. But, as I have mentioned earlier, it all depends on the doctor as well as the weather of a place.

Why do you need to wait for the first bath for your baby?

Your newborns might not look clean after coming out of your womb. But, you would be surprised to know the benefits of the creamy coating of a newborn.

Babies develop white coating in their mothers’ wombs. This protects them from amniotic fluid inside the wombs. Also, this coating contains antibiotic properties. So, this helps to keep the babies warm.

Besides, one more reason for babies to feel warm is that unlike adults, babies are unable to control their body heat. Thus, by keeping the bath away, you keep your babies more warm and comfortable.

How do you bathe a newborn for the first time?

The first bath of a newborn is always a crucial one. But, once you are used to it day after day, it will not be that difficult for you later. I have done little research on how to bathe a newborn. Also, I have added my experience along with that of some other mommies. So here you have the easiest baby bath procedure.

First baby bath procedure

  • Take a small tub and fill it with warm water.
  • Give support to the neck and head of the baby with one hand.
  • Make sure you keep your baby wrapped in a towel exposing only the area you are cleaning.
  • Take a soft towel and dip it in the tub.
  • Then dab the towel gently on the baby’s body parts.
  • Keep a dry towel to dab it after you are done with the wet towel.
  • Start from the upperparts and then slowly move to the legs.
  • Do not drop any water on the umbilical cord.
  • At last dab the towel on baby’s head.
  • Use cotton balls to wipe the face, nose, and eyes.
  • Be very careful when you are dabbing the baby’s face and genital area.

You can give this sponge bath to your baby till the time the umbilical cord dries out and falls off. Then you can give bath babies normally. But, then also, you need to be very careful. Here are some easy steps for daily bathing babies.

Daily Baby Bath Procedure

  • Take a small tub and fill it with warm water.
  • Give support to your baby with one hand.
  • Take your baby near the tub keep his or her head over it.
  • Then take water in your other hand and pour it on your baby’s head. Continue this process until you give a nice head wash.
  • Next, rub your baby’s head gently with a soft towel.
  • Then submerge your baby’s body in the tub and pour water over him or her. You can use a baby bath seat for this.
  • You can use soap to wash your baby. But, keep clean water near you to wash off the soap.
  • At last, wipe your baby’s face with water.
  • You can give a baby massage before bathing babies once they are 3 months old.

Watch the Video here : https://raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/videos/bathing-a-newborn-safely

Safety Rules while bathing babies

  • Always keep the doors and windows closed while giving bath to newborns.
  • Make sure that you hold your baby with proper support in one hand. Also, it will be better if you can get a helping hand while giving a bath to your baby.
  • Do not rub any parts of the baby while giving the baby bath for the first time.
  • While sub-merging your baby in the water, make sure the umbilical cord has dropped off and the navel has no infection.
  • Make sure no water goes inside your baby’s ears eyes.
  • Always keep bathing products near you during bath time.
  • It is good to bathe babies inside a room rather than a bathroom when they are young.
  • Use soap and shampoo only after consulting the doctor.
  • Do not keep baby longer in the tub if he or she feels terrified.
  • Never leave your baby alone in a bathtub or near water.

Common Questions About Bathing a Newborn

Should I bathe or feed baby first?

You should always bathe your baby first before feeding. Older babies love playing with water and thus get hungry. So it becomes easier to feed them then. Besides, babies might feel sleepy after a bath. So, it is good to give them food after a bath.

But, in case your baby feels hungry, you can give them little food before bath. But, do not bathe them immediately after the food.

Should I wash my baby’s face every day?

You can wash your baby’s face every day. You can dip a cotton ball n warm water and dab it to clean your baby’s face every day.

Is it better to bathe a baby in the morning or at night?

In India, because of humid and hot weather, parents prefer morning tome to bathe a baby. But, you can choose night time to make a ritual before bedtime to calm your baby.

What time of the day is best to bath baby?

You can give a bath to your baby anytime between 9 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. in India. But, in cold regions, you might have to wait a bit longer till it is 11.00 a.m. It is good to finish the bathing ritual before noon so that your baby can have lunch and take naps without getting tired.

Is it OK to bath the baby every night?

Too much water can dry out a baby skin. So, most of the doctors recommend a gap of 1 or 2 days while bathing babies every night.

How long should baby bath time be?

You can bathe a baby for 5 to 10 minutes.

Should you give your newborn a bath every day?

As stated earlier, too much exposure to water might dry out the baby’s skin. So the doctor might not recommend a daily bath for babies. So, bathing a baby twice or thrice a week is good. But, in case you live in a country where there is too much humidity or heat, then you can bathe babies every day.

Why do babies cry in the bath?

Newborns are sensitive to any changes in temperature. So, if the water is too cold or too hot, that might be uncomfortable for them. Also, baby skin rashes might burn in water and that might make our baby cry. Besides, if a baby is hungry or tired, he or she might not feel like having a bath.

Is it OK to bathe with a newborn?

It is never okay to bathe with a newborn. You need to be extra cautious while bathing your baby. Also, babies might get scared of the water at first. So, you have to let your baby get used to bathing with water first. Once they are a little older, you can bathe with them.

Final Thought

Bathing moments can be the most lovely experience for babies. But, as a parent, you need to make the baby bath special and enjoyable for your baby. If you can make your baby feel comfortable by knowing how to bathe a newborn right from the start, then this can continue to be pleasant for your baby. Also, do not forget to introduce some lovely bath toys and sturdy bathtubs.

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