Bathing a newborn

Bathing a newborn baby for the first time is something all parents feel a little nervous about. This step by step guide to is here to help.

You will need 2 clean dry towels, a baby bath tub, a baby bath thermometer, a mild baby shampoo if you wish and the usual baby changing equipment.

Bathing a newborn – step by step

  • Safety should always be your priority and you should not allow yourself to become distracted at any time.
  • Ensure the room is warm and that there are no draughts.
  • Rinse out the bath tub and fill it with warm (but not hot) water.
  • If you are not using a mixer tap to fill the bath then you should always pour the cold water in first. Once you have mixed in the hot water, swish it about to avoid any hot spots.
  • Check the temperature of the water by dipping your elbow into it or by pouring some water over your wrist. You may also want to use a baby bath thermometer.
  • Place a clean towel near the bath to use later.
  • Now it is time to prepare your baby for bath time.
  • You will firstly need to top and tail your new born in the usual way, once you have cleaned her bottom, leave her naked, wrap her in a dry towel and take her to the room where you are going to bathe her.
  • If you you are going to wash her hair, you should do so before she is in the bath. You can choose to use plain water or a mild baby shampoo.
  • Hair should be rinsed over the baby bath if needed and dry carefully and thoroughly.
  • Position your baby in your arms in a way that you will comfortably be able to hold her in the baby bath. Your strongest arm should be around the back of her neck, supporting her head and your hand should be under the armpit that is furthest from you so that you can support her weight.
  • Lower your newborn slowly and gently into the baby bath keeping her head clear of the water at all times.
  • Use your spare hand to gently trickle water over your little ones body.
  • Be enthusiastic; talk and smile continuously.
  • Never leave your baby alone in the bath, not even for a second.
  • Carefully lift your her out of the bath, be aware that baby’s skin may be very slippery. Wrap in a clean towel and gently pat her dry, pay special attention to the creases of her skin.
  • Now is a good time to massage your newborn, particularly if it is bed time.
  • Give your baby big cuddles to keep warm and yourself a big pat on the back for bathing your newborn baby for the first time!