Baby's First Bath - When & How To Give A Bath To a Newborn Baby

Keeping your baby clean is extremely important, but when your newborn is so little, it can be a little intimidating. However, it is simple to get the hang of with the right knowledge, so here is a guide on how to safely and effectively give your newest addition to the family a bath!

When to give your baby a bath

While the hospital staff will probably bathe your baby within the first few hours of birth, the World Health Organization (WHO) actually suggests waiting a full 24 hours after birth before the first bath. They claim it helps regulate blood sugar and body temperatures. If that’s not possible, they suggest at least waiting six hours.

Regardless, after the first one, you don’t need to give your baby daily baths. They are not crawling around and getting dirty just yet, so two or three times a week is generally sufficient.

How to give your Newborn a Sponge Bath

The first number of baths for your baby will have to be careful sponge baths. Until your baby’s umbilical cord stump falls off and (if applicable) your baby’s circumcision has healed, you don’t want to submerge your baby in water.


  • Bowl of warm water
  • Baby soap
  • Cotton balls
  • Washcloths
  • A towel
  • Clean change of clothes

Start by getting a bowl of warm water ready. Wrap your baby up in a towel nice and snug, and lay your baby on his or her back. Clean around your baby’s eyes by dipping a cotton ball in the water and gently wiping around the eyes. Use a fresh one for each eye!

After that, you’ll want to wet a washcloth, and without using soap, gently wipe the rest of your baby’s face. Don’t forget about behind the ears. Be extra careful not to get any water IN the ears. We as adults know how uncomfortable that can be.

Hopefully you baby is getting a bit more comfortable now, so you can start taking him or her out of the towel. Once you do, take some of the mild baby soap you have and get a small amount onto a wet washcloth. Wash your baby’s neck and scalp. You don’t need your baby to be dripping in soap, so just use a small amount.

Wash the rest of your baby’s body the same way. Consult your doctor about cleaning the umbilical cord. Some sources will say to do it, and others won’t. Trust what your doctor has to say.

Rinse your baby off and pat him or her dry. If your baby has dry skin, you might have to rub in small amounts of baby moisturizer such as Johnson’s Moisturizing Pink Baby Lotion.

Your baby is probably going to get a bit chilly after this, so make sure that you diaper your baby back up, and get your baby in some clean clothes. We recommend our newborn knotted baby gowns for easy use, and they look super cute! First time orders also receive 10% off, so you can’t go wrong!

A bath does more than get your baby clean

While you obviously are giving your baby a bath to keep your baby clean, there is more to it. One of the most overlooked would be the bonding time! You and your baby are spending time together: just the two of you. There is giggling, smiling, chatting (from you, and other sounds from baby). Enjoy it! It only lasts so long.

It’s also a learning experience for both you and your baby. If this is your first child, you’re experiencing this for the first time, and your baby definitely is! Your baby is learning about water and getting clean, even if they don’t know what’s going on.

Bath time is also a good way to calm a fussy baby. It can even help induce sleep, which could be almost as beneficial to you as it is your baby! Pair bath time with a gentle massage, and you’re set.

Moving on to a baby bath

When the umbilical cord stump does fall off, it can be time to move on to bathing your baby in a bady bath. While that is a topic for another article, you might want to get prepared and pick up First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Tub to get ready.

While bathing your baby may seem like a daunting task at first, it is easier than you think! Your baby will eventually start to realize what’s going on, and you’ll start learning the best ways to bathe your baby. It will become second nature! A clean baby is a happy baby!

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