HomeHealth articlesroutine newborn careWhat Are the Tips to Be Followed for Bathing a Newborn?

Is It Good to Bathe a Newborn Baby Often?

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Bath time is fun, but it is crucial to be delicate and careful while bathing a newborn because babies are fragile and sensitive.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Veerabhadrudu Kuncham

Published At November 21, 2023
Reviewed AtApril 13, 2024

How to Bathe a Newborn?

It is vital to be careful with the newborn around water. Gently put the baby into a bath. Start with their feet first. Make sure to keep hold all the time. Then support the neck and head of the baby and lay back. One need not use shampoo.

What Are the Tips to Be Followed for Bathing a Newborn?

The following tips are advised while bathing a newborn.

  • Many parents bathe their babies as a bedtime routine, followed by daily massage, or when there are frequent diaper changes. But it is not required.

  • Bathing twice a week is sufficient in the early weeks after birth.

  • Between the baths, check the baby's folds, which include the thigh, groin, armpit, and chin. If required, clean the area using a wet washcloth or chemical-free wet napkins, which are available in the markets.

  • Bathing for a more extended period may have adverse effects on the baby's skin. Prolonged bathing may result in getting away all the natural oil on the skin and increases the risk of peeling the skin.

  • Therefore, the parent or the caregiver should avoid bathing the child for not more than ten minutes and try to use chemical-free and mild soaps.

  • Too hot or cold water may cause skin dryness, increasing itchiness and peeling. A lukewarm bath followed by the moisturizer application may be suitable for baby skin.

What Are the Tips to Avoid Bathing Accidents?

Bathing accidents are widespread and occur at home when the baby is left unattended.

Ways to avoid bathing accidents:

  • Always have a close hold of the baby and hold the baby when the baby slips to prevent drowning.

  • It is better to place a non-skid mat inside the bathtub, which prevents the baby from slipping.

  • One should keep toys that keep the baby busy, which makes bath time more fun and keeps the baby away from the faucet.

  • Keep the water temperature below 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid burns.

  • Keep all sharp objects, such as razors, scissors, blades, etc., away from the baby's reach to prevent injuries.

  • Keep away or unplug the electric items, such as the hairdryer.

  • Once the baby's bath is done, empty the bathtub to avoid any dangers.

  • Dry the floor and baby's feet to avoid slipping.

  • Keep away all the bathing accessories, such as shampoo and soap, from the child.

  • Soon after bathing, wrap the baby in a soft cloth that keeps them warm and helps in drying.

  • Wash the baby's head in the last so that the baby does not catch a cold.

  • Do not use very hot or icy water for bathing; check the temperature of the water before starting the bathing.

  • Always use chemical-free soaps and shampoos.

  • The baby's umbilical cord must be dry.

When Is It Good to Bathe a Baby in the Morning or the Evening?

Individuals can bathe their baby anytime, in the morning or evening. It is up to them. Some prefer an early morning bath to start a new day, but others follow a bed bath to sleep well. If individuals are bathing their baby after feeding, let the baby's tummy settle down first and bathe the baby.

Why Not Bathe Once a Day?

While it may seem strange to bathe the baby so infrequently, babies just do not require as frequent bathing as adults. They do not perspire or become dirty like older people, and their skin is considerably more sensitive than adults. Bathing frequently can sometimes cause more damage than good.

Bathe the infant once or twice a week to avoid drying out their skin and exacerbating conditions like eczema. Use a gentle, fragrance- and dye-free soap. When one removes them from the bath, pat them dry before using a dye- and fragrance-free baby moisturizer and clothing them immediately.

If the child has a known skin condition, talk to their pediatrician about what products and routines parents may use to keep them comfortable.

How to Give a Baby a Sponge Bath?

People will need to obtain the necessary equipment ahead of time. Typically, this will include water basin or tub, a soft towel, a washcloth or cotton pad, a fresh diaper. When babies are awake and content, caregivers should wash them. They should speak to the baby in a calm and comforting tone so that the baby perceives the event as pleasant. The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) in the United Kingdom recommends providing a sponge bath as follows:

  • Fill the basin or tub halfway with warm water. Nowadays, bathtubs are available online with temperature monitors and they can be bought.

  • Place the infant on a floor-changing mat or a comfy, flat surface.

  • Remove the baby's clothing but leave the diaper on.

  • Wrap the infant in a towel and expose as little skin as possible while cleaning each body area to keep them warm.

  • Wet a soft washcloth and gently wipe the baby's face and scalp.

  • To avoid getting dirt in the baby's eyes, wipe around the eyes from the inside corner to the outside. For each eye, use a different section of the washcloth.

  • Gently wipe around the baby's nose, mouth, and the rest of the face, paying special attention to less visible areas. Under the baby's chin, behind the ears, or between the neck folds are examples.

  • Carefully wash the rest of the body, giving special attention to skin wrinkles and creases.

  • Carefully pat the baby dry before wrapping them in the soft towel.

  • Remove the diaper and wash the bottom and genital area carefully from front to back.

  • Put on a clean diaper and dry the baby.

  • To aid healing, keep the baby's belly button stump dry. A stump may occasionally bleed, but this is typically not a cause for concern.


Bathing newborns is not necessary every day. It is preferable to postpone the first bath for at least 24 hours after the birth to allow the protective covering of vernix to remain on the skin. Once the umbilical cord stump has fallen off and healed, caregivers can give a baby a sponge bath or a regular bath. Caregivers should take safety precautions, including checking the temperature of the water and avoiding distractions, regardless of the method they utilize.

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Dr. Veerabhadrudu Kuncham
Dr. Veerabhadrudu Kuncham



routine newborn care
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