How to Wash Your Newborn Baby?

Washing your newborn baby for the first time can be pretty scary especially when it is your first time. Your baby is so delicate that you will need to apply extra caution and proper care while bathing your baby toavoid bringing any harm to him or her. When you learn and have mastered washing your newborn baby, you will realize that giving your baby a bath has a lot more benefits other than making him/her clean.


Washing your baby not only boosts your bond with your baby but it also allows you to learn more about your baby – what he/she wants or enjoys and what he/she does not. Washing your baby also calms your baby and gives him/her a feeling of relaxation. It may also induce sleep. Do you want to learn how to properly bath your newborn baby? Let me help you with that. In this article, I have written easy to understand step by step instructions on how to wash your newborn baby. But before we proceed, let us first discuss some things that you need to know.

When can you start washing your newborn baby?

It is not necessary for your baby to have a bath immediately after birth. Although many hospitals have the practice of doing this, it is not actually for the purpose of hygiene. Its purpose is more on helping the parents learn how to wash their newborn baby and feel comfortable doing it.

According to a research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, vernix caseosa, which is the waxy coating on newborns’ skin, contains antimicrobial proteins which helps protect your newborn from common prenatal pathogens. This is removed during early bathing. A good time to start washing your newborn baby regularly is when the stump of the umbilical cord falls off. Only wash your baby 2-3 times per week since bathing him/her frequently may dry out your baby’s skin.

How to Wash Your Newborn Baby

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What are the things you need in washing your newborn?

Bath tub

When bathing your baby, it is easier to use a small tub rather than a standard one. Nowadays, there are many kinds of baby bath tubs out in the market including bath tubs with a seat, with mesh sling or hammock, collapsible, convertible, etc. It is up to you to choose which is most comfortable and advantageous for you to use.

Baby soap and shampoo

It is not particularly necessary to use soap and shampoo in washing your newborn baby during his/her early days but if you wish to use them, choose very mild soap and shampoo so as not to irritate your baby’s skin.

Warm water

Your baby’s body easily gets chilled so you should use warm water to wash him/her. Make sure that the temperature is not too hot for your baby.This is one of the most important things to consider on how to wash your newborn baby.


Your baby’s skin is soft and delicate so make sure to use soft washcloths when washing your baby. Also, prepare 2-3 washcloths to use in washing the different parts of your baby’s body.

Baby towel

Your baby gets easily cold so a baby towel should immediately dab him/her dry right after you finish washing. Use a soft baby towel which is just right for your baby’s delicate skin.

Clean clothes and diaper

Prepare your baby’s clothes and diaper beforehand and place it near your wash area so that you can dress him/her right after and avoid making him/her cold.Clean clothes and diaper

How to wash your newborn baby

Step 1. Prepare everything you need to use during and after washing your baby

Before washing your baby, make sure that you prepare everything you need from the bath until putting clothes to your baby so you wouldn’t make the bath longer and expose your baby to cold. Make sure that you put them very close to you so you can easily gain access when you need them. You wouldn’t want to leave your baby in the bath tub even for a minute because you are not sure what accidents might happen. Also, wear comfortable clothes which are ok to get wet and get soap on. 

Step 2. Put warm water in the bath tub

Fill your baby bath tub with water high enough to properly wash your baby but not too high to totally soak your baby’s body. Make sure that the water is warm but not too hot. To test if the water’s temperature is not too hot for your baby, soak your elbow in the tub. The skin in your elbow is more sensitive than your hands. If the water is not too hot for your elbow, then it may not be too hot for your baby too.

Usually, a good warm bath for your baby is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or less depending on your baby’s preference (which you will know when you get used to washing your baby). Also prepare a separate warm water to wash your baby’s head. Make sure that the room is warm since your baby easily gets cold.

How to Wash Your Newborn Baby

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Step 3. Undress your baby and place him/her in the bathtub

Completely undress your baby and wrap him/her in a towel. Gently place him/her in the bath tub using your one hand to support his/her head and the other to guide him/her in the bath tub as you place him/her feet first. Make sure that his/her body is not completely soaked in the water and his/her face is well above the water.

How to Wash Your Newborn Baby

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Step 4. Wash your baby.Wash your baby

It is now time to wash your baby. Let me tell you a good way on how to wash your newborn baby. First, wash his/her face by gently wiping it with wet washcloth. Clean his/her eyes by gently dabbing it a few times. Also clean the back of his/her ear. Don’t forget to pour water over him/her regularly so he/she doesn’t get cold. Next, wash his neck, body, arms, and legs starting from up to down using a soapy washcloth and rinse them with cupfuls of warm water. Don’t forget to wash the body front and back and never leave the creases on your baby’s body.

Next, wash your baby’s genitals gently with wet wash cloth with soap from front to back and rinse it thoroughly. Lastly, using your hands, wash your baby’s head with minimal amount of shampoo and rinse it with the warm water you set aside earlier. To avoid getting water and shampoo in his/her eyes, tip his/her head back a little. Also, while rinsing his/her head, cup your hand above his/her forehead so that the water and shampoo do not get in his/her eyes. Always remember not to make the bath too long so your baby won’t get cold.

How to Wash Your Newborn Baby

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Step 5. Get your baby out of the tub, dry him/her, and dress him/her

After the bath, immediately but gently get your baby out of the water and cover him/her with a soft towel. Make sure that his/her head is also covered so he/she doesn’t get cold. In drying your baby, don’t wipe him because a newborn baby’s skin is very delicate. Instead pat him/her dry. When he/she is all dry, put his/her diapers on and dress him/her. Your baby is now fresh and clean.

How to Wash Your Newborn Baby

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Bathing your newborn baby can be scary at first especially when you think of how small and delicate he/she is. You need to exercise proper care and caution so that your baby will not experience any discomfort or harm. However, if you learn and practice, you will realize that it is actually pretty easy and fun. You will also discover the other benefits of washing your baby that you never thought of in the beginning. In order to achieve this, you need to learn how to properly wash your newborn baby and get away from the panic. In this article, I have listed steps on how to wash your newborn baby. I hope this article helped you.

Rosanna Mai

I am a new parent with a 1 year old and my husband's lives. Although still new to parenthood, I can give a lot of valuable info on financial management in the home, DIY projects to save money, and generally the frugal way of living.

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