Bathing Your Newborn
Bathing a newborn baby for the first time can be a bit nerve-wracking for both you and the baby. But, if you set aside enough time so you don’t have to rush, and you organise yourself beforehand, you and your baby will both survive the experience – and you might even enjoy it.
In any case, you’ll soon establish a routine.
Your midwife may have demonstrated how to bathe your baby and care for the umbilical cord stump (and circumcision wound, if your baby has one). Until the umbilical cord stump has fallen off, and for a few weeks afterwards if you prefer, a top-and-tail wash is more than sufficient. If you are giving your baby a full bath, hold your baby securely in the water and never leave your baby alone in the bath or turn your attention away from him for even a second.
How often should I bathe my newborn?
Fortunately, new babies don’t get very dirty, so they only need a bath every few days or so to stay fresh and sweet, unless you both enjoy the experience. Baby’s skin can dry out very easily, so avoid over-bathing if you can.
All that newborn babies need in between baths is a daily clean of the face, hands, neck and bottom (topping and tailing), as well as regular cleaning of the face and bottom at feeding and changing time.
When should I bathe my baby?
As you get to know your baby you’ll learn when your baby most enjoys a bath – it’s up to you, you can bathe your baby anytime during the day, although it’s better to avoid bathing your baby when he is very hungry, straight after a feed or when he’s sleepy.
Many parents find that incorporating a quick wash or bath as part of the bedtime routine to be a great way to wind down for the evening, calming baby enough for sleep.