How to bath a baby and baby skincare tips
Welcome to our guide to how to bath a baby together with top tips for looking after your baby's sensitive skin.
Before you start bathing your baby, gather together everything that you'll need - you must not leave your baby alone in the bath - even for a second.
What you will need
- baby bath (use the family bath for older babies)
- clean towel or two
- two washers (one for face, one for rest of body)
- bubble bath or bath solution (not necessary for very young babies)
- bath toys
- anti-slip seat or mats
- shampoo (depending on amount of hair baby has)
- sorbolene cream / body cream / massage oil
- change mat or suitable flat, cushioned surface
- clean nappy
- clean clothes
If using a baby bath, place the bath in an area free from draughts and at a height that is comfortable for you. Many baby baths come with their own stands and plugs for easy emptying. Baby baths and accessories, such as non-slip seats and mats, are readily available from general baby equipment stores. Babies grow out of the seats quite quickly, but they're very inexpensive and well worth the money. Alternatively, a towel at the bottom of the tub will help stop a newborn from slipping. But no anti-slip device or bath seat should lull you into thinking that you can leave your baby alone in the bath - DO NOT LEAVE YOUR BABY FOR A SECOND even if you are leaving an older sibling in the room.
Once you've got the bath set-up, fill with warm water - a temperature that would be comfortable for you is a good guide. Test the water with the inside of your wrist or your elbow and if in any doubt, err on the cooler side rather than risk scalding baby's skin. If you have a water thermometer, a good guide to a maximum water temperature is 38oC.
Undress your baby completely and lower him/her carefully into the water. Pour water gently over your baby's body during the bath to keep them from getting too cold (don't pour over the head to avoid getting water into the mouth.)
Wipe baby's face, ears and eyes with a clean washer. Use another washer for the rest of the body, making sure to get into all the skin folds.
Afterwards, dry baby thoroughly and apply a body cream or massage oil.
Very young babies only need bathing every two or three days and you can even 'top & tail' or 'sponge' instead, by wiping baby with damp cotton wool and washers on a suitable flat surface or change mat. Sometimes it's easier to clean the eyes, ears and bottom of young babies like this before putting them in the big bath as they can get very slippery in water!
You need to consider bathing your baby more often once they start getting messy with solid food and when they're crawling around on the floor. Babies can get hot in the summer, so you might wish to consider giving cooling baths on a more regular basis at that time of year.
want to know more?
For more articles, local directories of shops and services, checklists, calculators and more visit our...:: baby info hub