When And How To Give Baby First Bath?-A Complete Guide For New Parents

Baby bath is very important. This is due to the fact that it helps to to strengthen the bond between a mother and a baby. Also helps a baby experience a comfortable sleep. Giving bath to a baby especially by the new parents is something frustrating.

I remember when we had our first baby we had so many questions. The common questions and concerns among new parents are when and how to give baby first bath. Sometimes new parents are scared to give their baby a first bath, this is normal since many do not know the basics of caring for a baby while bathing.

My wife and I also went through the same situation, so don’t be afraid. In this article we are going to look at both sponge bath and real bath or tub bath. These are common types of baths to an infant. Let’s dive in.

Sponge Bath

Before the baby umbilical cord fall and the wound heals it is the right time for sponge bathing. This takes place at the period of 1-2 weeks after birth. It is recommended that you start sponge bathing 24-48 hours after birth and not immediately after birth. A good towel rub is all that needed for removing amniotic fluid and blood immediately after birth.

Delaying sponge bath up to 24 or 48 hours will help to increase breast feeding rates also the skin to skin contact between mother and baby strengthen baby mother bonding. You can sponge bath a bath 1 to 2 times a week since at this period babies don’t get that dirty.

Tips for Sponge Bathing

  • Make sure you have all the necessary baby bath products you need within reach. The common baby bath products for sponge bathing are soft dumpy cloth or a sponge, Warm water as well as a hooded towel. The baby soap is not necessary at this stage.
  • Choose the flat surface like the changing table then put the baby bath products on the table. Also, put a basin with warm water near the table.
  • Undress your baby, place him or her into the soft towel. Keep one hand on the baby to support his or her head and neck.
  • Expose only the parts or the areas that you are cleaning. Use the baby bath sponge or soft dampy cloth to clean one area at a time. Be very careful to avoid baby slippery.
  • Start with the head and moving down the toes. Gently wipe the baby’s face with a sponge or wash cloth. Then clean the eyes using a cotton ball. Wipe the inside corner to the outside edge.
  • Clean baby ears. It is recommended that you use moist cotton ball to clean baby’s ears. An attempt to use a sponge or piece of stick will damage baby’s ears.
  • Then move to the baby’s neck. Clean the greases around baby’s neck using a baby bath sponge or a clean dumpy cloth. Clean the arms, knees, fingers and toes.
  • Don’t forget the genital areas as well. Use the sponge or bath cloth to wipe gently the greases between the scrotum, groin and penis. Also, for a girl use moist cotton ball to clean the skin that flaps between legs.
  • Pat the baby dry using the dry hooded towel. Now the sponge bathing time is over. Remember to keep a room warm.

The Real or Tub Bath

This is Ideal when the baby’s umbilical cord has fallen and the wound has healed. At the beginning bath your baby 2-3 times a week. This is due to the fact that new born are not that dirty. As your baby grows you will bathe him or her once per day. This will be part of bed time routine.

Tips For Real or Tub Bathing

  • Make sure you all the necessary requirements for bathing within your reach. The common baby bath requirements here include a hooded bath towel, clean wash cloth, warm water, baby soap , shampoo as well as clean diapers.
  • Use the baby bath tub that is right size for your baby. It is recommended to use bath tub designed to hold a newborn in a semi-reclining position. Don’t use bucket, bath ring or bath seats. If you ignore this you will be endangering the life of your baby. Bath seats and rings are ideal for the older babies who can sit up on their own.
  • Fill the tub with 2-3 inches of warm water. It is recommended to use warm water rather than hot or cold water. Use your non-dominant hand to support baby’s head then lower a baby. Never leave a baby in the water alone.
  • Use the wash cloth to clean your baby from the head to the toes. Use very small amount of soap.
  • Wash the baby face and face. Use a baby shampoo to wash his or hair. Only 1 or 2 drops of baby shampoo are enough.
  • After bath place your baby on a dry hooded bath towel. Careful pat your baby dry by using the sides of the towel.
  • Apply a clean diaper as well as diaper ointment.

Final Thoughts

Make the bath time more fan. Sing the beautiful songs to your baby. This will make your baby happy. As the time goes on a baby will continue to enjoy and love the bath time. Also, this will help to strengthen the bond between mother and baby. Thank you very much for reading this article. If you ever have any comments, feel free to leave them below. I will be more than happy to help you out.

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  1. This is such a great article! I have always wondered how new parents go about giving their baby a bath for the first time. I personally do not have any children, but this article will come in handy in the future, so thank you so much! Very informative. Also loved how there are different options, and not just one way!

  2. I am not a new parent but I want to thank you for a great article and to also let parents know that this can be slightly nerve racking and incredible at the same time. It can be nerve racking because you may be afraid of hurting your child by letting them slip or you name it, a number of other fears. But, don’t worry, with the tips in this article and the love you already have for your child, this will be the beginning of many great memories as you watch your child grow up. This was a wonderful article for new parents.

  3. Hello, thanks again for this helpful post. It feels like you have come into my life just at the right time because I have been reading some of your posts and they’ve really been helpful. I’m an expecting dad and I know bathing too would be an integral aspect of raising a child so I decided to read on it. Thanks for the detailed info. I will bookmark this too and make sure to read it more so I can master the details in it.

  4. Tha k you very much for sharing this article. I really did enjoy reading it and I like the way you have given it out. I think the first bath is very important and as you have said, it brings together a good relationship between the mother and child. I have seen my sister  bath her daughter the first time before and so I can very well say that your tips are good. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wow, thanks for sharing this educative and informative article, I must say this came at the real right time of it’s need, I and my girlfriend, we’re expecting a baby soon and I’ve been picking up articles like this to read so as to help with the baby wellbeing. I’ll share this to my girlfriend and I know its gonna be of great help to us. Baby bath is really necessary and must be done in the proper way. Thanks for the help.

  6. This is really cool. As a mother I see the childs first bath as a very crucial one, because during that bath one would need to be very careful because of the mild nature of the childs skin and also, the child have lived in a particular fukid all the while in the stomach so would need a lot of cleaning to remove and smell from the skin. Looking as these tips you have given here, these are the exact way I’ll give my baby his first bath. Best regards.

  7. Bathing baby for the first time is pretty scary.  It is so small and slippery that every new parent is nervous. After the first few times however it does get easier and less scary. Having everything you need on hand before you start is a great tip though. One should never have to leave the baby to fetch something that has been forgotten. 

    As baby gets older bath time does become a lot more fun and baby will start looking forward to that time of day. What natural baby soaps would you recommend for very tiny babies?

  8. This is a really amazing post I must confess. The first bath a baby gets after coming to the world is not just important but very Paramount. This is why I have been searching for more knowledge to ensure that it is properly done so that the baby can sleep well and have a good bond just like you have mentioned. This is a very easy to understand guide and I’m very glad I’m reading it. Kudos.

  9. Baraka, thank you for this fine and thorough article.  Since I’m retired, it has been a long time since I gave a baby a bath.  I’m not planning to do that, but I guess you never know!

    The only question I had was when you talked about the table for the sponge bath.  Especially the first few times, would you suggest a table where the parent is standing, or perhaps on the floor just to avoid dropping the baby?

    Your instructions are very clear and easy to understand.  The fact that you are writing this from personal experience gives your post the authority it needs.  Thank you again.


    • Thank you Steve. Flat table is for keeping baby bath products. But a parent should not stand on the table during sponge bathing

  10. Wow! So a baby cannot be sponge bath withing the first12-24 hours of birth? That is rather strange to know about. Thank you so much for this post and I will surely note this down. My immediate junior sister is giving birth soon and I would be the one to help her out withost of the tasks after birth. I would make sure that something of this nature would never happen to her child. Thanks

  11. Hello there, I must admit bathing a child for the first time isn’t an easy task. My wife is currently heavy with a baby and she will be due soon. This being our first child, she will need to learn to bath the child. I have no idea how this is done until i came across this post. I’ll inform  her about this post and hopefully when the baby comes we will know how to do it.

  12. I remember a nurse aunt of mine who was the only person that bathed every new born in the family. I think it had something to do with the condition of the umbilical cord at the time.

    Those are great tips for Sponge Bathing. I get worried when a soap is used immediately. I get the feeling that the soap might get into the not-so-healed umbilical cord wound. 2-3 times bath a week sounds reasonable. I like you suggestion of getting into the fun mode during bath time. We may not see it as that important but this little chore can really create that bond.

    Thank you for these insights. Great article!

  13. This was such an entertaining and interesting read, an excellent guide for newbie parents who need to bathe their baby for the first time. Great tips for washing the ears, I didn’t know that. These are good things to know 🙂  

    Although it is a no brainer that you shouldn’t leave your baby alone in a bath tub, it is still important to mention it and to remind us. I’ve read accounts of babies that were left alone for just a minute or so, with terrible consequences … 

    I am looking forward to the time when I can bathe my first baby, singing to it and enjoying this bonding moment. 🙂 

  14. Thanks for this informative and educative post, I must say that this is a well written article on giving a baby a proper bath, you have given tips that could make it alot easier and less confusing, I also encourage singing and saying nice words while bathing as you advised, although I don’t do it but I think it’s one thing that caught my attention in this post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Seun. Singing to a baby during baby bath is very important. It strengthern mother-baby bonding.

  15. This will go a long way in helping new mother how to take care of their new born baby. In my own culture, each time a new mum give birth, there’s always someone that will stood by her and teach her how to take care of the baby. Anyone that doesn’t have that opportunity can easily get help from this article. New born baby need a soft, careful and thorough bath to avoid possible body odour. Thanks for this enlightening review.

  16. Thankyou! Great article. You really included everything important when it comes to giving the baby the first bath. When we had our baby, we didn’t have a guide like this. We had to piece it together from various articles and books. Our baby was nervous about the water at first, because it was a pretty new experience for them. 

    We did our best to be careful, at the same time, realizing that the baby has to be clean. Sometimes we used wipes too since it was a little easier for them than the water. Nice article and I look forward to reading more! 

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