Bathing Your Newborn

For new parents, bathing a newborn can be a difficult process. This article walks through the process of bathing an infant, and addresses frequently asked patients that we hear from new parents.

Bathing Your Newborn

Bathing Your Newborn – Introducing your beautiful new baby to a tub full of water can be a tricky business for new parents. Your baby may not love the experience, either. But with time and a little practice, both you and your newborn can start to feel a little more comfortable with the bath time ritual.

Before bathing, it helps to get all of your supplies ready so that you can give your full attention to the baby. Put approximately 2-3 inches of warm water in the tub; to keep your baby warm, pour warm water over his or her body. With your free hand, support your baby’s head and torso, and wrap your arm under the newborn’s back. This will help keep your child warm and secure during the bath.

Using a soft cloth or a rinsing cup, gently squeeze the water over the baby. It is not necessary to rub your baby’s skin, as it is very delicate. (Don’t be surprised if your baby isn’t the only one who gets wet!)

If your newborn’s hair appears dirty, or if he or she develops symptoms of cradle cap, it is important to wash the head as well. While supporting your baby’s shoulders with your free hand, carefully massage a small drop of mild, hypoallergenic shampoo into your newborn’s scalp. Using a damp washcloth or the faucet, thoroughly rinse out the shampoo. Be sure to keep one hand across your newborn’s forehead to keep soap and irritants out of his or her eyes.

Most babies don’t need lotion after a bath; however, if you bathe your newborn daily, his or her skin become dry. If you feel the need to use lotion, be sure to pick one that’s hypoallergenic.

Basic Tips for Bathing Your Newborn

Helpful Guidelines for New Parents

  • Never leave your baby unattended while around any amount of water.
  • Keep a good grasp on your baby at all times.
  • Until the umbilical cord stump falls off, a sponge bath is often sufficient.
  • Use a very mild soap on your newborn’s delicate skin.
  • Always keep the baby’s head above the water.
  • Check the temperature of the water to ensure it is not too hot or too cold. Lukewarm to the touch is recommended.
  • Responsible adults should be the only caregivers allowed to bathe your baby.

Selecting the Right Bathtub for Your Newborn

There are several places where it is appropriate to bathe your newborn. Some parents prefer a large sink, while others might choose the bathtub. Wherever you choose to bathe your newborn, you will need to choose a safe, stable infant bathtub that works for your space. When purchasing an infant tub, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Make sure that the tub is non-slip so that it fits securely in either the sink or bathtub.
  • Look for an infant tub with compartments that hold bathing supplies. This creates a safe, easy workspace for you.
  • Steer clear of infant tubs that have any rough edges that could scratch your baby.
  • Choose a tub that is sturdy enough to hold both your newborn and the bathing water.

Newborn Care at AGC Pediatrics

AGC Pediatrics offers comprehensive pediatric care for newborns and young children. Call (404) 625-5900 to schedule your newborn’s appointment at our Cartersville or Calhoun location.