Bathing your baby

A helping hand for baby’s first sponge and tub bath

Whether you’re sponge bathing, or using a baby bath or a bowl to bathe your baby, bath time is important for the health and hygiene of your little one. It’s also a lot of fun.

Ready for bath time?

Babies take to bathing like rubber ducks to water. Get into a routine, and you will too. Make the room a cosy temperature because babies lose heat from their bodies quickly and make sure you have everything you need on hand.

Sponge bathing your baby

You’ll likely want to ‘sponge’ bathe your baby until the umbilical cord stump has healed. This usually takes one week to 10 days, but the umbilical cord stump may remain attached for up to eight weeks.

Body wash your baby by wrapping them in a towel to keep them warm and uncover an area at a time to sponge clean. Use a mild baby wash that is gentle on the skin and eyes.

  • Wipe your baby’s entire face, paying attention to creases behind the ears and neck
  • Gently wipe eyes from the inside corner out, using a fresh piece of cotton wool for each eye
  • Carefully wipe just inside each nostril using a moistened cotton wool bud
  • Clean the genital area wiping from front to back to prevent bacteria spreading from the baby’s bottom

Umbilical Cord Care

Pay special attention to your baby’s umbilical cord. Until it heals and drops off, keep it clean with soap and water, pat dry, then fold your baby’s nappy under the cord to help with drying.

Moving on to tub bathing or bucket bathing

You can tub or bucket bathe when your baby is about 2-8 weeks old.

  • Use just a couple of inches of water
  • Test the water temperature with your elbow so it’s not too hot or too cold
  • Support your baby’s head, neck and shoulders with one hand until they can sit with a straight back
  • After bathing, clean and disinfect the tub to remove soap scum, dirt and germs

Bathing every couple of days is great for the health and hygiene of your baby andnd for lots of healthy laughter.