Bathing your baby can be a lovely experience for you both, but it can be a bit daunting too.
Here are some common questions about baby’s bath time, to help put your mind at ease.
When can my newborn have her first bath?
If your baby is full-term and healthy, you can give your newborn her first bath as soon as you like. Keep the first bath short (5-10 minutes).
What do I need?
It’s a good idea to ensure your bathroom is warm and everything is ready, and within arms reach, before bath time begins. Once your baby is in the water you need to hold them at all times.
You will need:
- A good sized towel to wrap your baby in once they get out. Our bamboo towels are huge, soft and cosy.
- A bath support, mat, or clean towel (to prevent your baby slipping), if you’re choosing to bath your baby in your own bath.
- A baby bath if you prefer.
- A changing mat, fresh nappy, wipes, nappy cream and clothes.
- A bath thermometer. (Optional, but handy.)
You don’t need to add anything to the water if your baby is under a month old. When you do, choose a mild, PH-neutral wash.
As your baby gets older, they will probably enjoy having some toys in the bath - but these aren’t necessary for a while yet!
When is the best time to bath my baby?
The time of day doesn’t matter and you can do whatever works best for you both. The most important thing is to choose a time when you and your baby are both relaxed. It’s best not to bath your baby straight after a feed, or when they’re hungry or tired.
As your baby gets older, you might like to make a bath part of their bedtime routine.
How much water should I put in?
You can keep the water shallow. Fill the bath with just enough water to cover your baby’s shoulders.
How warm should the water be?
If you have a bath thermometer, use it to check that the water is about 37 degrees C to 38 degrees C. If you don’t have a thermometer, gauge the water temperature with your elbow rather than your hand.
When preparing the bath, run the cold tap first, then add the hot water - and mix it to prevent hot or cold spots.
Do I need to bath my baby every day?
You don't need to bathe your baby every day, but if they really enjoy it, there's no reason why you shouldn't.
A bath twice a week or three times a week is enough to keep your newborn clean. Between baths, you can always top and tail your baby. This means washing your baby from head to toe with warm water and cotton wool, or a clean flannel. You can find out how to do this here.
What if my baby doesn’t enjoy her bath?
If your baby seems unhappy check that the water isn’t too hot or cold, the room temperature is warm and she isn’t hungry or tired before you begin.
If your baby is frightened, you could try bathing together. This is safest if you have someone to help you by holding your baby while you get in and out of the bath.
Do persist and remember you don’t need to bath your baby every day.
Finally, remember, never leave your baby alone in the bath, not even for a few seconds.