How and when to bathe the newborn?

Everything we need to know about baby bathing.

A warm bath may be relaxing for your newborn but that doesn’t mean you need to take it every day. The important thing is to keep it clean and comfortable and this can not necessarily be done always and only with a daily bath. The day he doesn’t take a bath, just keep his face, hands and ass clean.

When to bathe the baby

A bath can be relaxing for the child and represent a signal that the day is coming to an end, but it is not always necessary.

In fact, some children rebel against bathing because they don’t want to be undressed and immersed in water. Therefore, if you notice that the baby does not like taking a bath and it is a source of stress for him and for mum and dad, limit yourself to washing only the most important parts for a few days.

Also pay attention to frequent baths because they could excessively dry the delicate skin of the baby.

Plain warm water is fine but if you want to add detergents opt for natural ones that are suitable for your child’s sensitive skin.

How to wash the baby

Make sure that the room temperature in which you bathe your baby is warm and comfortable (about 20-22 degrees) and keep soft towels, clean diapers and changing clothes close at hand.

To wash the baby’s face instead of the water from the bowl you use for the bathroom, it would be preferable to use sterile water (which you have previously boiled and cooled). This allows you to avoid the risk of infection

Wash the baby’s face

Wash his face before putting the baby in the bath water. Take off his clothes but leave his diaper on and wrap him in a towel if he’s cold. Wet a cotton gauze with water and wipe the eye from the nose towards the ears. with another gauze do the same with the other eye Then use another piece of clean and soft cotton wet towel for the mouth, nose, ears and neck, paying particular attention to the folds of the neck.

Washing the baby’s head

If you are right-handed, support the child with your left forearm by tucking his legs under your right armpit. Rest the baby’s head on the edge of the tub or sink and wet the head with a soft washcloth.

Use a mild shampoo suitable for babies and rinse with a wet washcloth or by pouring a little water, with your free right hand, on the baby’s head.

Dry your head with a soft towel .

In the bath tub: when the water is at the correct temperature (35-37 degrees) undress the child and immerse him using both hands in the water, making sure that the head and neck have the right support and are out of the water .

In general, if you use the special trays, they have the support suitable for children.

If the tub does not have the right support, hold the baby with one hand behind his neck and head and wash him delicately with the other, as in the photo below. You can use a soft cloth if you prefer.

Pay attention to all the folds of the skin where dirt can hide (pee or residual feces).

Take him out of the water using both hands and wrap him in a soft towel. Dab it gently and check that it is dry even behind the knees before dressing it.


Never leave your child alone in the bathroom , not even for a second, because small children can quickly drown in a few inches of water.

If you have to leave the room, take the baby, wrap him in a towel and take him with you.

When you have added the water to the tub, mix it well and test it with a special thermometer before immersing the baby. If you need to add hot or cold water to reach about 37°, always stir the water before checking the temperature.

Check that the bath tub you have purchased follows the safety regulations.

When you’re not taking a bath

Face and butt are the main points to keep clean.

Always wash your butt’s face first if you use the same towel. If, on the other hand, you use two different cloths to dry it, the order in which you wash them does not matter.

In the hospital, before being discharged, nurse practitioners usually show mothers how to wash the baby’s butt under the tap of the sink (obviously at the right temperature that can be tested with the elbow).

In this case the child is supported with his forearm holding him on his stomach and with his free hand he washes the child’s bottom.

As an alternative to changing the diaper on the changing table, use wet cotton discs, always making sure to move from the front to the back and not vice versa, this is especially important for girls .

You can also make cleansing wipes at home to use when changing the diaper to clean it better without having to resort to water.

For the face, it is recommended at the beginning to wash it by wetting a cotton gauze with boiled water left to cool as we explained before.

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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