Newborn Care: Bathing your Newborn

One of the most nerve-wracking of things to do when it comes to your newborn would be bath time. There are many things to keep in mind when bathing your newborn, whilst ensuring that your baby’s head is well supported and he or she is secure in your hands. That is why so many new moms and dads love the ease and comfort of using a hospital grade bassinet for bathing as it doubles up as a bath. You can use the bassinet by removing the mattress and liners; its convenience makes it a worthy investment as it is easy and at the right height so that you are relaxed and confident that your baby is secure while bathing him or her.

Bathing Tips

Bathing your newborn is an important task especially because they are susceptible to infection and must be cleaned regularly. The following tips are things you should keep in mind when bathing your newborn.

  • Check the temperature of the bath water before using it on your baby – your baby can suffer from third-degree burns if the temperature is high. Ideally 90°F is perfect.
  • Use the likes of a washcloth or soft sponge to sponge your baby with lukewarm water.
  • You should wash his/her face and hands frequently as well as thoroughly clean the genital area regularly with every diaper change.
  • Use soft cotton wool dipped in lukewarm water to clean their eyelids gently, starting near the bridge of their nose and moving outwards with smooth strokes.
  • Once the umbilical cord has fallen out, you are able to use the likes of a hospital grade bassinet (as a bath) or a bathtub every few days. Bathing your newborn too often can dry their sensitive skin – make sure to moisturise regularly.
  • Often bathing your newborn is stressful but try to stay calm and allow your confidence to grow.
  • When bathing your little one, make sure to have all your supplies at hands reach; the hospital bassinet cum bath offers shelving right underneath. This will ensure you avoid leaving your newborn in the bath unsupervised.
  • Never leave the water running in the tub – this can pose as a health risk and drowning.

Newborn Bathing Instructions

  1. Get your supplies ready and nearby –mild soap, washcloths, cotton wool balls, plastic cup.
  2. Lay out the towel, diaper and clothes nearby – make sure that the room is not chilly during the transition between bath and towel-off.
  3. Fill the tub or hospital grade bassinet with 3 inches of water. Make sure you check the temperature with the inside of your wrist.
  4. Once everything is ready, start undressing your baby. Slip the baby into the bath water feet first. Make sure you support the baby’s neck and head. In that same grip, start pouring water onto the head with the cup making sure to avoid getting any in his/her eyes.
  5. Use soap in minute amounts to avoid drying your baby’s skin. Use a washcloth to remove build-up of dried skin/dirt gently off the skin.
  6. Rinse your baby quickly with water before it gets cold and then wipe with new clean washcloth.
  7. While still supporting the head and neck transfer the baby from the tub to the towel. A gentle but good grip is advised as wet babies are slippery babies.
  8. A hooded towel would be ideal so that your baby doesn’t catch a chill. Apply mild lotion as needed, then put on a diaper and fresh clothes.

Image: Epworth Healthcare

Author Info

Ross Wallace