Your baby's first bath is an exciting milestone, but handling a tiny body that becomes slippery when wet can be a little nerve-wracking. Still, giving your newborn baby that first bath is actually a joy — and in the early days and weeks, you don’t really dunk your infant into much water at all (phew!).
We understand you’ll have a lot of questions especially if you’re a first-time parent. It will get easier every time as you practice it, so relax! We are here to guide you through your baby’s first bath.
WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO GIVE YOUR BABY THEIR FIRST BATH AT HOME?
Take a deep breath, there's no rush when bathing a newborn. . After birth, your baby will already have been cleaned in the hospital. It's not necessary to give your newborn baby a bath right away.
Are you unsure about the best time to bathe your new baby or the ideal timing for their first bath? The scheduling of this event is entirely up to you, as long as you choose a time when you won't be interrupted or tempted to hurry through the bathing process. You should probably plan for your baby's first bath at home within a week after birth. Just avoid bathing your newborn right after a feeding (it’s best to let their food settle a bit first) or when they're overtired.
In the meantime, you can keep their face, hands and bottoms clean by using a warm cloth everyday.
Babies tend to be more alert in the morning, which is appealing to some, though others may slate it in the early evening as part of her goodnight activities. When it’s time to wind down, make their bath time part of a relaxing bedtime routine that also includes a final bottle or nursing session, a book and a little song.
Keep in mind, however, that newborns don’t need a lot of washing (two or three times a week at most is fine). In the beginning, a sponge bath with a warm, damp washcloth is good enough to get your newborn baby cleaned. Then wait until your baby’s umbilical cord falls off to give him first tub bath, which usually happens 10-14 days after birth.
SPONGE BATHING YOUR NEWBORN BABY
This is typically done before your baby’s umbilical cord falls off to avoid it being wet.
1. Prepare all of your baby's bath supplies
At this stage, all you need is a basin of warm water and a soft washcloth or a baby gauze towel. Make sure all your baby bath supplies are within arm's reach so you don’t have to step away when giving your baby a bath.
2. Lay your baby on a flat level surface
It is recommended to lay a clean cloth on the flat surface. After that, take off your baby's diaper and clothing.
3. Clean small areas at a time
Lift only a small area at a time and gently wipe it with a damp washcloth. Pat the area dry and start on the next area. Pay special attention to their diaper area and any creases and folds.
GIVING YOUR NEWBORN BABY THE BIG BATH
Once the stump of the umbilical cord falls off, you can begin giving your newborn baby a full bath. You’ll need a large towel, a soft washcloth, baby soap and shampoo (if you want but it’s not necessary) and cotton pad.
1. Filling the baby tub with warm water
Fill the baby tub with 2-3 inches of warm water. The bath temperature for a newborn is between 32°C and 38°C. You can dip your wrist into the water to gauge the temperature, or use a thermometer if you're nervous about getting the temperature right.
2. Gently wipe your baby all over
Using a soft washcloth, gently wipe your baby all over, including their head and face. Baby soap and shampoo are not necessary but there’s no harm in using natural, mild baby soap. Using warm water and a soft washcloth is good enough to get them clean
Hold your baby firmly and gently while washing them. You’ll need to cradle and support your baby’s head and back as you wash them. Pay attention to these areas:
Creases under the arms
Behind the ears
The genital and diaper area
Between fingers and toes
The folds at the backs of the knees, the neck and thighs
The face – if debris has accumulated around their eyes, you can use a wet cleaning cotton to gently swab it away using an outward motion.
If you do decide on using a baby shampoo, make sure to cup your hand across your baby's forehead as you rinse their head to prevent shampoo from getting in their eyes.
3. Pat your baby’s skin dry
Now your baby is out of the bath. After a bath, pat your baby's skin dry using a clean, dry baby towel. Then, you can wrap your baby up with a big towel.
DO I NEED TO APPLY BABY LOTIONS AND POWDERS AFTER BATH?
Babies are born with soft, supple skin and natural oils so they don’t really need lotion. Also, pediatricians don’t recommend using baby powder because the particles can get into your baby’s lungs and may cause respiratory problems.
It's typical for your newborn to cry during their first few baths because the experience is still fresh to them. Don’t get panicky or worried you may have done something wrong. You can soothe them by caressing and singing to them. They'll learn and sooner or later they will be splashing away in the tub and love their bath time. Bath time is fun time for babies and their new parents! If yours seems less than thrilled, make the event short and sweet. Soon enough, your baby will squeal with delight when you turn on the tap.
References: Suzuran Baby
What our pharmacists recommend:
1. Suzuran Baby® Gauze Swaddle Bath Towel is made of 100% natural, washable, reusable and absorbent cotton for multi-use. These Baby Gauze Towels can be used to dry and absorb sweat that may accumulate on your child (ideal for humid months/environment). The bath towel can be used during bath time to clean your baby or as a towel to dry off. The towel can dry quickly and can also be used as a blanket.
Suzuran Baby® Gauze Swaddle Bath Towel is highly breathable, absorbent and dries quickly so there's no odor. Some other usages of Gauze Bath Towel include:
✔ Cleaning baby during bath time and drying baby after bath time
✔ Use as burping cloth
✔ Use as baby pillow by folding it or baby blanket
It is specially designed for the newborn Swaddle Bath Technique to help create a more relaxed bathing experience for you and your newborn baby.
2. Suzuran Baby® Antibacterial Cut Cotton is made from 100% natural plant-based, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable cotton with no rayon or artificial fibers, making the wipes non-irritating, soft and comfortable. The lint-free antibacterial cut cotton has a larger surface for more efficient cleaning, and it is soft and gentle on baby's s delicate skin. Plus, you can use it wet or dry.
Suzuran Baby® Antibacterial Cut Cotton is suitable for daily cleaning on baby / child and mother. It is ideal for:
✔ Cleaning baby’s genitals and diaper area when changing diaper (recommend to use with lukewarm water when cleaning baby)
✔ Prenatal/post-physiological cleaning
✔ Cleaning wounds
✔ Use as cosmetic pads (facial cotton)
3. QV® Baby Gentle Wash formula is so gentle that you can use it on your baby from head-to-toe. The moisturising soap-free mild cleanser formula helps rehydrate baby’s skin and is ideal for daily use, and the Vitamin B3 helps support the skin barrier. QV Baby Gentle Wash is suitable for individuals with sensitive skin and flaking or itchiness due to dry skin conditions.
QV® Baby Gentle Wash
✔ Non-drying formulation
✔ Fragrance free
✔ Soap free
✔ pH balaced
✔ Colour free
✔ Lanolin free
4. CHOMEL® Baby Head to Toe Wash is a pH balanced, plant-based, soap-free head-to-toe wash which helps to cleanse your newborn baby without over drying. It is suitable for newborns, toddlers, and kids with sensitive skin and eczema skin problems.
CHOMEL® Baby Head to Toe Wash
✔ No synthetic materials - only Natural Flaxseed, Rosehip, Coconut & Monoi Tiare oils are used to help moisturize
✔ Infused with Vitamin C & E to help strengthen the skin barrier making it healthy and soft
✔ Certified Hypoallergenic, Dermatologically tested for sensitive skin and HALAL by Jakim Malaysia
✔ Made without: Sulfates, SLS, Parabens, Formaldehyde Donors, EA, DEA or TEA
✔ Readily Biodegradable and non-toxic for your family
✔ Suitable for newborn, toddler, kids with sensitive skin and eczema skin problems
✔ Plant Grade Surfactant - cleaning agent Sodium Lauroamphoacetate is a yellow substance naturally derived from Coconut "embryo" used in skincare