Your baby’s first bath

The Sponge Bath

For every parent their baby’s bath time is a special time. Especially when it’s the first bath of their newborn. Every expression, every coo and every action is a memorable one – and ofcourse many like to preserve the memories by taking pictures. It’s a time of love and bonding with your baby. With all the excitement going on one must remember to keep the baby safe and always be attentive towards the baby during bath time. Do not leave your baby alone at anytime. Always double check the needs of your baby.

Step 1

1. Getting the bath ready – Precautions and Preparations

  • The first bath is a gentle sponge bath until the umbilical cord falls off, the circumcision heals, and the navel heals completely.
  • Gather all the child safe bath products for your baby such as a sponge, fresh diaper, a clean towel, clean blanket, fresh clothes, baby lotion or cream and room temperature water or warm water. Always check the temperature of water before using.
  • Keep the area you choose to bath your baby in, free of clutter.
  • A comfortable room temperature area such as a kitchen or bathroom, a bed and always indoors will be required to sponge bath your baby. Put a thick towel on the surface when you will lay your baby.

Step 2

2. The bath time – Be gentle and patient

  • Start with undressing your baby. Gently support your baby’s head. You may wrap the baby in the towel and one at a time gently wash the baby’s hands, feet and legs. You may clean behind the ears, neck, however be gentle. Always be gentle and never in a rush to complete the bath. However, do not take too long as you do not want your baby to get a chill.
  • The hair is washed in the end gently with only water. Shampoo’s or soaps are not required.
  • If your child is still healing and has an unhealed wound on the navel or elsewhere, do not put water on it. Speak with your baby’s doctor for more details.
  • Once bathing is complete, gently pat dry your baby. Do not rub the towel hard on your baby. You may now make your baby wear the clothes you have picked and the diaper.

The “Bath tub” bath

Only once your baby has healed such as the umbilical cord falls off or the circumcision and the navel are completely healed – you may then try to bath your baby in a baby tub. Do not force your baby. If your baby does not respond well to a bath tub or cries, you may continue giving your baby a sponge bath. You may try the bath tub after a few weeks.

1. The bath time – Be gentle and patient

  • A new born’s bath tub. Make sure it is strong and slip proof.
  • A slip proof baby’s mat kept inside the tub, so baby does not slip.
  • Always keep baby’s head out of the water. Do not expose your child’s face to water or do not let it dip in the water. Always hold your baby while bathing it.

Do not use bath seats or bath rings as this is used only for older children.

2. The bath time – Keep it quick

  • Only 2 to 3 inches of warm water to be filled in the tub. Do NOT use hot water. Test the water before putting your baby in the tub.
  • Support your baby’s head with one hand and gently put your baby in the tub. Hold the baby’s head up; do not let it in the water.
  • With a baby sponge or a small soft towel you may wipe your baby’s body and hair. You may put a little baby soap and wash the baby with small amounts of water. Protect your baby’s mouth, ears and eyes always.
  • Make sure water is warm and if the water begins to cool then take your baby out and wipe your baby clean. Gently dry your baby with a towel and apply lotion if required. It’s time to make the baby wear a diaper and the clothes you have chosen.

If you are unable to give the baby a bath by yourself or are unwell, ask for assistance as the main goal of a bath is to keep the baby safe and ofcourse clean.