Top Tips On Giving Baby a Bath

By Dr. Amy Kim

Whether you’ve only been home from the hospital with your tiny bundle of joy for a few days or a few weeks—eventually, you’ll have to give her a bath (scared or not). Don’t fret. Giving a baby a bath is not as hard as it seems. Just follow our top tips on giving a baby a bath (developed in collaboration with parenting experts, Moms On Call, MomsOnCall.com) and you’ll be a pro in no time! You might even enjoy it.

Plan ahead. You’ll feel more confident if you have everything you need laid out—before you even fill the tub. Here are the items you’ll want within arms-length reach:
• A baby bath tub to fit right in your full-size tub
• A small, baby washcloth
• A large, adult washcloth
• A soft bristle brush
• A 2-in-1 hair and body wash, preferably with a cap you can flip with one hand
• A baby bouncy seat on the floor of the bathroom with an adult size towel on it

Use warm water, not hot. It seems like common sense, but you need to make sure that your baby’s bath water is warm, but not too hot. You don’t need a fancy thermometer to test the water temperature. Just put your arm in. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for her. Fill the baby tub right in the bottom of your adult size tub. Just don’t fill the tub all the way up. She just needs a few inches.

Always support their head. In the beginning, you might want to tag team to give a bath. After all, these little guys are slippery. But after a while, you’ll be ready to give a bath solo. No matter who is bathing, make sure someone always, always keeps a hand behind that delicate little head to support it. And never, ever leave a baby alone in a bathtub—not even for one second.

Keep their tummy warm. Dunk that adult washcloth into the water and lay it on their belly. This will keep them warm and happy during the bath.

Start without soap. Babies aren’t very dirty, so it’s best to only use soap on the dirty parts. This will protect that delicate newborn skin from becoming dry. Dunk the small baby washcloth in the water and use it to clean the face, around the eyebrows and behind the ears. This will help to exfoliate any excess oil from those areas and help to prevent cradle cap without unnecessarily drying baby’s skin out.

Get the dirty parts. Next, squeeze some wash onto the large adult washcloth right on his belly. Use your fingers dipped in soap to clean the hands, feet, armpits, neck folds and groin.

Exfoliate the scalp. Use the same hair and body wash and squeeze a pea size amount onto the soft bristle brush. Gently scrub her scalp in a circular motion. This will also help to exfoliate excess oil and help to prevent cradle cap. Use your free hand to rinse off the soap, but be sure to avoid their eyes.

Keep bath time short. Once you’ve given a bath a few times, you’ll be able to run through this routine in five minutes or less. Contrary to what you might think, water doesn’t hydrate the skin—it dehydrates it. Keep bath time short to help keep her skin moisturized.

Use the bouncer. The baby bouncy seat on the floor of the bathroom is a great place to lift your baby. Continue to hold the back of your baby’s head with one hand and grab her thigh with the other. Lift her right onto the bouncy seat where you can wrap her up in the adult size towel. Save the cute little hooded towels until she is a toddler.

Slather on the moisturizer. Once you have your baby dried and diapered, it’s time to slather on a good moisturizer. Applying moisturizer right after the bath will help to lock moisture into the skin. Be sure to use a cream or ointment and not a lotion. Lotions are primarily made up of water and are not very effective for moisturizing.

Giving a baby a bath can be daunting at first, but don’t worry—we were all nervous at first. Bath time may become one of your favorite times of the day.

Dr. Amy is a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon. She is also the first dermatologist mom to release a line of infant skincare products,
Baby Pibu, www.BabyPibu.com/, which makes a great Babytime Wash for the tub, among other items.

More Articles

20 Things to do with Kids Under $5 in the Sacramento Region

By Michelle Kopkash You don’t need a lot of money to provide a lot of love or make memories with…

Top Earth Day Celebrations in Our Region

By Michelle Kopkash Earth Day is a special occasion to teach our children about leaving the world a better place.…

A Museum Without Walls…Memorable Experiences Await Inside & Outside the Railroad Museum

A Smithsonian Affiliate located in Old Sacramento State Historic Park, the California State Railroad Museum is a must-visit destination perfect…

Greater Sacramento’s Best Hoppin’ Celebrations & Egg Hunts

Enjoy this Easter-themed round-up that will have the whole family egg-cited to celebrate the season. *Sometimes plans change, so please…

JugHead!

By Donna Sangwin, Founder and Executive Director of ReCreate This year to celebrate Earth Day we challenge you to create…

Is Your Car Seat Keeping Your Child Safe?

By Rob Baquera, Public Information Officer, Roseville Police Department With over 24 million vehicles and more than 170,000 miles of…

Spring Break Travel Tips for Your Feet and Legs  

How to get the mind-clearing, calorie-burning benefits of movement even while sitting for hours on the plane or in the…

The Weekend Scoop: Family-Friendly Activities Around Sacramento

Below is a round-up of family-friendly events and activities for the weekend of March 22-24. Enjoy! Friday, March 22 Baby Lapsit…

Sacramento’s Magnificent Vernal Pool Tours

By Michelle Kopkash The seasonal vernal pools in Northern California display the magnificence of nature at its finest. Most years,…

Top Tips On Giving Baby a Bath

By Dr. Amy Kim

Whether you’ve only been home from the hospital with your tiny bundle of joy for a few days or a few weeks—eventually, you’ll have to give her a bath (scared or not). Don’t fret. Giving a baby a bath is not as hard as it seems. Just follow our top tips on giving a baby a bath (developed in collaboration with parenting experts, Moms On Call, MomsOnCall.com) and you’ll be a pro in no time! You might even enjoy it.

Plan ahead. You’ll feel more confident if you have everything you need laid out—before you even fill the tub. Here are the items you’ll want within arms-length reach:
• A baby bath tub to fit right in your full-size tub
• A small, baby washcloth
• A large, adult washcloth
• A soft bristle brush
• A 2-in-1 hair and body wash, preferably with a cap you can flip with one hand
• A baby bouncy seat on the floor of the bathroom with an adult size towel on it

Use warm water, not hot. It seems like common sense, but you need to make sure that your baby’s bath water is warm, but not too hot. You don’t need a fancy thermometer to test the water temperature. Just put your arm in. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for her. Fill the baby tub right in the bottom of your adult size tub. Just don’t fill the tub all the way up. She just needs a few inches.

Always support their head. In the beginning, you might want to tag team to give a bath. After all, these little guys are slippery. But after a while, you’ll be ready to give a bath solo. No matter who is bathing, make sure someone always, always keeps a hand behind that delicate little head to support it. And never, ever leave a baby alone in a bathtub—not even for one second.

Keep their tummy warm. Dunk that adult washcloth into the water and lay it on their belly. This will keep them warm and happy during the bath.

Start without soap. Babies aren’t very dirty, so it’s best to only use soap on the dirty parts. This will protect that delicate newborn skin from becoming dry. Dunk the small baby washcloth in the water and use it to clean the face, around the eyebrows and behind the ears. This will help to exfoliate any excess oil from those areas and help to prevent cradle cap without unnecessarily drying baby’s skin out.

Get the dirty parts. Next, squeeze some wash onto the large adult washcloth right on his belly. Use your fingers dipped in soap to clean the hands, feet, armpits, neck folds and groin.

Exfoliate the scalp. Use the same hair and body wash and squeeze a pea size amount onto the soft bristle brush. Gently scrub her scalp in a circular motion. This will also help to exfoliate excess oil and help to prevent cradle cap. Use your free hand to rinse off the soap, but be sure to avoid their eyes.

Keep bath time short. Once you’ve given a bath a few times, you’ll be able to run through this routine in five minutes or less. Contrary to what you might think, water doesn’t hydrate the skin—it dehydrates it. Keep bath time short to help keep her skin moisturized.

Use the bouncer. The baby bouncy seat on the floor of the bathroom is a great place to lift your baby. Continue to hold the back of your baby’s head with one hand and grab her thigh with the other. Lift her right onto the bouncy seat where you can wrap her up in the adult size towel. Save the cute little hooded towels until she is a toddler.

Slather on the moisturizer. Once you have your baby dried and diapered, it’s time to slather on a good moisturizer. Applying moisturizer right after the bath will help to lock moisture into the skin. Be sure to use a cream or ointment and not a lotion. Lotions are primarily made up of water and are not very effective for moisturizing.

Giving a baby a bath can be daunting at first, but don’t worry—we were all nervous at first. Bath time may become one of your favorite times of the day.

Dr. Amy is a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon. She is also the first dermatologist mom to release a line of infant skincare products,
Baby Pibu, www.BabyPibu.com/, which makes a great Babytime Wash for the tub, among other items.

More Articles

20 Things to do with Kids Under $5 in the Sacramento Region

By Michelle Kopkash You don’t need a lot of money…

Top Earth Day Celebrations in Our Region

By Michelle Kopkash Earth Day is a special occasion to…

A Museum Without Walls…Memorable Experiences Await Inside & Outside the Railroad Museum

A Smithsonian Affiliate located in Old Sacramento State Historic Park,…

Greater Sacramento’s Best Hoppin’ Celebrations & Egg Hunts

Enjoy this Easter-themed round-up that will have the whole family…

JugHead!

By Donna Sangwin, Founder and Executive Director of ReCreate This…

Is Your Car Seat Keeping Your Child Safe?

By Rob Baquera, Public Information Officer, Roseville Police Department With…

Spring Break Travel Tips for Your Feet and Legs  

How to get the mind-clearing, calorie-burning benefits of movement even…

The Weekend Scoop: Family-Friendly Activities Around Sacramento

Below is a round-up of family-friendly events and activities for the…

Sacramento’s Magnificent Vernal Pool Tours

By Michelle Kopkash The seasonal vernal pools in Northern California…

Subscribe to the Parent Newsletter

Our latest articles, resources and tips—direct to your inbox.

Follow Sacramento Parent