Bathing Your Newborn

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

There are a few basic guidelines to heed before you get started with your bath-time routine.


  1. Bide your time. Choose a moment when both you and your baby are relaxed to introduce yourselves to the ritual of bathing. Once you have overcome the hurdle of your first bath introducing a routine can be comforting for your little one.

  2. Satisfactory sponge. For the first week or two, or at least until the umbilical stump is fully healed, it’s best to give your baby a gentle sponge bath. Pay particular attention to the chin and neck area where spit-up can accumulate, as well as the nappy area.

  3. Keep it warm. Because your infant’s skin is more sensitive than that of an adult, be sure to pay close consideration to the water temperature. Use the more sensitive skin on the inside of your arm or your elbow to measure the temperature, which should be warm, not hot. Use a baby bath thermometer and set the temperature to 30 degrees Celsius or below.

  4. Manage your expectations. Bear in mind that this experience may fall short of your expectations. Expect a few tears and perhaps even a mess. Simply move on with it and hope it goes better next time.

  5. No tears. Your little one won’t need a lot of soap, so try a little wash to help the water along. Make sure to use products that are tear-free for a gentler experience. Try Baby Dove Rich Moisture Head to Toe Wash (R38.99 for 200ml)

  6. Preparation all the way. You also won’t need a lot of water for a bath. A shallow bath of between 6 and 10 centimetres should be plenty. Use enough water to be able to lie your little one down without entirely immersing them.

  7. The post-bath ritual. Tear-free, hypoallergenic products should be a priority for your after-bath regime too. Use a baby moisturising to keep your little one’s skin soft. Try Baby Dove Moisturising Lotion (R48.99 for 200ml).


You don’t need to bath your baby every day but, if you really enjoy the bonding time with your infant, there is no reason why you shouldn’t. Armed with these tips and a good attitude you and your baby should have loads of easy bath times ahead.



Source: Baby Dove. Image: Pixabay

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