Inside: Learn a simple, tear-free baby bath routine to help you easily clean your little one while encouraging parent/baby bonding so you and your little one enjoy bath time!
It’s time to get your little bundle of joy all squeaky clean!
Bathing your baby can seem a little intimidating at first, especially for new parents. Your little one seems so fragile and helpless and the last thing you want to do is disrupt or hurt her.
Trust me I’ve been there!
Even for my second babies I was a wreck trying to bathe her because I thought I would somehow hurt her tinnee, tiny little body.
Once you get the all-clear from your doctor to start bathing your baby, bath time can be a really fun bonding time between you and your sweet little one.
I’ll teach you a super simple, tear-free baby bath routine to help you easily make sure your baby is being cleaned properly and encourages parent/baby bonding. So both you and your baby will enjoy bath time!
No time to read this now? That’s okay! Download the FREE Baby Bath Routine Cheatsheet to get this step by step routine (+ awesome baby bath tips & tricks) sent straight to your email!
There’s nothing sweeter than seeing your sweet little baby look up at you with those big Disney-like cartoon eyes. This precious baby is dependent on you for everything, and you have the most important job in the world– being a parent.
But caring for your little one doesn’t have to be overwhelming…Let’s dive into baby bath time!
When Can Baby Take a Bath Every Day?
A baby can take their first bath after his/her umbilical cord falls off (usually 10-14 days after birth). Before then, just wipe down your baby with a warm washcloth and keep the umbilical cord dry.
After the umbilical cord falls off, feel free to give your baby his/her first bath!
You can just use water for those newborn days (or a mild soap if needed).
For the first few months of life, your baby only needs a bath about 3 times a week, or when needed.
After about 4 months if your baby enjoys a taking baths you can start adding more baths to your week.
There is no concrete answer to know “when” your baby can start taking baths every day, but between 5-6 months I found that my babies enjoyed baths every day the most.
It also became a part of our bedtime routine which helped them sleep longer and better, so that was a major plus!
Talk to your child’s pediatrician about bathing before making significant changes to your bathing schedule.
But you do NOT have to give your baby a bath every day to enjoy the benefits of a baby bath routine.
(This is a great article all abut how often you can bathe your baby.)
When Can I Start a Baby Bath Routine?
You can start a baby bath routine as soon as you begin giving your baby baths. The routine will change a bit as your child grows and develops (a newborn bath routine will be slightly different from a one-year-old bath routine).
But not matter what your baby’s age is, each part of the baby bath routine will remain the same! You just slightly alter the details based upon your baby’s age. And I’ll show you exactly how to do this too.
Why is a Bath Routine Important?
You may have heard it before but- babies thrive on routines. The more consistency and predictably a baby has in their day, the better.
Adding a bath routine to your day doesn’t HAVE to be make or break but it does add a bit of reinforcement to the structure of your evening before baby’s bedtime.
Establishing a simple and quick bath routine also helps your baby wind down and prepare for nighttime sleep.
Side Note: Differentiating between daytime and nighttime sleep is a huge part of your baby learning to sleep through the night. With daytime sleep, you wake up within 1-2 hours. However, with nighttime sleep, you stay asleep until feedings are needed or until baby is developmentally ready to sleep until morning.
Also, the routine doesn’t have to be long or strenuous 20 step plan. It can be as simple and to the point as you wish.
Use Bath Time to Connect
Don’t forget, you can use your baby’s bath time as a way to further connect with your little one.
Bath time is private- intimate. Only you (and other caregivers you allow) are allowed to give your baby a bath because you are entrusted to clean and care for this sweet baby so they can continue to healthy grow and thrive.
Your baby’s hygiene is such a crucial part of maintaining your child’s health and your baby’s bath is a special time to connect with him/her! You can sing songs, play different bath games, and so much more.
If you can, try to unplug from your phone or from the other daily responsibility of your household and give your baby undivided attentions to further make those special bonds.
Baby Bath Essentials
The simple “let’s throw the baby in the sink for a quick wash” days are longgg gone.
If you’ve walked into a Target or Buy Buy Baby recently you’d see there are hundreds of different baby products- just to give your baby a bath!
It’s quite insane.
The good news is, you don’t need the latest, trendiest, expensive baby bath product to give your baby a good ol’ bath.
All you need to do is first figure out where you’re going to bathe your baby and then you’ll know what baby bath essentials you need. (sink, tub, bottom of the shower, etc.)
Here’s a list of minimal things I use that are the bare necessities:
- For bathing your baby in the sink- Flower bath insert (I’ve used this one before and it’s so soft, fits multiple sinks, cleans & dries well, and is easy to store)
- For bathing your baby in a traditional tub- Infant to Toddler Convertible Baby Tub (I’ve used this one for both of my babies and I love it because it grows with your little one, is lightweight, and easy to clean)
- Thin washcloths- I use these washcloths because they are super gentle on your baby’s skin and don’t get that yucky “mildewy” smell.
After each bath, I clean the washcloths in the sink and let them air dry until the next day. Every 3 baths, I’ll throw them in the washer/dryer and rotate them. That way you don’t need to buy 25 washcloths.
Mom Tip: After each bath, I clean the washcloths in the sink and let them air dry until the next day. Every 3 baths, I’ll throw them in the washer/dryer and rotate them. That way you don’t need to buy 25 washcloths.
- Mild, natural soap- I personally use the Baby Dove Sensitive Wash and Aveeno Baby Oat Extract Hypoallergenic Soap. Every few weeks I switch between soaps.
- Bath toys (usually for babies older than 8 months)- I’m not a fan of the squirt toys for younger babies because of the mold that can sometimes grow within the toy. But some squirt toys open so you can properly clean them!
6 Step Easy Baby Bath Time Routine
1. Setting the water
The water temperature is one of the most important parts of preparing your baby’s bath. Too hot and your baby’s skin could minorly burn. Too cold and your baby could catch a chill.
But don’t let the water temperature stress you out too much! (As a new mom it took me like 10 minutes to find “the perfect” bath temperature and I was freaking out)
Use this as a simple rule of thumb- if you place your elbow in the bath water and it feel comfortable to touch, then it will be okay for your baby.
If it feels a tad hot after the initial touch, remove some water and replace it with cold water.
If it feels too cool, remove some water and replace it with hot water.
Then retest it.
After a couple of baths, you will also begin to notice what temperature your baby likes. Watch his/her cues to see if they are uncomfortable.
If your little one if splashing around and all smiles, then you’re good!
If you are still a bit anxious about the water temperature, you can purchase a baby bath water thermometer that you drop in the water and will tell you when the temperature is suitable for a baby.
2. Cleaning the cracks & crevices
Now that the temperature is good and the baby is acclimated to the bath, it’s time to scrub a dub dub!
You’ll want to take the washcloth and soak it then wring it out so it’s not excessively dripping. (Use your discretion whether you want to use a mild soap)
Next, clean your baby’s ears, neck, legs rolls and tushy.
You’ll basically want to wipe down all areas that have rolls. Sometimes dried milk can get caked and dried in the rolls under your baby’s neck. If left uncleaned, her neck can become red and irritated.
If your baby happens to be rolly under the neck (like my babies!), be sure to clean and dry their neck every evening.
You don’t have to “deep clean” your baby every night, but a quick wipe down will help keep your little one nice and fresh.
If your baby recently had a diaper mishap (aka – a poop blow out), be sure to wipe down their private parts gently but well to remove any residue.
Mom Tip: Use this time to also inspect your little one and make a note of any other things you have to take care of for their proper hygiene such as trimming their nails, applying special lotion for dry skin, cleaning their ears, etc
3. Cleaning hair
Now we’re on to the hair…
Take the wash cloth and gently scrub your baby’s hair in circle. This will also help if your baby is experiencing cradle cap. Use your discretion whether to use soap or not based on how many baths your baby was given that week so far.
Some parents use a baby visor to keep the water out of the baby’s eyes when cleaning their hair.
But I simply tilt my baby’s head back a tiny bit and put one hand on her forehead (like a dam) to keep the water from dripping down her face.
Mom Tip: At any point, if your baby starts crying or pretesting the bath, you can stick a toy or something fun to the shower wall so when your baby looks up, they are entertained.
Works every time!
4. Adding fun to the baby bath routine
Now that the cleaning portion of the bath is over, it’s time for the fun!
Sing bath songs, show your baby some colorful toys- if your baby is old enough, you can use this time as an educational opportunity. Count toes, name body parts, play peek a boo.
You can begin to make bath time fun as early as 3 months!
5. Getting dried
Take the towel and place it face up on your chest. Pick baby up from the bath and place baby’s back on your chest, then wrap your baby in the towel.
Bring your baby to a safe, flat surface (such as a changing table or a bed) and dry baby off.
Remember to never leave your baby unattended on any surface!
Dry off your baby’s hair, legs, arms, and be sure to get all the cracks and crevice’s. Let your baby dry off a but and get some air before putting on their diaper and clothes
You can use this time to use a soft, natural, mild lotion or oil and gently massage your baby.
This is a great way to help your baby wind down and prepare for bedtime.
A word about sensitivities: at any point if you notice your baby’s skin becoming irritated, red, slightly inflamed, or bumpy, immediately stop any use of soaps or lotions and contact your pediatrician.
Sometimes one ingredient can be the culprit to your baby’s discomfort. But your pediatrician will be able to better advise you.
6. Getting dressed
It’s pajama time! For nighttime, dress your baby in comfortable, breathable clothing. If you are still swaddling, a simple onesie under the swaddle is fine. If your baby sleeps with their arms and legs out, a footie or 2-piece pj set is great.
Be sure your baby is staying cool and comfortable throughout the night.
Extra- 7. Preparing for bed
Your baby is now bathed, dried, dressed and ready for your bedtime routine.
This is a great time to offer a feeding before bed, sit & cuddle, read a book, etc.
Complete your bedtime routine and your little one is now ready for sleep!
Download the Baby Bath Routine Cheatsheet!
Want to keep this routine to refer back to later? I got you!
Get the instant download of this step-by-step routine (+ awesome baby bath tips & tricks) sent straight to your email! A 5-page printable download you can save to your phone or you can print 🙂
By using these 6 simple steps you can create your own baby bath routine that promotes baby and parent bonding while also getting your baby nice and clean.
Keeping up with your child’s hygiene is an important part of their healthy growth. But as you’ve seen, it doesn’t have to be stressful!
Now when your baby looks up at you with those big Disney doe-eyes, know that you are the best parent for this baby and you are doing an amazing job.
You got this mama!
Check out these other posts with baby tips & tricks!
Please know that I am not a doctor or physician and I am not medically trained. All tips and advice given is based on my own experience and given to me by my own pediatrician. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your doctor. This post is solely to offer encouragement from my experience and not designed to offer medical advice or treatment.
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