Baby’s First Bath: Everything You Need To Know
Baby’s first bath can be overwhelming for parents, but it doesn’t have to be. Learn everything you need to know to make this bonding moment safe, soothing and special.
Your baby’s first bath is one of many special moments and bonding experiences you will have with your child.
Bathing a newborn may seem a little tricky at first, especially if your little one is unhappy about it. A few simple steps will make bathing your newborn easy enjoyable for both of you.
In this article, we’ll go over:
- When to give your baby their first bath
- The importance of vernix
- The do’s and don’ts of baby’s first bath
- The best non-toxic baby bath time products
When to give your baby their first bath
While parents often think you should give your baby a bath a few hours after delivery, many health professionals suggest waiting a week or more. This is because babies are covered in vernix, which has natural antimicrobial properties and can aid with assisting regulating body temperature.
You can bathe your baby at any time of day. However it’s best not to do it when they’re hungry or after feeding. If your baby finds bath time relaxing, you can use it as a way to soothe her before her evening sleep.
The importance of vernix
Vernix is a white, greasy coating that protects your baby’s skin from infection, wrinkles and becoming chapped while in the womb. The benefits of vernix after birth are just as important because your baby’s skin is still adjusting to the outside world.
If you’re concerned about amniotic fluid and blood being on your baby, simply use a damp cloth to gently remove them. The only exception for not delaying your baby’s first bath is if they’re covered in their first poop known as meconium. This waste product could put them at risk for infection.
The do’s and don’ts of baby’s first bath
Do: Follow these steps when bathing your newborn:
Step 1: Prepare your infant’s tub or sink with warm water that is around 97-98 degrees (body temperature.) Ensure that the room you are in is warm as well.
Step 2: Have a warm hooded towel nearby as well as an organic cotton wash cloth or two.
Step 3: Undress your baby, remove their diaper and gently place them in the bath or sink face up, keeping their head supported and above water the entire time. If you don’t have a newborn support insert, we like to cradle our baby’s head in one hand (with our forearm supporting their back) while the other hand washes. If you aren’t confident doing this solo – baby’s first bath is a great activity to do with your partner, a friend or family member.
Step 4: Be mindful of the order you wipe in. We like to wipe Baby’s face first followed by their neck, arms, hands, torso, legs, feet and then last – their bottoms. If you want to rest your baby’s bottom on the floor of the sink or tub, try putting a wash cloth under them. It will help grip them and keep them from sliding.
Step 5: Feel free to let your baby move their arms and legs in the water. Once they’re ready to be taken out, gently transport them to your nearby towel to dry them. Be sure to gently dry their necks and crevasses well to avoid fungal infections.
Don’t: Use soap
There really isn’t any reason to use any shampoo or body wash during the first bath. Remember – babies have extremely sensitive skin so just warm water and an organic cotton wash cloth will be plenty.
Once you are ready to use products, please ensure that they don’t contain any potentially toxic chemicals like parabens, SLS, SLES, Fragrance or PEGS. You can read more about the ingredients we avoid and why.
Our favorite non-toxic baby bath time products
Once your baby is ready for body wash, we recommend Erbaviva’s Body Wash. Cruelty-free, organic and non-toxic, it’s gentle on delicate skin.
A lot of babies tend to get dry and oily skin. Erbaviva’s Baby Lotion is great for both of these issues!
Stokke’s ultra compact Flexibath Tub + Newborn Support is great because it takes up hardly any space, is easy to travel with and can be used from birth up to 4 years. It also makes a great toy storage tub once your tot has outgrown it.
Available in more prints
You can never have enough washcloths. We particularly love these Kyte Baby Washcloths as they’re made from sustainable bamboo that has a natural absorbency. They’re also really soft and gentle to use on your baby’s delicate skin.
Available in more colors
Make your baby’s first bath safe and fun
For more bath time essentials, have a look at our range of organic cotton towels, wash cloths, robes as well as newborn brush and comb sets in our Baby Bath section.
Want to learn more about what ingredients to avoid during bath time? Check out our Green Living Expert, Aida Garcia’s, article on How to make bath time fun and non-toxic.
- After bathing your little one it might be time for bedtime. So, what’s normal when it comes to newborn sleep?
- Learn the benefits of having a baby routine