baby being washed


There’s a learning curve when it comes to bathing a newborn. Tub time is an important part of caring for a child and can become a treasured bonding ritual. It’s common to have questions about the best way to approach baby bathing, and what kind of skincare products to use. Baby skin is sensitive, and different recommendations apply when it comes to cleansing. Ahead, we’ve curated a list of helpful baby bathing tips to make caring for a newborn or baby in the first year of life as stress-free as possible.

How often to bathe a baby

When welcoming a newborn, you might find yourself wondering when to start bathing baby every night. While there can be some comforting benefits of bathing baby daily, washing too often can be one of the causes of dry baby skin. It’s typically recommended to delay a newborn’s first bath for at least 24 hours and opt for sponge baths until the umbilical cord stump falls off, to keep this area dry.1 Afterwards, baths are only necessary 2-3 times a week. In terms of how to wash baby hands, feet, face and bottom between bath days, keep newborns and young babies clean using baby wipes or water and a soft cloth.

7 Baby Bathing Tips

Many people like to make tub time an evening ritual before putting a child to sleep for the night, while others prefer mornings when the baby is more alert. No particular time of day is better for baby bathing, but a period of no interruptions is ideal. Follow our baby bathing tips to guide you through the steps.

1.Choose suitable tub time products

2.Prepare for bathing baby

3.Test the bath water is the right temperature

4.Clean folds, rolls, and creases

5.Wash baby’s hair

6.Pat baby dry gently

7.Apply lotion, dress, and swaddle

1. Choose the right tub time products

Baby skin is delicate - in fact the outermost layer is typically 20-30% thinner than an adult. So, it’s important to choose the right kind of baby bathing products to help care for and protect the skin. Look for formulas designed for babies and skincare with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to support hydration and nourishment. It’s also a good idea to learn about the benefits of ceramides, naturally occurring lipids that form up to 50% of the skin’s outermost layer. Ceramides can helpcan fill in gaps between skin cells to seal in moisture and keep impurities out.

2.Prepare for bathing baby

Whether bathing a newborn or a child in their first year of life, taking time to prepare for tub time makes for a smoother experience. Because you can never leave a baby alone in the bath, it’s helpful to make a space within arm’s reach of the tub to gather everything you might need for bath time, such as:

3. Draw bath to the right temperature

Now it’s time to draw a shallow bath. Newborns can be bathed in an infant tub, but as your baby grows, they should will be fine to use a regular-sized bath with a suitable bath support or seat. A warm bath is important for your baby’s comfort and wellbeing - the ideal bath temperature is around 37ºC-38ºC. Use a thermometer to reach the right temperature, or if you don’t have one on hand, use your wrist or elbow to check the bath water - it should feel comfortably warm, but not hot. Continue to monitor the water temperature throughout the bath.

4. Clean folds, rolls, and creases

Rolls and folds on a baby are adorable, but they’re also a hiding spot for grime to accumulate. This can lead to skin discomfort, so use a soft cloth to clean any creased areas and add a small amount of non-comedogenic baby body wash if needed. An ultra-mild oil-based cleanser like Hydrating Foaming Oil Cleanser can be extra helpful to dislodge and wash away any dirt. When bathing a newborn or young baby, use your non-dominant hand to support the child’s head and neck while washing with the other hand.

5.Wash baby hair

If you’re bathing a newborn who hasn’t grown hair yet, gently wipe their head clean with a soft cloth and water. If your child does have some hair, you might be wondering how often should I wash baby hair? Most babies will only need hair washing once or twice a week unless visibly dirty. Use a gentle shampoo like CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo, which cleanses without drying and contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin E for hydration and nourishment. Lightly massage the scalp area in circular motions, being careful not to press on the fontanels - soft spots at the top and back of the skull where bone formation is not yet complete. Take care to also protect your baby’s eyes from suds.

6.Pat baby dry

Keeping your baby comfortable and warm is key to a smooth, fuss-free bath as cold and wet skin can be an uncomfortable feeling. So, when baby is all washed and ready to exit the tub, wrap your baby in a soft towel the moment bath time is over. Gently pat their body dry including creases and hard to reach areas like under the chin, around the neck, behind the ears, and armpits.

7.Apply lotion, dress and swaddle

While your baby is still slightly damp, apply a fragrance-free lotion like CeraVe Baby Moisturising Cream, which is designed to hydrate and help the skin retain its natural moisture. Applying a lotion after baby bathing is helpful for babies with both normal or dry skin. Next, give your baby a fresh nappy, dress and swaddle them before laying them in their cot so you can empty the tub.

With baby bathing tips covered, it’s time to care for you – so discover how to hydrate your skin, face, and body with CeraVe.

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