Tips for Dads: How to Bathe Your Newborn

    How to Bathe Your Newborn

    Dear dads, we understand that not all of you gladly bathe young kids for many reasons. But in the following article you will find out how to bathe your newborn simply and easily, and most importantly – joyfully. We’ve already covered the general principles of bathing an infant earlier. And now let’s pay a special attention to our fathers.

    A goal

    In practical terms, it does not make sense to bathe a baby daily: a child can’t yet crawl and eats only breast milk, therefore, he doesn’t get dirty. But in the water a baby “remembers” halcyon intrauterine time and quickly calms down, actively moves (an excellent exercise for the muscles and respiratory system), and gets used to temperature changes (vascular training). And what’s more important, that’s an opportunity to communicate with the parent (lots of emotions) and to get new impressions.


    By and large you can bathe kids at any time of the day. Someone parents prefer do it in the evenings – in this case it makes sense to start bathing at 11 p.m. right before the night feed. Sometimes babies are so excited, that after bathing they are not going to fall asleep. Is this your case? Then bathe your little one in the morning.

    Important! Your baby defines the duration of bathing. During the first months of kid’s life the procedure usually takes about 10 minutes; and the older she gets, the longer she stays in the water.

    A place

    The first option is a special children’s bathtub: preparation will take less time but there will be not too much place for active movements.

    Another option is an adult bath: here your baby will have enough place to splash (if you want you can join your little one for more fun), but each time before using the bath you should wash it thoroughly.


    Be critical when listening to advices of other people: children are different, and the temperature of water good for your friend’s kid may not be so good for your one. You better start with 91.4 – 93.2?F. The general rule says that the colder the water, the more actively the child moves and the faster she gets tired and falls asleep. If you don’t have a thermometer on hand, try the water with an elbow or the back of your hand.

    Improvised materials

    You need nothing to bathe your baby. Daily use of detergents removes the natural protection of the skin, makes it dry, and can cause irritation. So you shouldn’t get carried away with foams. You can add decoctions of herbs into the water, but consult your pediatrician ahead of time. The same situation is with shampoos. In any case you better visit your pediatrician for every child is individual.

    Legends and myths

    You should boil the water to get rid of germs. Right after the birth the child medical is washed under the running water, and since then you regularly wash her the same way each time when getting a new diaper. Your kid already knows all the water inhabitants, so don’t you worry.

    It’s a disaster if water gets into the child’s ears. The structure of human beings’ organs of hearing is correct: the middle and the inner ear are separated from the outer one with the eardrum. When bathing water flows only into the external auditory canal and successfully flows out of there.

    You should wash the baby’s head with baby shampoo, her body with a special foam, and the bottom with a special soap. You have already read above how to wash your baby. But if you really need special means, choose the ones labeled “for children” and “ph-neutral.”

    Your assistants

    – Baby swimming neck ring to support the head;
    – hermetically sealed bath toys – without holes to “spit” water and, therefore, dangerous black mold won’t appear;
    – a large hooded baby bath towel.

    How to bathe your newborn: your actions

    1. Prepare a place where you’ll put your clean baby: for example, spread a towel on a bath table. You can leave a diaper, cream, clean clothes, and your baby’s mom with the food in the room.

    2. Fill the bathtub with water of the suitable temperature.

    3. Place the child on your right arm (on the left one if you’re left-handed): the lower part of your forearm under the baby’s head, a palm under the back, a thumb holds a baby’s shoulder. Lower the baby into the water.

    4. Your right arm stays in place, pour some water one the baby with the left one, splash on her, and actually wash. Pay special attention to the inguinal region; folds on the neck, elbows and knees; behind the ears boroughs (when the baby spits out milk it flows there), and cams – unclench them gently and rinse.

    5. Take the child out of the water, wrap her in the towel and take her to the mother. Congratulations, you’ve coped!


    Problem: once in the water the baby started crying.

    Decision: the most obvious reason is that the child doesn’t like the temperature. Make the water warmer or cooler and watch your baby’s reaction. Having bathed your baby two or three times you will understand what she prefers.

    It happens that children are rowdy, because they are hungry. A possible way out is to feed the baby an hour before bathing.

    Some babies wish to immediately feel the bottom of the bathtub, and not to “float” over it.

    Finally, children remember a previous bathing: if the baby strongly disliked bathing the last time, she will protest against the following ones. Change of scenery will help: previous time you washed the baby in the bathroom and this time do it in the kitchen in the tub; previous time you washed the child in a little tub and now do it in a bigger one.

    Problem: in the beginning everything was great, but suddenly the child is in a low mood.

    Decision: many children do not like water splashes on their faces so try to be careful. Remember: the more confidently you hold the baby, the quieter she is. You wouldn’t like as well to hang in the water in someone’s nervously trembling hands.

    Problem: the baby slipped out of the hands and swallowed some water.

    Decision: up to 4-5 months of age children can reflectively hold the breath: it is this reflex that helps babies to pass through the birth canal, and this time it protects a child when some water gets on the face. If the kid stayed under the water less than 5 seconds long, immediately sneezed out all the water, her skin was pink and she started crying loudly, then everything is alright with her. Take the baby out of the bathtub, embrace her, gently talk to her, and calm her down. It is very important to continue washing for the child to have pleasant memories of the procedure. If something went wrong – the child couldn’t inhale and began to choke, catch the baby and say to your wife to call an ambulance. Meanwhile, place the baby her stomach on your hand, slightly tilt her head down and repeatedly pat with a free hand on the baby’s back between the shoulder blades.

    Problem: “something” overboard!

    Decision: a warm water helps to relax the abdominal muscles and stimulates peristalsis. If the child couldn’t wait till the end of bathing and made poop right into the water, you’ll have to interrupt bathing and change the water.

    Fathers, how do you bathe your little ones? Tell us your your stories. We can’t wait hearing from you!


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