How to Bathe Your Baby

While you’re preparing to become a parent, one of the important topics to brush up on is how to give your little one a bath! Sure, you know how to bathe yourself, but your baby’s bathtub routine will look quite a bit different. It’s not a difficult process, but there are a few key things to know. By preparing yourself with these tips, you’ll be ready to give safe, efficient baths with the health of your baby’s skin!

Your baby’s first bath

Whether you’re having a home birth or going to the hospital, you’ll want to wait as long as possible before giving them their first bath. This gives parents extra skin to skin time and helps their skin microbiome develop. Their skin will be covered in a white, protective coating called the vernix. This creamy coating is full of nutrients that’s great for your little one’s skin, so delaying their first bath lets them absorb all of that goodness.  

For their first bath and every bath during the newborn phase, sponge baths work great. You can work near or in a sink or a baby tub — just ensure that it’s a small vessel that gives you lots of control. The last thing you want to risk is your little one slipping out of your grasp!

Steps for giving your baby a bath

1. Set up your area

Like with changing a diaper, stepping away to grab a forgotten product can end in disaster. It only takes a few seconds for your little one to wriggle away and end up where they’re not supposed to be. Ensure that you have everything you need right there — products, toys, towels, etc. — before beginning your baby’s bath. It’ll also make it easier for you to bathe your baby quickly and efficiently. Not every baby loves bath time, so this will help you wrap up the bath without having a meltdown on your hands.

2. Draw the bath

While you prepare the water, place your baby in a safe space like a crib or another secure spot. Once they’re in a good spot, it’s time to fill up the tub with warm water. The temperature of your little one’s bath water is incredibly important. It’s a little like Goldilocks — not too cold, not too hot, but just right! To test the temperature, dip your wrist or elbow in and feel it out. If their skin looks red during or after a bath, it’s a sign to turn the temperature down!

If your baby likes to stay entertained in the tub with toys, place them in the water before you get your little one wet. The last thing you want to do is reach for toys while your little one is getting tearful in the tub.

3. Bathe them from the top to bottom

When the tub is all set up, it’s time to put your baby in the tub! Hold their head in the crook of your arm with your hand on their bottom. With your other hand, support their midsection. Be sure to use a gentle yet secure grip to prevent them from slipping out of your hands!

A good rule of thumb for bathing your baby is to work from top to bottom. Start with cleansing their face with cotton balls or a soft washcloth and move downwards from there. Use a light touch, since excessive or harsh rubbing can cause their skin to become red, chaffed, and/or irritated. Make sure to clean between their folds, especially in the diaper area, as grime can hide out in there and lead to rashes!

As for products, use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser that won’t irritate their sensitive skin. Lastly, be sure to keep baths brief (i.e., 10 minutes or less) as excessive soaking can draw more moisture out of their delicate skin.

4. Follow up with a moisturizer

Once your little angel is nice and squeaky clean, follow up with a natural, fragrance-free lotion to keep their skin hydrated. You’ll want to apply a thick layer of the lotion when their skin is still wet. This will help lock the extra moisture into their skin!


With these tips, you’ll become an expert at giving your little one a bath in no time! Being prepared and knowing the right techniques will make bath time fun, safe, and easy for both parents and babies. Between baths, you’ll want to clean their diaper area with a gentle cleanser after each change. To do so, use NOLEO®! 

NOLEO 3-in-1 has clean, natural ingredients that are gentle on your little one’s skin. It cleanses, moisturizes, and treats and prevents diaper rash. It’s the most wholesome way to keep your baby’s diaper area clean without rinsing or bathing!


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