How To Bathe Baby
Between the bubbles, splashing, coos and giggles—bath time is the perfect time of the day to engage your baby’s senses and nurture your bond. Follow our simple step-by-step guide to learn how to bathe a baby.
Bath Time Means So Much More
Annually, approximately 8 billion baths are given worldwide using JOHNSON’S® baby products. For us, baths are one of our favourite daily routines since they not only relax your baby, but also give you a break from your hectic day while allowing you to bond and play while bathing your baby. Baby baths also engage your little one’s sense of smell and touch, making it an all the more enriching experience.
Studies have shown that routine touch can lead to improved physiological, cognitive, emotional and social development. Furthermore, enjoyable and familiar scents improve your baby’s mood, calmness and alertness.
Just like baby massages, bathing babies with warm water can get them ready for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Although it isn’t really difficult to understand how to bathe a baby, it becomes important to know what products to use in doing so!
Water Isn’t Enough for Your Baby’s Bath
Cleansing with water alone only removes about 65% of oil and dirt. It doesn't remove the fat-soluble impurities left behind under diapers and clothes. If these impurities remain, they can cause your little one’s delicate skin barrier* to break down. Bathing your child with water alone can actually dry your baby’s skin. However, repeated use of water (especially hard or chlorinated water) has been shown to cause moisture loss from the skin cells, leaving your baby’s skin irritated or red.
A gentle baby-specific cleanser like JOHNSON’S® Baby TOP-TO-TOE® Wash is recommended to help cleanse effectively.
Bathing Your New-born
When it comes to a new-born, a mother’s concern regarding her little one’s safety is quite natural. She is always worried about how to bathe a new-born baby, and is constantly looking for the best answer! Most midwives and other healthcare professionals recommend bathing new-borns 2 or 3 times per week, increasing the frequency as the baby gets older.
How to Bathe Your Baby
These guidelines around bathing a baby can prove useful for a doting mother who wants nothing but the best for her little one!
Start with only a few inches of warm water. Your baby’s bath water should be between 32 and 37 degrees Celsius. After filling the basin or tub, be sure to swirl the water with your hands so there are no hot spots.
Before you put your baby in the bath water, test the water’s temperature on the inside of your wrist to make sure it is not too hot.
NOTE: Be sure that your water heater is set no higher than 48 degrees Celsius to help protect against accidental scalding.
Using one arm to gently support your baby's back, head and neck, gently place her in the baby bath. Continue to support her with one arm while bathing her with the other.
Gently wipe around your baby's mouth, nose and whole face, working from the middle outward. Wipe the creases in her neck and don't forget behind her ears!
You can use a gentle cleanser formulated for babies, like JOHNSON'S® TOP-TO-TOE® Baby Wash. If your baby has more hair, you might try a gentle shampoo, like JOHNSON'S® Baby Shampoo. Don’t be afraid to gently wash the soft spots (called fontanels) on your baby's head.
Wash the diaper area last. For a baby girl, cleanse the genital area washing from front to back. For boys, gently wash the penis and genital area, also washing from front to back, and dry thoroughly. For an uncircumcised boy, avoid pulling back the foreskin.
Let your baby take a few moments in the bath to enjoy the warm water. Gently pour warm water over her body as she playfully splashes around in the bucket or tub. Be mindful of running water directly from the tap as water temperature can sometimes change suddenly.
Wrap both hands around your baby's chest under her arms, support her head, and lift her out of the bath and quickly wrap her in a towel.
Dry your baby well in all the creases, as excessive moisture could lead to skin irritation. Pat her skin dry to avoid skin damage.
Before dressing your baby, apply a gentle baby powder like JOHNSON'S® Baby Powder and a gentle baby moisturizer, such as hypoallergenic JOHNSON'S® Baby Lotion, to keep your baby’s delicate skin soft and healthy.
Some important Tips on how to give a baby a bath
- Clean only what you can see on the outside; avoid putting anything deep into your baby's ear canal or nose
- Every baby is different. Some don’t like to be bathed too soon after feeding. Many moms find that the ideal time for bathing a baby is before she eats.
- Remember: NEVER leave a baby alone in the bath. Not even for a second!
We make it our responsibility to know as much as possible about your baby's precious eyes.
Introduced in 1953, JOHNSON'S® Baby Shampoo was the first specially formulated product to be as mild to a baby's eyes as pure water. Our unique JOHNSON'S® Baby Shampoo and other NO MORE TEARS® formula products were developed just for your babies’ unique needs.
*The skin barrier is the upper layer of the skin that acts as a vital barrier to outside irritants, bacteria and allergens, protecting the body from disease. Babies' skin barrier is uniquely different from adults’ and is still developing, so it needs special care.
A bath is a perfect way to create a distinction between "busy time" and "sleep time", while giving you the chance to bond with your baby. Days can feel a little easier when they end by wrapping your beautiful delicate baby, snug and cosy, in her blanket — just in time for a lullaby! Make these, and many such moments with your baby precious which will aid in her healthy all-round development!