17 Essential Tips For Bathing Your Newborn Baby

The "need to knows" for an easier newborn bath experience...

Sure, you read all those baby books. In theory, you know how to bathe your baby. But once you're in the thick of it, it can feel a little awkward. Have no fear, we've got you covered with some helfpul tricks.

Bath time is a prime example of that as newborn babies can’t sit up on their own. If you haven’t yet already discovered, it’s rather difficult to bathe a squirming infant. Add to it your stress for keeping your baby safe with head above water, and it might just be your most dreaded task as a new mom yet!

Thankfully, there are some simple bath tips and tricks you can employ for bathing your newborn. These 17 tactics are sure to simplify your life and will pave the way for a more enjoyable bath time for you and baby too!

Bathtime is a success when your baby gets wetter than you.

1. Start in the sink

Your big garden tub might be nice for a relaxing soak after you’ve had a hard day. But that’s more space than your newborn needs. The larger the tub, the more difficult it is to bathe your newborn. Instead, think smaller. Your kitchen sink is the perfect size for a newborn, allowing you to have easy control over holding your baby and rinsing her too. As a bonus, if you have a sprayer option on your sink, you can turn it low and let it help you rinse your baby with only one hand.

2. Use your laundry basket

But what if your husband left dishes in the sink and baby needs a bath now after a massive diaper explosion? Grab your laundry basket and put it in the tub with the water and bubbles. It keeps your little one and all those baby bath toys in one easy to manage section!

3. Or just get in with them yourself

Plenty of new moms throw on their swimsuits and hop in their huge tubs with their newborns. This hands-on approach allows you to not only get a firm grip on your baby but also helps comfort them with you even closer.

4. Try a baby bath tub

You may find that investing in a small plastic tub for bathing your baby is a better fit for your family. Some moms set these baby bath tubs into the actual bath tub and just fill the baby tub up. The bottom will usually have a stopper to easily let the water out so you can drain it right there. Here's a few of our favorite baby bath tubs.

5. Get a baby bath hammock

And if all this STILL makes you fear that something awful will happen when baby is too small to sit up on their own, a baby bath hammock is one of the best baby inventions there is for hacking into blissful baby bath time. They’re usually designed for plastic baby tubs and clamp on the sides though you can find ones for full-size tubs too. It should go without saying, but never leave your baby alone in the tub or out of arm’s reach, even with this handy baby bath hammock in place!

6. Make use of shower visors

Sure, those baby bath products may say they won’t cause tears, but why chance it? Some babies hate water in their face so use a baby shower visor to keep the water away. It’s a ruffled piece that fits on top of their head without blocking your way to that sweet baby hair. The water flows off of it, away from your baby’s face making for more peaceful bath time experiences.

7. Refill your pump products

You’ll save more money and be able to bathe your baby one-handed when you keep refilling pump bottles. It’s highly likely you’ve been gifted plenty at your baby shower. When the originals run low, keep those pump-topped bottles and refill them so you won’t have to fumble with opening bottles during the bath.

8. Never throw out another bath toy from mold

Those rubber duckies are adorable. But did you know what can grow inside of them? Even if you clean them regularly, those toys can fill with water. While fun to squirt in the tub, that water breeds bacteria and mold trapped in the crevices within. To keep them lasting longer and to prevent grossness from forming in something your child will try to put in their mouth or squirt at you and themselves, plug up the holes in the toys. Grab your crafty hot glue gun and do it before your child ever brings it into the water and you’ll get to let that rubber ducky hang out for every bath.

9. Wash bath toys in the dishwasher

Why spend time washing all those bath toys by hand? You’re a busy mom now so delegate this chore to your dishwasher. You can wash most bath toys here by putting them in a plastic dishwasher-safe box or lingerie bag. Make sure you put it on the top rack and set the cycle so it runs with a heated drying finish to kill off any germs.

10. Make things more colorful

Those bath markers are great fun for kids as they get bigger. But often, toddlers don’t make the distinction that not all markers are for drawing on the walls. Instead, you can make a special foamy paint out of shaving cream and food coloring. This fun foamy washes right off with ease and brings loads of laughs and smiles during bath time. However, be advised that once you delight your child with this trick, they will want it for every bath from now on.

11. Perform a temperature check on the water

Babies are sensitive to temperature, even more so than we are. A baby toy thermometer is a great way to see instantly whether the water is too hot or too cold. If you don’t have one yet, you can stick your elbow or wrist into the water as it will better gauge the temperature in a pinch. If you'd prefer to use a thermometer, here are a few inexpensive and efficient options. (pictures are clickable)

12. Heat up the bathroom first

As we just mentioned, babies are more sensitive to temperature. You’ll cut down on a lot of post-bath screaming and crying if you warm up the bathroom first. If you have a heating bulb in one of your light fixtures, turn this on about 10 minutes before running the bath. You can also take your own hot and steamy shower just before bathing baby so that the air temperature in the bathroom is plenty warm.

13. Let pool noodles rescue you

Pool noodles are a cheap and effective solution for annoying edges. If you have the kind of tub that is enclosed by a sliding glass door, that track can be painful for you as you lean over it. Cutting a chunk out of the center of a pool noodle can create a comfortable arm rest for you while you bathe your baby. It can also prevent ouchies for your little one as you get them out of the tub.

14. Keep harsh chemicals away from the tub

While you surely have any dangerous chemicals locked away where your baby can’t get to them, you will need to clean that tub regularly. But all those toxins still linger long after you wash them away. An easy and natural solution is to use a half of a lemon and baking soda. It will scrub the tub clean and leave a lovely lemon scent behind without any nasty chemicals for your baby to encounter.

15. Prevent wasting shampoo and body wash

You won’t need to worry when your baby is a newborn, but not long after, she will want to explore everything there is to explore. Many parents learn the hard way that when you have those handy pump tops on your bathing products, your child will love pushing them. It’s fun to have that cause and effect, but it wastes a lot of product. Instead, use a hair tie, wrapping it around at the base of the pump a few times. This will allow your child to play with the pump but only pump out a little so you won’t be suddenly surprised that your brand new and full pump-top baby wash is completely empty days after buying it.

16. Put a change of clothes and diaper within reach

After a bath with a newborn, it helps to have everything laid out and ready to go. Don’t make the rookie mistake of digging around for pajamas or cute clothes. Don’t leave that diaper behind, or worse, forget to open the new package and struggle opening it with one hand while baby wails away in the other. Instead, take the time to lay everything out for the post-bath time so there will be minimal fuss and struggle.

17. Get a comfy hooded towel

Your towel might be just right for you, but not for baby. You want to give your baby something that is soft, warm, and cozy right after the bath. Newborns in particular lose a lot of heat from the tops of their heads. Maybe baby enjoyed being in the tub, but once out, those lungs are screaming at max capacity because she’s now cold. Make the transition easier with a hooded towel. It safely covers the head while offering plenty of coverage for the rest of your baby.

At the Land of the Wee, our hooded towels are made from organically-grown bamboo which is not only safe but also incredibly comfortable and soft. You can use these hooded towels after baths, after swimming lessons, or simply to wrap them up in warmth and love any time.

You’ll find Land of the Wee hooded towels in a variety of sizes so you can use them from newborn on through toddler years and even school age years too. Kids love the warm and snuggly feeling they get from being enveloped in them.

Now that you know how to make bath time easier with a newborn around, that lets your mind be free to enjoy the time with baby more. And as your baby grows, bath time will become less of a chore. Eventually, they will take their own baths, then showers, but as they grow, these towels will still fit. Don’t miss a moment of mom life, for the next thing you know, you’ll blink and they will be graduating!