Baby Registry

What Do I Need For Baby's First Bath?

I'm a wreck about baby's first bath! What do I need?

Bath time isn’t so tough. Once baby's umbilical stump comes off, you can move from sponge baths to “real” baths — in the baby bathtub, in the kitchen sink (make sure it’s clean!), or in your arms in the big bathtub (have help getting in and out, and use a non-slip mat). Here's the routine and what you'll need.

Washing station 

Make sure your setup is steady, and position baby’s head away from the faucet. 

Water

Fill the tub with about 3 inches of water that's a little bit hotter than lukewarm. Check with your wrist first. 

Warm room

Keep the temperature raised so it’s not a shock to baby’s system when she comes out of the bath (75 to 80°F). 

Washcloths

Use one color for bath time, another for diaper changes.

Plastic cup

For rinsing. Or squeeze a wet washcloth over baby’s head to get rid of soap. 

Baby soap

A mild, tear-free cleanser for both baby’s body and hair is ideal.  

Extras

Remedies that your doctor suggests should be in arms' reach.   

How to

Start by soaking baby. Always keep a hand on him (infants are slippery when wet). Start from the top and work your way down. Wash his face first, cleaning one small area at a time. As you move down, thoroughly wash inside all those folds (under the arms, in the neck, the genital area, etc.). Save baby’s dirtiest parts (aka the diaper area) for last. Then, move back up and wash baby’s hair. Since infants lose most of their heat through their heads, this should be your very last move. If the water is still warm, you can engage in a little playtime, but don't splash for too long — as the water chills, baby will start to get cold.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Baby Skin Care 101

Best Baby Bath Products

Best Bath Tubs for Baby

By Excerpted from The Baby Bump: 100s of Secrets to Surviving Those Nine Long Months