I'm looking for tips or a guide on how to bathe a new born baby (after the cord falls off).

  • How to hold him
  • Do I have to avoid water in his face?
  • In my case, it's a boy. How do you clean the penis?
  • Any other considerations?

asked 04 Oct '09, 23:25

JJJ's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

edited 15 Oct '09, 01:46

A nurse should go through this with you before you leave the hospital. You can bathe the baby right away. You no longer have to be so vigilant about keeping the cord dry.

Here is a very detailed article on bathing a newborn from the Mayo Clinic. There is even an instructional video. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-baby/PR00041


answered 04 Oct '09, 23:45

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦
accept rate: 18%

Actually, they told me I have to wait...

(05 Oct '09, 00:29) JJJ

Interesting. I guess that's one of those things where there are different standards/guidelines in different countries.

(05 Oct '09, 00:59) Tammy ♦♦

My kids were at 2 different hospitals and I feel like they didn't prepare me at all for when I got home with the baby. I didn't know how often to feed them, change them, bathe them... just figured it out all on my own.

(05 Oct '09, 03:01) Mommy trial and error

In my case, the taught me how to feed him, change him, clean the cord until it fells, and hold him to help him burp. I have the first control today (48 hours after you leave the clinic), maybe they'll teach me the rest this afternoon!

(05 Oct '09, 12:33) JJJ

That is really intersting that they are having you clean the cord and not get it wet, I thought that was an "older" technique. Our hospital also suggested that we no longer needed to clean the cord and baths were totally fine submerged.

(05 Oct '09, 21:14) Sabrina

I always had my husband help me the first few weeks. One of us would hold the baby in the baby bath tub and the other would wash them. You don't have to avoid water in his face just make sure he doesn't swallow a bunch of it. If you got him circumcised avoid that until it heals. After it heals you can use a wash cloth and wash it normally. Try to make it quick, newborns get very cold.


answered 05 Oct '09, 00:08

Mommy%20trial%20and%20error's gravatar image

Mommy trial and error
accept rate: 4%

That's a good point, I forgot about how easily they get cold.

(05 Oct '09, 01:01) Tammy ♦♦

It's easy to forget the little things. My baby is only 3 months old... it's all fresh in my head for another few months!! :-(

(05 Oct '09, 02:58) Mommy trial and error

As a general guide, you need very little water, a minimal amount of gentle cleanser mixed right into the water and a face cloth. You want the water to be warm but not hot - always make sure you test the temp on your most sensitive skin (inside of wrist works for most people). You can put the lower half of the baby into the water but you constantly support the baby's head - one hand will never leave the neck/head. Start with the head by using the damp corners of the washcloth to clean the eyes and the ears - 1 corner each - just gently wiping. You can then use the washcloth on the hair being careful to avoid dripping/running the water down their face. The other hand will use the wash cloth all over baby, gently drawing the soapy water all over the body. Because you are using such a small amount of baby cleanser you won't need to do too much in the way of rinsing. In terms of the genital area, you will need to make sure you are getting into all their folds. If its too difficult with the one hand you can just do your best and follow up with a baby wipe when you are finished, at the point of diapering. When you are finished, make sure your towel is handy as they will get cold really quickly.

As Tammy mentioned, the nurse will demonstrate exactly how to do this before you leave the hospital and you can try it yourself with them supervising for guidance if necessary.


answered 05 Oct '09, 00:06

dreamerisme's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

We used a baby tub in the kitchen sink the first few months. When I washed my son he was really slippery and it was hard to maneuver him in the big tub when he was really little.

I just put a little soap in the water and wiped him down with a wash cloth. You might even want to forgo the soap at first. You just need to focus on his bum and under his neck. I avoided the cord area and his circumcision as much as possible until they were healed.

My hospital suggested using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to clean the cord area. Some hospitals say this isn't necessary. It took about 6 weeks for my son's cord to fall off which was kind of a pain when it came to bath time. But we didn't bath him very often in the beginning.

I also asked the hospital to show us how to bath him. So when they had a newborn in the nursery they asked us to come and watch while they bathed them.

You'll get the hang of it. It is amazing how resilient babies are. I mean think about where and how they came out :)


answered 05 Oct '09, 17:58

superstarBJR's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%


lol. My wife had a C-Section (spelling correct?), so he didn't have to work hard to come out :)

(05 Oct '09, 21:42) JJJ

If you didn't want to sumberge your baby in water you could undress your baby and cover him in a towel, then place the baby with the towel on a surface that can get wet. Then unwrap only portions of the baby at a time and use a really wet wash cloth to give your baby a sponge bath. My friend did this because her baby seemed to get very cold and didn't like to be all the way undressed for bathing when she was a couple of weeks old.

My babies, however have loved sumberged baths since they were infants. Did you know they can float almost entirely by themselves? We didn't know this until the first time we filled the bathtub up so our newborn son could take a bath with our daughter one time. When we put him in he LOVED it and I only used 2 fingers to support his neck and he calmly floated in the water. It was really neat.


answered 10 Oct '09, 06:35

Sabrina's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

I preferred bathing newborns in a bucket. You can buy special baby buckets (called tummy tubs in the UK) but a normal 10 litre plastic household bucket works fine. You fill it about a third to half full with warm (test with your elbow) water. If you want to use a mild baby bubble bath you can, but plain water is probably good enough. Baby goes in feet first and sort of sits in the foetal position. You support them with a hand under the chin (thumb one side of neck, rest of hand other side). And just slosh around with a flannel or sponge if there is anything you particularly need to clean (they tend to get milk in all the folds round the neck, so they're worth trying to clean).

Babies seem to feel more relaxed in the foetal position in a bucket, rather than prone in a baby bath.

I washed faces separately with clean cotton wool and cooled, boiled water. A separate piece of cotton wool for each eye - wipe from nose to the ear each time (they close their eyes as you bring the cotton wool close). A clean piece again for the ears and then finally the rest of the face with another piece.

No special treatment for penises. Just make sure there is no faecal matter left in the creases round that area.


answered 28 Oct '09, 19:35

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

There is something similar to this that you can find in Canadian stores called the baby spa http://www.spababytubs.com/

(28 Oct '09, 22:53) Tammy ♦♦
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Asked: 04 Oct '09, 23:25

Seen: 5,560 times

Last updated: 28 Oct '09, 19:35