Baby Bath Time Routine

Bringing home your new baby is a beautiful time in life. It can also be overwhelming. Bath time is not an exception. It is a good time for baby to relax and for you to enjoy your little bundle wrapped up in a cute towel all warm and cozy. But it can also look like this; baby is screaming, you are trying to figure out how to get ahold of her slippery new skin, and then she poops in the clean water. Here are some tips to a successful bath routine and a look at what works in our home.


Remember to Stay Calm

Babies are usually not predictable, and when you learn to go with the flow, life will be less stressful. If you get peed or pooped on, remember that everything can be cleaned up. If your outfit ends up soaked, remember you can change. If baby usually enjoys the bath, but for some reason is upset during this particular bath, remember that you can try something else to soothe her. Everything will be ok. Tears from both of you are also ok. You’ve got this!

Remember Babies aren’t Very Dirty

You do not have to bathe baby every day. You can if you want, and if it seems to be the key to calming baby before a nap or bed, go for it! We try to do every two to three nights in our home.

*Tip*– Focus on baby’s rolls. Under the neck, in the arm and knee pits, in the groin area, anywhere that the skin creates a fold can get stinky and infected if it isn’t being wiped well. In the bath be sure to get those areas well and focus on getting them dry afterwards. On nights you don’t do a bath, wipe those areas with a wipe or washcloth. Diaper balm or ointment can help if the skin is getting red.

*Tip*– Do not get your newborn’s umbilical cord wet. It needs to stay dry to help it fall off and heal. Do a sponge bath the first few weeks to keep from submerging baby in water.

Remember to Grab What You Need 

It is important to have a hand on baby at all times during a bath. There have been too many times when I was bathing baby alone and forgot to put the soap in reaching distance or didn’t think to grab a towel. Before starting the actual bath just quickly run through and make sure your station is set up and ready. I also pull the things I need for after the bath as well (diaper, pjs, lotion, etc.). If you forgot something important, remember what I said earlier. Stay calm and readjust. I have used my shirt as a towel more than once.

Here is what our routine looks like:

  • Set up the bath station.
    • Earth Mama Baby Wash– We love and trust Earth Mama to be gentle and safe for baby’s skin. The calming lavender and sweet orange scents are amazing!
    • Dermafrida– Using a silicone brush is great for dry flaky newborn skin. I use it on their hair and scalp to help prevent cradle cap.
    • Organic Bamboo Cloth- Grace Green Beauty has my favorite washcloths, and they are soft and wonderful for fresh baby skin.
    • Hooded Towel– Keep baby warm after the bath by keeping their head covered until it is dry.
    • Cloth Diaper- I place a cloth diaper in the towel because my babies have all been known to pee and poop as soon as they get out of the bath. This keeps cute towels from getting stained up. And it helps absorb more of the liquid from running all over the place. Gerber 10 Pack Organic Prefolds works great for lining towels and as burp cloths.
  • Set up the after bath station. 
  • Get the bath ready.
    • I love the Munchkin Bath Tub for by the sink and in the bath tub. When you use it on the kitchen counter, you can place the end over the sink to drain. Fill the bottom with warm water to keep baby comfortable. Fill the sink with warm soapy water to dip your silicone brush or washcloth in to wash baby. When you use it in the bath tub, remove the bottom layer of the tub to allow the bath to fill underneath the tub.
    • I also like the Blooming Bath for a sponge bath on the counter, or to be used in the sink.
  • Give baby her bath.
    • If you are trying to relax and calm baby here are a few things you can do to help.
      • Keep the lights low.
      • Play lullabies and calming music, or sing to him.
      • Gently massage baby as you wash her.
      • Talk to him in a soft voice.
  • Move baby to the towel and to where you will finish your routine. We use our bed where there is plenty of snuggle room for us both. The changing table is another great place because you can store everything there to keep set up time quicker.
  • Pamper your baby.
    • Pat baby dry and remember to focus on the folds.
    • Baby does not need lotion or oil, but it can be a fun way to give baby a full body massage. Your touch helps baby know he is loved and cared for.
    • I don’t use diaper balm at every diaper change, but I do apply it after bath as a way to help prevent diaper rash.
    • Check for any rashes and apply ointment if needed. My teething baby now gets baby face on her chin after every bath because her drool is causing irritation.
    • Get a diaper on baby. Some people would argue that is the first thing you should probably do, but I believe in some air time. A little naked time is good! And on that note, this is a great time for some serious skin to skin! Take as long as you want. Place a waterproof pad under you so you aren’t concerned about anything getting wet.
    • Check baby’s fingers and toes to make sure no hairs have gotten tangled around where they don’t belong.
    • Put on baby’s pjs, a sleep sack or swaddle if you use one, and a hat if baby is still really little and trying to stay warm. Nested Bean makes gently weighted options to help baby feel like you are still snuggling after they fall asleep.
    • We use the Owlet Smart Sock to track baby’s heart rate and oxygen level during sleep. It has given me peace of mind to know she is sleeping safely. Don’t forget to push the button on the unit to make sure it is on! I’ll do a review blog post on this, but wanted to mention it here too since it is part of our routine.
  • Once all the getting ready is done, I feed baby, and snuggle her to sleep.

We have added or changed a few products over the years, but this is what the routine has looked like for all four of my babies. It is important that you think about what works in your home and create a routine that is best for you and baby. Enjoy your fresh baby!




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