Preparing a bath for a newborn baby
Have everything you need within reach. Use a clean bucket, sink or baby bath to wash baby. You also need cotton wool or a soft cloth, mild baby cleanser, towels, a clean nappy and clothes.
Fill the container with water as deep as your fingers. Use a bath thermometer, your wrist or your elbow to check that the water is not too hot. It should be about 37-38°C.
Before undressing baby, wet a cotton wool ball or soft cloth with warm water. Gently wipe baby’s eyes from inside to out. Use a new cotton wool ball or clean part of the cloth for each wipe.
Washing your baby
Undress baby. Cradle baby’s head and shoulders with one arm, and support their body with the other arm. Gently lower baby into the water. Use one arm to hold baby and your other hand to wash. Make sure baby’s face is uncovered.
Gently wash baby with a soft cloth. Start with baby’s face, then their neck and body, and their genitals and bottom last.
Gently wash baby’s hair and head with water.
How to be safe when bathing your newborn baby
Never leave baby alone in the bath. Always finish the bath first before doing something else. Babies can drown quickly even in shallow water.
Support baby’s head, neck and body when you take them out of the bath. Lay baby on the unfolded towel and gently pat them dry.
Wash baby at least twice a week in a bath. Clean babies are happy and healthy babies.