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How To Bathe A Baby In 4 Simple Steps

Published: 08/01/2021

It doesn’t get much cuter than a baby at bath time–especially when they’re all bundled up in a fluffy hooded towel afterwards! All cuteness aside, cleaning up your kiddo can be intimidating, especially for first-time parents. So, we’re here to help with some bath time basics! 

Here’s how to bathe your baby in 4 simple steps:  

Step #1:

Fill a baby bathtub with about 2 inches of warm water. Test the water’s temperature with your elbow. It should feel perfectly warm–not too hot! If in doubt, add some cool water to the tub.

Step #2:

Make sure your soap, washcloth, towel, and other supplies are within reach so you can keep a hand on your kiddo at all times. Babies have a way of slipping and sliding, even in non-slip bathtubs!

Step #3:

Lower your baby into the water. Using a washcloth, or your free hand, cleanse them with body wash one area at a time. Pay extra attention to those cracks and creases! Wash that velvety-soft baby hair last and cup your hand, or place a dry, rolled up washcloth, across their forehead to keep water away from their face.

Some tips: 

  • If your wee one is NOT having it, sing them a song, bring in a rubber ducky, or demonstrate how to splash the water with their hands and feet. Some babies love the water while others want nothing to do with it. Don’t stress if yours is one of the haters– just triple check that the water is a comfortable temperature, because sometimes that’s the source of the problem. 
  • Bubbles are fun, but best for when your baby has graduated from the baby bath and can sit up on their own in the regular tub.
  • Soothing baths are perfect for your little one’s nighttime routine. So, if you have the time, let your babe relax in the warm water for a little while longer to help them unwind.  

Step #4:

When bath time is over, lift your baby out of the water and pat (don’t rub!) their skin dry. 

More tips:

  • Dry those rolls and creases as best as you can. If the bath towel is too thick, use something thinner (like a clean burp cloth) to really get in there! 
  • Remember, babies might fuss and wiggle at this point (because nobody likes getting out of a warm bath!), so make sure you’ve got a good grip! 
  • If you have a partner helping out, have them put your baby’s towel in the dryer for the last 5 minutes of the bath. Post-bath, your baby will feel extra cozy wrapped in a warm towel (who wouldn’t?!).
  • Don’t forget to snap a photo of your cutie wearing their hooded towel–classic!

Follow up with baby lotion or oil (especially helpful if you’re giving them a baby massage), and pat some baby powder into any neck creases needing extra attention. 

What are your bath time tips and tricks? Share them with us in the comments below!