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baby bath routine

Finding your newborn baby bath routine

The first few days at home with your newborn baby are sure to create special memories, but are likely to create some challenges, too – including that first bath. So what is the best technique for washing a newborn baby? You’ll soon find the way that works best for you and establish a routine, but in the meantime, here’s some inspiration from other first time parents to help you get there.

With a tiny, wriggling newborn and all that slippery soapy water, it’s easy to understand why the first baby bath time might seem daunting. But for many parents, baby’s bath time is one of the best moments of the day, and as your confidence grows, each one will be a little easier. Before you know it, you’ll have mastered a bathing routine that works for your family. Because there’s no right or wrong way to do it – different things suit different babies, as these experiences from moms and dads go to show: 

  • 1

    Go at your own pace.

    If the first baby bath seems a bit much for you and your little one initially, you don’t have to rush into it. A newborn baby doesn’t need a wash straight away, so you can do what works for you both. If they enjoy being in the bath that’s great, but there are other options too – as Junaid, Baby Dove employee and dad of three, explains: “We held the baby in our hands and poured water on mommy’s hand, so we could control the temperature of the water”

  • 2

    An easy alternative.

    Until you feel ready to get your little one in the water, you could keep them comfortable on a towel and try just washing their face, neck, hands and bottom. “Sometimes water and cotton wool is all your baby’s delicate skin needs to keep it clean,” says Emily, mom of one. And to make it even simpler, you could try Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Hand and Face Wipes – as gentle as water, these wipes are created to suit your newborn’s delicate skin, leaving it soft and moisturized

  • 3

    Warm and gentle care.

    When the time is right for that first bath, try to keep the room warm and the baby bath temperature to 37 degrees. To clean them, especially if their skin is dry, try a mild baby bath wash that is safe to use on newborns, such as Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Tip to Toe Wash. “It can be even better than washing with water alone, because it has 100% skin natural nutrients that help replenish the moisture in baby skin that is lost during bathing,” says Baby Dove Research and Development expert and mom of three, Bindu

  • 4

    The post-bath routine.

    With the first baby bath time complete, you can breathe a sigh of relief and (hopefully) reflect that it wasn’t as challenging as you’d thought. But maybe you’re wondering about what to do next to settle and comfort your little one. “Warm a baby towel and then lay it out ready,” advises Craig, dad of a newborn. “When he comes out of the bath, he can get warm and cosy quickly.” You could finish by moisturizing, and even trying a massage, with a soothing lotion that’s gentle on delicate newborn skin – such as the Baby Dove Sensitive Moisture Lotion

  • 5


    Although you might think differently, there really are no rules to baby bath time. From the moment your baby arrives, it’s up to you how often you bath them and when to do it – although it can be a little easier if they aren’t too tired, hungry or full. Some parents prefer making it part of the evening routine but Laura, mom of two, found earlier in the day worked for her: “When both my babies were newborn, I bathed them mid-morning when they were most alert and most rested”

As first time parents, you’ll be working out lots of things as you go, and baby bath time is one of those. But however you decide to do it, trust that your way is right for you and your baby.