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Bathing a newborn - text version

1-minute read

Babies only need a bath 2 to 3 times a week, but if your baby enjoys it, you can do it every day. Follow our easy guide to giving your baby a bath.

What you need

Fill a bath tub to around 10 to 13 cm. The temperature should be 37-38 degrees. Use a thermometer or your wrist to test.

  • soft wash cloth
  • towel
  • nappy
  • clean clothes
  • cotton wool balls

Step 1

Lower you baby into a warm bath. Supporting their head on your arm with your hand holding your baby's upper arm.

Use your other arm to support their body. This is the arm you will use to wash your baby.

Step 2

Gently splash water onto your baby's head. They don't need shampoo until they are older.

Step 3

Wash their face first, then their neck and body and lastly clean their genitals and bottom.

Step 4

Have a towel laid out ready to dry your baby.

To clean their eyes, use a damp cotton wool ball, starting from the inner eye. Use a fresh cotton ball for each eye.

Remember

Never leave your baby alone in the bath or on the change table.

You can call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436.

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Last reviewed: October 2018


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The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

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