Skip to Content

8 Genius Newborn Baby Bath Hacks

This post contains affiliate links. Please visit my disclosure policy for more information.

Check out these simple mom-tested newborn baby bath hacks to make bath time quick, easy, and safe for baby.

Pinterest graphic with text that reads "8 Genius Newborn Baby Bath Hacks Moms Swear By" and a baby in a bathtub.

Everything takes on new significance with a first baby, and that includes bath time!

Your baby’s first bath at home is an important milestone, but it can be a little tricky for new moms.

Luckily, we’ve been through it all and have all the best tips and tricks to help you out!

Below you’ll find mom-tested newborn baby bath hacks that will help you get through this process with ease.

Best Newborn Baby Bath Hacks

1. Prep everything beforehand.

Make sure you have everything for the bath ready to go BEFORE you put baby in the tub. This will save you from having to call for help or running from the tub because you forgot baby’s towel.

2. Bathe in the proper order to keep your baby warm.

Don’t forget to wash baby’s head last! Newborns lose most of their heat from their head, so washing baby’s head last will make sure they stay warm until the end.

3. Use a warm washcloth as a heating element.

A newborn getting a bath with a white cloth over their chest.

Rinse a washcloth in warm water and lay it over baby’s tummy to keep them warm while you wash their hair.

4. Use a soft-bristled brush or scrubby to prevent cradle cap.

To prevent cradle cap, use the soft-bristled scrubby they give you in the hospital with every bath. Simply give baby’s head a good scrub in each bath to get rid of any build-up.

5. Use lavender to calm and soothe your baby.

Try adding lavender throughout your night routine (baby wash, lotion, etc.). Lavender is calming and soothing for babies and can help them relax before bedtime. A clear bedtime routine also helps baby know to get ready for sleep.

6. Use a cup for easy rinsing.

Keep a cup with your baby’s bath supplies to help you rinse their body and hair. This will allow you to keep them in an upright position.

7. Use their towel as protection.

When you’re ready to scoop your baby up from the bath, drape their towel across your chest so when you bring them towards your body, you don’t get wet.

Once you have your baby at your chest, bring the ends of the towel around their body to wrap them up.

8. Use a hooded towel for extra warmth.

A hooded towel will help keep your baby warm after they’re done with their bath and as you get them dressed.

Steps to Bathing a Newborn

A baby is rubbed with a sponge in a small white bathtub.

This post on how to wash newborn hair also includes all of the steps for bathing a newborn.

There are different instructions for babies with and without their umbilical stumps, so be sure to follow the proper steps!

Safety Tips

A woman reaching over the rim of a small white bathtub to lift a baby out of the water.

Baby safety is always of the utmost importance.

Follow these guidelines to prevent any accidents and keep your baby comfortable through the bathing process.

  1. Maintain a comfortable room temperature. Babies can get chilly quickly, so ensure the room is comfortably warm before beginning the bath. You can use a space heater or warm up the room a bit before undressing the baby.
  2. Use a baby tub or suitable substitute. Invest in a baby tub or use a small basin to make the baby feel secure and comfortable during the bath. These options also make it easier for you to handle a slippery baby.
  3. Check water temperature. Test the water temperature with your elbow or the inside of your wrist to ensure it’s comfortably warm but not too hot. The ideal temperature is around 100°F (37.8°C).
  4. Keep the bath short and sweet Newborns don’t require long baths. Aim for a bath duration of about 5-10 minutes to prevent the baby from getting too cold.
  5. Support the baby’s head. Always support the baby’s head and neck when bathing. Use one hand to cradle the baby’s head while using the other to wash.
  6. Start with sponge baths. In the first few weeks, when the umbilical cord stump is still attached, opt for sponge baths until it falls off. This prevents the stump from getting too wet.
  7. Make it a routine. Establish a consistent bath time routine. This helps signal to the baby that it’s time for relaxation and can be a calming part of their daily schedule.
  8. Use mild, fragrance-free products. Choose baby-friendly, hypoallergenic soap and shampoo to avoid irritation. Fragrance-free options are gentler on a baby’s sensitive skin.
  9. Pat, don’t rub, to dry. After the bath, pat the baby dry with a soft towel instead of rubbing, as a baby’s skin is delicate and can be sensitive.
  10. Keep a firm grip. Ensure a secure grip on the baby during the bath. Hold onto them with both hands and keep a hand on them at all times to prevent slipping.
  11. Be confident and calm. Babies can pick up on your emotions. Stay calm and confident during the bath to create a positive and reassuring experience for your little one.
  12. Never leave your baby unattended. Even if you if place them in a bath seat, it doesn’t take much or long for dangerous situations to occur around water. Be vigilant to keep your baby safe.

Newborn Bath Essentials

A Baby getting a bath in a green and blue bath chair.

These are our favorite baby bath products to create the perfect bath routine.


A baby is being given a bath in a blue tub with a blue wash cloth.
How often should you bathe a newborn?

For a newborn, it’s generally recommended to bathe them only a few times a week during the first few weeks of life. Here are some guidelines:

Initial Days:
In the first week or so, you may give your newborn sponge baths while the umbilical cord stump is still attached. Once the stump falls off and the area heals, you can transition to tub baths.

For most newborns, a bath 2-3 times a week is sufficient. Bathing too frequently can strip the baby’s delicate skin of natural oils, leading to dryness or irritation.

Short Baths:
Keep the baths short, usually around 5-10 minutes. This helps prevent the baby from getting too cold.

Daily Spot Cleaning:
While you may not need to give a full bath every day, it’s essential to clean the diaper area, face, and hands daily. Use a soft, damp cloth for this purpose.

Find more details in this post on How often do you bathe a newborn?

More Resources for New Moms

A baby being held with a hooded towel over its head.

If this post was helpful, be sure to check out these other helpful posts for novice moms.