Sponge Baths: How to Bathe Your Newborn

Sponge Baths: How to Bathe Your Newborn

Sponge baths are the perfect way to keep your new baby's skin healthy and clean. Learn how to safely bathe your slippery, squirmy bundle of joy with these tips.

Your newborn baby may not be playing in the yard just yet, but he still needs an occasional bath. Grab a sponge or washcloth for an easy way to keep your baby clean.

Experts recommend sponge baths for babies whose umbilical cord stumps have not yet fallen off. Sponge baths are also a good option for boys who haven't fully healed from circumcision. Keep in mind that daily baths aren't necessary, and could dry out his delicate skin. Bathing three times a week will be just fine until your baby is a year old.

6 Steps to Success

  1. Pick a convenient time. Some moms prefer mornings when babies are usually alert and raring to go. Other moms choose evenings as part of a calming bedtime ritual.
  2. Gather everything you'll need before you start. Many parents find it easiest to place their baby in a towel-lined infant tub, but you could lay a towel on just about any flat, comfortable surface. Grab a change of clothes, a clean diaper, a couple of washcloths, another big towel, a mild baby soap, and a bowl or cup of warm (not hot) water. Test the water temperature with your inner wrist.
  3. Keep your little one cozy. Make sure the room is warm before undressing your baby. Plan to drape a warm, wet washcloth over the parts of your baby you're not cleaning at the moment so she stays comfortable.
  4. Start at the top. Start with your baby's face and head, using a washcloth without soap so you don't get any suds in her eyes or mouth. Use soft, gentle strokes. Pay special attention to the neck and the area under the chin. The spaces between fingers and toes, under the arms, and behind the ears also get surprisingly dirty. Wipe carefully around the umbilical stump, making sure to keep it dry. If you accidentally get the stump wet, gently pat it dry with a soft towel. Clean the diaper area last, and always support your baby's head and neck.
  5. Protect to heal. If your son has been circumcised, wash his penis with just water until it heals (usually about a week to 10 days after the surgery). If he's not circumcised, just wash as you would other parts of his body.
  6. Wrap it up. Finish off by drying your baby with a hooded towel, putting on a fresh diaper, and planting a kiss on that clean, soft belly. All done!
Leave a comment *Mandatory text
I confirm I have written the entirety of the content and agree to the community guidelines and terms and conditions
  • Show comments

Bath time

1/25/2016

i think i will do the evening.

Very infomational

1/20/2016

This is perfect for the first couple weeks when baby can not take a bath due to umbilical cord stump. All what I would add is use the towel the baby is lying on to cover limbs that are not being cleaned to keep baby warm.

Good info

Ktwins15 1/16/2016

Especially for first time mom's who are unfamiliar with bathing babies!

Bath Time

Hannahmarie18 1/13/2016

Having a convenient time everyday I found was really important to keep him in a routine!

Good info

1/7/2016

Good to know how many times to wash the baby once she is here!

  1. Wipes

Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes

#1 Choice of Hospitals* *based on hospital sales data

Newborn Baby Activities: Tummy Time and Play

What could be more fun than playing and interacting with your 3-month-old. Engage your little one with these age-appropriate activities that foster baby development.

Read more

Hush Little Baby

Babies bring out the best in all of us. That's why there's nothing we wouldn’t do to make life #betterforbaby.

Read more