Bathing with your baby

Many new parents share a bath with their child as this is reassuring for a small baby in a big bath, and can be a lovely bonding moment

Having a bath with your baby

If you want to take your baby into the bath with you then make sure that the bath water is a comfortable temperature for your baby, around 32 degrees C, which will be quite a bit cooler than the baths you would usually take.

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Place everything you’ll need to clean your baby within easy reach and only use mild baby wash products so you don’t dry out or irritate your baby’s skin.

Advice from RoSPA and other safety bodies recommends:

  • Bath water should not be hotter than 43 degrees C
  • This temperature should be lowered to around 32 degrees for babies and children
  • Test the temperature with your elbow not your fingers
  • Take your baby out of the bath if you are going to adjust the temperature by topping up
  • Put a flannel over taps which might still be hot when your baby has got in
  • Never leave a baby or child unattended in the bath, not even for a moment

Run the cold water first then bring the temperature up with the warm tap. Place a towel double-folded at the side of the bath so you can later lay your baby on it. Undress yourself first and then undress the baby. It’s easiest and safest if you have someone to hand the baby to you, but if not then hold him close to you as you step carefully into the bath (you should use a non-slip mat in the bath tub).

Introduce your baby to the water slowly, reassuring him by holding him against your body until he feels relaxed in the water and then wash him…

Washing your baby

Supporting your baby with one hand you can gently clean him with the other, making sure to clean around: 
• The genital areas
• Behind the ears
• The folds of skin at the neck, the back of the knees, the arms and the thighs
• The hands and feet and between the fingers and toes
• The armpits

You don’t need to rub or scrub your baby, just gently sloshing the water over him is enough to get him clean. For more tips, check out how to bath your baby and how to take care of his skin at bathtime.

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Before getting out of the bath first place your baby on the towel you laid out by the bath earlier and then get your baby dried as soon as you can, taking particular care to dry the cord stump and around.

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