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Water babies: Getting through the first bath with confidence

Posted on 26. September 2016 by adminaris

So you’ve come through your baby’s birth with flying colours – congratulations! Now that you’re home, though, the tips you picked up in neonatal classes may have got a bit fuzzy, and you might be finding the idea of bathing your newborn intimidating. Don’t worry – you’re far from alone.

Tiny new person? Check. Slippery soap? Check. Parent who feels suddenly all thumbs? Definite check.

It’s a stressful scenario, and many newbie parents dread the eventual moment when baby must meet bath water. Trust us – we’ve been there too!

However, this is one of those things that must be done eventually – topping and tailing only works for so long before your sweet little one starts to smell something less than sweet. So take a deep breath, and remember that parents have been doing this for millennia; if they can do it, so can you.

Here are a few more practical insider tips on bathing your newborn. Follow these, and you’ll be a confident baby-bather before you know it!

  • The first step is to make sure you know how the bathing routine is meant to work (luckily, we’ve compiled a handy video guide to help you out). Grab a cuppa, take a look, and make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need on hand before you dive in (so to speak).
  • Don’t be afraid to recruit a bathtime mentor. Mums are fabulous in this role – after all, they bathed you for years and you’re still around, aren’t you? Siblings or friends who are veteran parents can also be a big help. Whoever you ask, you’ll likely find that having an extra set of experienced hands to assist you will boost your confidence no end.
  • Props can help, too. We’re not normally advocates of buying heaps of baby gear, but if you’re very nervous about bathing your baby, a supportive bath seat might go a long way toward alleviating your worries. These tend to be moulded to support your baby’s head and neck, with a soft, non-slippery mesh sling that will let the water pass through.
  • If you don’t use a bath seat or sling, your best bet is to keep your dominant arm under your baby’s neck and shoulders, with your hand keeping a secure hold around the arm that’s farthest from you. This will support your baby’s head and give you a good grip on your slippery little package, while leaving the other hand free for washing.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy it! If you’re a nervous first-timer, this may seem like madness right now, but trust us, bathtime can be a wonderful, relaxing experience for both you and your baby. Many adults love a warm, comforting bath after a challenging day, and your baby is no different – after all, your newborn has spent most of his or her existence to date floating in the warm ‘bath’ inside your belly!


If you don’t believe us, check out this amazing video of Sonia Rochel, France’s “baby bath queen”, to see how lovely bathing your baby can be. Of course, Sonia’s techniques are based on years of experience as a baby nurse, and are likely more advanced than you’ll want to try at first, but the concept is the same: a gentle, loving bath, given by the people they trust the most, is one of the very best ways to relax your baby for a good night’s sleep.


Have you given your baby his or her first ‘proper’ bath yet? How did it go? We’d love for you to share your tips with other newbie parents on our Facebook page or in the comments below!

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