Newborn Bathing Basics

One of the first things a parent does after bringing new life into the world is bathing the little baby. And having a fragile little thing in your arms can spark some anxiety when it comes to cleaning and generally anything. So, here are some things to take note of when you’re giving your baby a bath.


Sponge Bath

A baby’s first bath would be a sponge bath. The reason behind this is to allow the baby to heal from the dropping of the umbilical cord stump, and possible circumcision. A sponge bath cleans the baby sufficiently and also acts as a baby’s introduction to real baths. 


What you need for a baby’s sponge bath are pretty simple:-

  • Baby bath sponge or cloth that has been cleaned and rinse beforehand
  • Warm water
  • Clean, dry towel, blanket, or changing pad
  • Fresh diaper
  • Gauze and vaseline (for a circumcised baby)
  • Shallow basin, sink, or infant tub
  • Mild baby essentials like soap, shampoo, and wipes


Once ready, you may proceed with the following steps:-

  • Undress the baby while always cradling the head (you may choose to leave the diaper on for now or cover the areas that you are not cleaning first with a towel – don’t want the baby catching a cold)
  • Start gently cleaning the baby, focusing on an area at a time – behind the ears, around the neck, elbows, armpits, and knees. Don’t forget between the fingers and toes too.
  • Go for the head and face next. To avoid getting water into your baby’s eyes, you may tip the baby’s head back a little as you sponge the head. This step is usually towards the end as we do not want the baby feeling cold. Remember to sponge very gently and use only water.
  • Reaching the last cleaning step (you may remove the diaper if you didn’t before), gently clean the belly, backside, and genital area.
  • Pat the baby dry and you’re done!


Regular Bath

Usually a sponge bath is done for roughly one to two weeks. Once your baby is ready (after healing from the umbilical cord stump drop and/or circumcision), it is time for the real introduction to a normal bath. The steps are relatively similar to a sponge bath, except now you may try placing your baby directly in the water.


You may experience some initial struggling or protesting from your baby. But do not worry. Simply go back to sponge baths for a few days or a week before trying out a regular bath once again. Eventually, your little one will get used to the water.

Baby After Bath - PEM Confinement Nanny Agency

Important things to note!

Safety is of the utmost importance. You do not want to see your little one getting injured or in harm’s way, especially not when it’s due to carelessness. So, here are tips and reminders to take note of when giving a baby a bath.


  1. Make sure the water is warm. You do not want to scald your baby or let him or her catch a chill.
  2. Don’t put your baby in the tub while the water is running. Sometimes, water temperature may fluctuate, so it’s best to make sure the water is at the right temperature before letting your baby come in contact with it. 
  3. Keep the water level low enough. Do not overflow the tub.
  4. Pat gently only. Do not rub the baby’s skin as it is sensitive.
  5. Use only baby-friendly soap and shampoo.
  6. Childproof bathtime. Make bathtime a safe time. For instance, putting a non-slip mat beneath the tub to make sure it doesn’t slip off the counter, keep shower curtains far from the baby’s reach, and make sure there are no sharp edges to the tub or anywhere near the baby will be.
  7. Do not leave your baby unattended at all times as anything can happen. If your phone rings or if there’s someone at the door, either ignore it or wipe your baby dry and wrap him in a towel before bringing him along with you. 


If you’re not doing your confinement at a Sg confinement centre, and you are worried about how to bathe your newborn, a full-time or part time confinement nanny has the experience and can offer you advice and tips on how to go about bathing your baby. And that is what you can get with PEM Confinement Nanny Agency. But that’s not all that we have to offer. 

Feeling like you need some relaxation? Feeling like your recovery process is not as smooth as you wished it to be? Get a post natal massage at home with our add-on postnatal massage service. Having a post natal massage at home makes everything easier. With our package, you’ll be able to sleep better, speed up womb recovery, reduce swelling, and many more. Check this out for more details!


  • PEM Confinement Nanny Agency

    We are a group of frontliners and support team members who are passionate about sharing our knowledge and experience in confinement care. Representing the largest confinement nanny agency in Singapore which has served over 250,000 mothers in over 30 years, we are all about sharing useful and insightful information based on our experience to help new parents navigate this exciting chapter of their life better.