How to Give a Baby a Tub Bath
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Follow a step-by-step guide to giving your baby a tub bath, beginning with sponge bathing during the first few weeks, caring for the healing umbilical cord and then transitioning to full tub bathing.


Hi, I am Marylou Teitz with Lamaze International and I am showing you how to bathe your baby. Right now I am going to show you how to transition to full tub bathing. We begin by switching to an angled baby bathtub filled with a few inches of warm water, preferably, between 93 and 97 degree Fahrenheit. We begin the process by sponge bathing just as we did the first time, using cotton balls and clear water to wash your baby s eyes, nose, face and ears and then proceeding onto shampoo the baby s hair before we move the baby into the bathtub. Uncover your baby and check to make sure that the diaper area is fully cleaned before we move the baby into the bath tub. In order to move the baby into the tub, you need to make sure you have a very secure hold on the baby. Start by sliding your hand underneath the baby's head and neck area, reaching over and grasping the baby's outer upper arm and allowing the baby's head to rest on your forearms. Slide the other hand to underneath your baby's bottom and grasp the baby's outer upper thigh. Then gently lift the baby over to the bathtub and slide her slowly into the tub so that her feet move into the water first. You can then release that hand that is been holding the leg, but do not release the baby's arm. Continue to let the baby rest her head against your forearm and you remain with that secure hold on the baby's upper arm. Now you can proceed with your wet wash cloth, just add a few drops of baby wash and you will see how quickly this goes. We will start at the baby's neck area, gently washing and moving down across the baby's tummy and chest area, doing the arms and hands and because the umbilical cord has fully healed we can go right across the navel down through the diaper area, moving down the thighs to the baby's feet and then gently rinsing from the neck down. Now, we are going to bring the baby to a seated position, so that we can wash her back. Bring her up forward, slide your thumb and middle finger underneath the baby's armpits and let her drape forward across the front portion of your hand, so that her jaw is resting on your hand. Then you can reach over with your wash cloth and do a very quick wash and rinse of the baby's back area. Now, it is time to remove the baby from the bath tub. So, I am going to tip her back, let her head rest against my forearm, I am going to grasp the upper arm and the upper thigh and gently release the baby from the tub and bring her back over to the warm towel, wrapping her up so that she does not become chilled and patting her dry. We never dry babies vigorously because their skin is so delicate, so, always with a gentle touch. So, that is how to bathe your baby in the tub. You will find that although newborns do not particularly enjoy their bath and may even cry occasionally as your baby grows, you will find that she really does enjoy her bath time and it offers you a wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time, having a good time with your baby.