How to Do a Sponge Bath for a Newborn

As a new parent, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about how to care for your newborn baby. From proper temperature control to diaper changes, there are multiple considerations that you need for the safety and well-being of your little one. Perhaps the most intimidating part of being a new parent is learning to bathe their precious bundle of joy.

How to Do a Sponge Bath for a Newborn

While it can seem daunting, taking the right approach can make sponge baths easy and safe for you and your baby. This blog post will explore how to do a sponge bath for a newborn.

Taking care of a newborn is a huge responsibility, and although there are many aspects to consider, such as feeding schedules, sleep patterns, and doctor’s visits—one part that is often overlooked but equally important for keeping your little one healthy is doing periodic sponge baths.

Not only does this help keep their skin clean and free from any germs or dirt buildup, but it also helps create a physical bonding experience in those quiet moments where you can just enjoy the warmth and sensations of caring for your bundle of joy.

Why Do You Need to Do a Sponge Bath for a Newborn?

You should do a sponge bath for a newborn for many reasons. Such as:

1. To Keep a Newborn Clean

Keeping a sponge bath for a newborn is one of the most important reasons for keeping them clean. While baby wipes are fine between baths, it’s important to give your baby a gentle bath at least once or twice weekly.

2. To Keep Baby Calm and Soothed

For many babies, a warm bath can be incredibly calming. Sponge baths in particular, can help soothe babies and relax them before bedtime. Also, sponge baths are less disruptive to a baby’s sleep schedule than traditional baths, which can be too stimulating for newborns.

A Warm Bath Can Be Incredibly Calming

3. To Avoid Dry Skin

Bathing too often with tap water can dry out your baby’s skin, causing it to become irritated and uncomfortable. A sponge bath is gentler on the skin and helps to keep it moisturized and hydrated.

Knowing how to do a sponge bath for a newborn is an important part of providing the best care possible. With these steps, you can ensure your baby gets the gentle clean they need with minimal disruption or fuss.

How to Do a Sponge Bath for a Newborn in 6 Easy Steps

Step 1: Gather Supplies

The very first step is to prepare the supplies you need for a newborn’s sponge bath. Gathering all materials in one place will make it easier to do the job quickly and efficiently. Gather a warm washcloth, two towels (one for drying off and one for wrapping baby up after the bath), mild soap or baby cleanser, cotton balls, and a bowl of warm water.

Step 2: Prepare the Space

Be sure to prepare a warm and comfortable space for your newborn baby’s bath. Make sure the temperature of the room is just right, as you don’t want it to be too hot or too cold. Also, check that there are no drafts in the area by closing all windows and doors.

Step 3: Fill the Bowl

Fill the bowl with warm water just right for your baby’s sensitive skin. The temperature should be around 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 Celsius. It’s best to use a thermometer if you have one, as this will help ensure that the bath water isn’t too hot or too cold for your baby.

Step 4: Start from the Top

Start the bath by first washing your baby’s face, neck, and head area with a damp washcloth. Make sure to use gentle strokes and avoid getting water in your baby’s eyes or ears. Also, make sure to use a mild soap or baby cleanser.

First Washing Your Baby's Face

Step 5: Clean the Rest of the Body

Be sure to thoroughly clean your baby’s body, including under the baby’s arms and behind their ears. When washing areas like the diaper area, be sure to use extra care as it is more sensitive. Also, be sure to dry these areas carefully as well.

Step 6: Wrap Baby Up

Once you’re done, dry off your baby with a soft towel and wrap them up in another one for extra warmth. Make sure to take your time during the bath – it should last no more than 10 minutes and can even be shorter if your baby gets fussy or uncomfortable. This will help to ensure that your baby is comfortable and happy after the bath.

Following these simple steps will help make doing a sponge bath for a newborn easy and stress-free for both you and your baby. Be sure to be gentle with your baby during their sponge bath, as this will help them feel more relaxed and secure.

Doing a sponge bath for your newborn can be an enjoyable experience if you take the time to do it properly. Enjoy this special time with your baby and cherish the moments.

Some Additional Tips to Do a Sponge Bath for a Newborn

1. Do Not Leave Your Baby Unattended

You may think you can turn your back for a second or two but it is best never to leave your baby in the bath unattended. So you have to make sure that you are always within arm’s reach of your baby.

2. Warm the Room

Make sure that the room or area where you will be doing the sponge bath is nice and warm before starting. This will help keep your baby comfortable and relaxed during bath time. Also, don’t forget to make sure that the water temperature is just right before getting your baby in the bath.

3. Have Everything Ready

Before beginning, prepare all of the necessary items for the sponge bath such as a washcloth and soft towel (preferably warmed). Find a comfortable spot to do the bath, whether on a flat surface or in your lap.

4. Cleanse Gentle and Thoroughly

When cleansing, use gentle pressure with the washcloth and take special attention to the folds of skin and creases. Make sure to clean thoroughly, especially behind the ears, neck, toes, fingers, and diaper area.

5. Dry Off

Dry Off Your Baby Thoroughly

After the bath, make sure to dry off your baby thoroughly. This can be done by wrapping him/her up in a soft towel and lightly patting them all over until they are nice and dry. Once you have finished drying off your baby, gently rub some baby lotion or oil onto their skin to keep it supple and moisturized.

6. Bonding During Bath Time

Bath time is a great opportunity to bond with your baby, so take advantage of it! Use this as an opportunity to talk, sing, or just smile at each other as you enjoy some quality time together. Also, take this time to inspect your baby for any signs of skin rashes or other issues that need medical attention.

With these tips, you can be sure to make bath time safe and enjoyable for your newborn! So go ahead and get started with giving your little one a nice and cozy sponge bath!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Do I Need to Bathe My Newborn?

Newborns do not require frequent bathing. In fact, it is recommended that you bathe your newborn no more than two to three times a week, or whenever he/she becomes soiled. Also, a sponge bath is an adequate way of keeping your newborn clean until his/her umbilical cord stump falls off.

What Are the Benefits of a Sponge Bath?

A sponge bath is a gentler and safer way to cleanse your newborn than immersing him/her in water. It is also more convenient, as it can be done on any surface, allowing you to access all areas of your newborn’s body. Additionally, it allows a better bonding experience between you and your baby.

A Sponge Bath is a Gentler and Safer

What Supplies Do I Need for a Sponge Bath?

You will need a shallow basin or bowl, warm water (not hot), mild soap, cotton balls, towels and washcloths, diaper wipes, and lotion to moisturize your newborn’s skin. Also, you may use a plastic baby bathtub if preferred.


Now you know how to do a sponge bath for a newborn. Being gentle and careful when handling a newborn is important as their skin is delicate. Make sure to keep the baby warm throughout the process by having everything prepped and ready before beginning.

Always talk to your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about giving your baby a sponge bath. With practice, it will become second nature and an enjoyable experience for both you and your little one!

Although giving a sponge bath may seem daunting at first, with a little practice it will become second nature. And you’ll be grateful for those extra cuddle minutes spent bonding with your baby during bath time. In no time at all, you’ll both be looking forward to that next sponge bath!

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Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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