Giving your newborn their first bath is without a doubt the scariest thing you will ever do. Every parent is sure they will hurt this incredibly delicate new creature and every baby is, well, cold and a little unhappy about it. But it is also one of the most amazing rights of passage for you and baby. They learn to trust you, and you learn to trust yourself.


Like most big events in life, it’s best to try to relax and don’t miss out on the opportunity to make this a wonderful bonding time for baby and you. Remember to take all necessary safety precautions and have all bath essentials within your reach. And oh! Have someone nearby with camera at hand. You will want photos to help you remember this significant great milestone.

If you find yourself wondering what exactly you’ll need, how to hold the baby and what should be the water temperature, here are some tips:

Most pediatricians recommend that the first actual bath is given only after the baby’s umbilical cord has fallen off (which will happen between 7 and 15 days after birth). Until then, sponge baths will be just fine.

Water temperature should be between 96.8 and 98ºF. My abuela’s advice was to always test water temperature either with your elbow or forearm. According to her, your hands are more used to changes in temperature and would probably not detect very hot or cold water as easily.

Get help if you are scared. For sure there is some older relative who has bathed more babies than they can count who would be happy to come and show you how it is done.

How did your baby's first bath go? Were you scared?

Image via Vicglamar Torres