Bath time should be an enjoyable experience with your little one that helps build structure into their daily routine. It can also be a special bonding time between parent and child each day.

Midwives are a great source of knowledge when it comes to the newborn bathing process and will share this with new parents to bolster their confidence and make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved. This can also assist parents in both their bonding and settling techniques for their newborn.

During antenatal classes your midwife will explain exactly how the baby bathing process should go, start to finish, along with the expected outcomes for both you and your baby. They’ll also be able to talk you through exactly what is needed for bath time, what time of day is recommended, what the recommended water and room temperature is, plus whether or not you should feed your baby prior to or after their bath. Bath time is an important step of Cetaphil’s six steps for a happy baby which include;

  1. Massage
  2. Bath
  3. Moisturise
  4. Feed
  5. Swaddle
  6. Sleep

The best time/s of the day to bath your newborn

There is no strict schedule for when you should bath your newborn, it’s generally about personal preference and what works best for you and your partner. This could be in the morning, afternoon, or the evening when your baby may be more unsettled.  The time that works best for you will generally be determined by your family’s schedule, work, and any of your other responsibilities.

Bathing your newborn can be done by one parent or both, again this is completely your choice. It is also important to consider how settled or unsettled your baby is at the time your choose to bath them and ideally fit bath time within your little ones feeding and sleeping patterns.

The ideal place to bathe your newborn

There are a few options you can choose from regarding where to bath your little one. Most parents feel more comfortable bathing their baby in a newborn baby bath and using a table or bench that is at standing height. This is so you can feel more comfortable, avoiding prolonged bending which could strain your back.

Best products to bathe your newborn

Your local pharmacy or supermarket will have baby bathing products available for you and if you’re unsure, consult your midwife.

It is best to look for products which are formulated specifically for baby skin as baby’s skin is much more delicate than adults skin. Also, it is a good idea to look for tear free, soap free and hypoallergenic products.

This is particularly important to remember within your baby’s first few weeks of being bathed to avoid any early skin reactions.

The Australian College of Midwives has endorsed the Cetaphil Baby Range, one of the many ways that the college helps new parents by providing information around what is best for their newborn.

The Cetaphil Baby range has a number of products suitable for your baby’s bath time which are all formulated to be gentle enough for your newborns skin. These include Cetaphil Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo, Cetaphil Baby Moisturising Bath & Wash and Cetaphil Baby Shampoo.

With the help of your midwife, the bathing experience should be an enjoyable bonding moment for new parents and their newborn. This experience can play an important part of a daily or second daily routine at a selected time of day that is convenient for the whole family.

Do you have any tips for bathing a newborn? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • Agree with routines, but sometimes a baby just hates water. I had to soap mine down on a towel scoop in and out of water very quickly and then dry as fast as possible. The neighbours still thought I must have been killing the child from the screams. Always wondered if something happened at the hospital to make it like this – all my other children loved their baths. It probably took a good 6 months before settling and then because the taps were available to hold on to during bathing.

    • Oh yes ! My 7yr old still screams like a wee piglet that gets slaughtered when I wash her hair !


  • We only bathed our girls twice a week for the first few months, and they hated it in the beginning but now I can’t get them out


  • My first had a full night routine – that’s out the window with the second!


  • My baby has loved having baths from day 1. Our routine was very similar.


  • Hahaha….what routine. Took at least 8 months for us to establish a regular routine. Just don’t give up!


  • I read a book written by a midwife that had a bedtime routine, even specifying the time for starting when you get home from the hospital. Having a good routine has been a lifesaver, our baby has been sleeping through the night since about 6 weeks. Definitely worth it to have a routine and not give a warm bath too early, keep it until right before bed time.


  • My routine was so different to this..
    mine was
    1. Soft Music and bath time
    2. Moisturise and massage
    3. Swaddle
    4. Story time
    5. Soft music and Feed to sleep.

    We still have a similar thing now, except it’s a lot more splashing haha

    1. Bath time
    2. Moisturiser
    3. Pjs
    4. Story time and lots of cuddles
    5. Soft music and feed to sleep

    It works for us at almost 19 months


  • They need to feel secure and supported so having a bath tub with a support for them helps alot. But some newborns just don’t like baths whatever you do so keep it quick in that case.


  • I used to bath them in the evening.They get good night sleep.


  • Certainly good to have a routine. Bathtime is a great relaxer for baby.


  • Make sure they stay warm enough and keep as much of their body under water as possible.


  • We always bath our baby before bed time at night.
    I find it relaxes him more and is refreshing during the hotter seasons.
    We also do the same with our toddler.
    It just gives them a nicer sleep during the night.


  • It’s so good to have a good bed and night routine.


  • I used a baby bath bucket. The most significant and most crucial advantage of a baby bath bucket for your baby is that its narrowness and warm water assures him/her that they are safe. Your baby is already familiar with that environment from the womb. The baby is less likely to slip too, so it’s more safe.


  • Fantastic routine. Greatyo always have a routine


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