sponge bathe a newborn

Newborn Sponge Bath: How to Bathe Your Baby

Newborns can’t have a bath in a tub until her umbilical cord comes off. So before that, sponge baths through a wet-towel or sponge needed every two or three days will keep babies clean. So you may be searching for a guideline on sponge bath procedure. We are here with this topic on how to sponge bathe a newborn, keep reading the whole article because you will definitely find some tips here.


You will need below items to give your baby a sponge bath:

  • A safe padded surface such as a changing pad or the middle of a bed
  • Two bath towels, one of which can be a hooded towel
  • One or two soft washcloths
  • A large plastic bowl or basintowels for sponge bathe a newborn
  • Some warm water, not hot
  • A fresh diaper
  • And a clean outfit or pajamas
  • Some other optional things you can use for giving your baby a sponge bath:
  • An infant bathtub
  • A mild unscented baby-safe soap
  • A mild unscented baby-safe shampoo (optional)
  • Diaper cream
  • And a plastic cup

See the below sponge bath video:

How to sponge bathe a newborn baby:

  • Make sure that you have gathered all the materials before you start. It’s not a good idea to look for materials in the middle of sponge bath.
  • Spread out one of the towel, not the hooded one. Let your baby lay down on the changing pad or bed.
  • If there is a room beside your kitchen or bathroom sink, you can give your baby a sponge bath there by setting an infant bathtub and line it with a towel.
  • Then fill the bowl with a little bit warm water. Use the inside of your wrist or your elbow or baby thermometer to test the temperature – it should feel warm, not hot.
  • Undress your baby except her diaper and wrap her with the other towel. Place her face-up on the towel. Talk to her as you usually do, describing her what you’re doing, telling what a good baby she is and how much better she’s going to feel after sponge bath.
  • Wet the washcloth with the warm water in the bowl and then squeeze it out until it’s just slightly wet.
  • Gently clean your baby’s face with the cloth. Wipe away the crust in the corner of her eyes or around her nose, and be sure to clean her face where milk may have fallen, as this can cause baby acne. Also clean outside and back of her ears.
  • Re-wet the cloth and clean the rest of baby’s body except diaper area. Keep that for last. Sponge slowly between each finger and toe and into the little folds of her arms and legs. Keep her as covered as possible. Turn her backside-up to wash her back and gently pass the wet-cloth on her backside.
  • You can use soap for just the neck but don’t use too much, and make sure all the soap will be rinsed away. Also wash your baby’s hands with another washcloth before she can get them into her mouth.
  • Now, Only Diaper area remains. Remove the baby’s diaper. Slowly wash from front to back, be sure that you will not wash from back to front for a baby girl, otherwise it may cause infection. Don’t try to push back foreskin if your baby boy hasn’t been circumcised. If you have a boy with circumcision, don’t wash the head of his penis.
  • Use the towel to dry your baby. Apply diaper cream if you’re using it and put on a fresh diaper quickly.
  • Dip a cotton swab in the alcohol and slowly swab around the umbilical cord’s base.


Some studies suggest swabbing an umbilical stump with alcohol is not really necessary. Some others suggest that you’ll only need to give your baby sponge baths until his umbilical cord stump comes off & then you can move give bath your baby in his baby tub.


Do you want to wash your baby’s hair?

Hold her over the sink or bowl facing up, hold her body under one arm and her head & neck supported with your hand. With your other hand, gently apply baby shampoo to her head, and then rinse with how to sponge bathe a newbornwarm water. Use suitable cup or mug if needed.


How often does a baby need a bath?

Two or three times a week is enough to keep your newborn baby clean, actually it also depends upon condition. For humid weather, you may need to bathe him every day.

Some parents are confused about giving a sponge bath to a baby with fever. Don’t get confused, Sponge bath is good for a baby with a fever, it will help you to bring down your baby’s fever. Do not use cold water to bring down fever, use lukewarm water.


That’s all. Make sure your baby is dry all over, and then dress her. So that’s how you will sponge bathe your baby. Hope now you will be able to sponge bathe your baby. See our similar article on washing baby clothes and cleaning baby bottles. Let us know your valuable comments by commenting below.

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