Bathing for babies

The ideal bath is comfortably warm and not too hot. You should bath your baby each day for about five to ten minutes – you can time baths to help your baby’s routine if it helps with settling.

When bathing your newborn, it’s important that the water temperature is no more than 37-38°C. You can use your wrist or elbow to test the temperature of the water; or use a water thermometer.

To be safe, it’s recommended that the water filling the bath is a mix of hot and cold water, not one and then the other. Finish by running cold water through the tap to prevent any accidental burns later.

The water level for a newborn should be just enough to wash and play.

Here are some useful tips to make sure your baby is safe at bath time:

  • prepare everything you might need before pouring the water into the bath (including towel, clean clothes, etc.)
  • keep your baby away while the water is running
  • only fill the bath to your baby’s belly-button height
  • ensure your baby is within arm’s reach at all times
  • as soon as your baby is finished bathing, empty the bath tub.

Adult supervision is crucial during bath time. This means that all distractions, including the doorbell, should be ignored until another adult can supervise your baby.