How to give your newborn baby a sponge bath

With your brand new baby in your arms, you and your little one have many “firsts” in front of you. One of those milestone moments is your baby’s first bath. If you are wondering how to give your newborn a sponge bath, you are in the right place.

In this article, we will cover the basics of the sponge bath: when to do it and how to do it. And since your baby will upgrade to regular baths before you know it, we will also discuss when to change and how to bathe your little one.

First: What exactly is a sponge bath?

What is a sponge bath?

Before you learn when or how to do this, let’s start with the basics. What is a sponge bath?

A sponge bath simply means using a wet cloth to wipe your little one off. That is it. It’s not very complicated! However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

When to give your baby’s first sponge bath

You may feel the need to give your newborn a sponge bath as soon as they are born. Not only is this unnecessary, but it’s actually better to wait at least 24 hours after your baby is born. Why?

One reason is to preserve the coating (called vernix) on your newborn’s skin. Vernix has antibacterial properties and helps protect their skin so you will not wash it off right away.

Another reason is that small newborn babies can easily get cold, and a sponge bath does not help them stay warm! Give their body time to adjust and wait a day or two to get them wet.

Since you do not want to give your baby a sponge bath for the first 24 hours, spend that time bonding with your little one and starting to master breastfeeding.

Expert Tip: To keep your skin comfortable while breastfeeding, apply our Nursing Comfort Balm, a soothing and rebuilding nipple cream. This lanolin-free conditioner moisturizes and protects the nipples, relieves discomfort and helps rebuild and restore the skin during and after breastfeeding.

How to give your newborn a sponge bath

Providing a sponge bath is simple, but there are only a few things to keep in mind. Here’s how you do it.

1) Gather your supplies

Before undressing your baby, it is important to prepare the area and gather your supplies. It is also best to provide the sponge bath in a warm room to prevent your baby from getting chilly.

Start by spreading a towel out on a flat surface for your little one. Then fill a basin or bowl with warm water and get a soft sponge or a baby washcloth. That’s all you need! There is no need for soap or shampoo.

Next, get your newborn!

2) Undress your baby

Baby wrapped in a towel after newborn sponge bath

Take off your baby’s clothes, but leave their diapers on. Then wrap your newborn in a towel. This will help keep them warm during the sponge bath.

Lay your baby on the towel you have spread out and always hold one hand on your baby.

3) Sponge your baby

Now it’s time for the big event. Soak the sponge or washcloth in the hot water and wring out the extra water. Then simply dry or sponge your baby’s skin, repeating this process all over the body, starting with their sweet head moving all the way down to their little toes.

To keep your newborn as warm as possible, keep them wrapped in the towel, unpack and only wash one area at a time. Pay attention to any folds or folds and clean them well!

Last but not least, you will wash their diaper area. It is important to remember that girls need to be washed from the front and back. And if your little boy is circumcised, wash only with water until it is all healed.

How often should you give your baby a sponge bath?

Your newborn’s first sponge bath is in the books! Now you may be asking yourself how often you should wash your little one.

Newborns do not get really sweaty or dirty (besides saliva and exhalation!). As long as you wash their skin after saliva or saliva and thoroughly clean their diaper area at each shift, a sponge bath two to three times a week is sufficient.

Expert Tip: To keep your baby’s skin clean between baths, or when there is some clutter on the go, use our certified organic micellar water with olive oil and aloe, which is fragrance-free and gentle enough for your baby’s sensitive skin.

There is no need to rinse off micellar water, so it is ideal for quickly and easily cleansing your baby’s face, hands, body and diaper area when you can not give them a bath.

Before you know it, your infant is ready for their first bath in the baby tub. Let us briefly discuss when we should switch.

When to give your baby’s first bathtub

You can switch from sponge baths to baby baths when your newborn’s umbilical cord falls off, which typically happens around one or two weeks.

Keep in mind that even though the way you bathe your baby has changed, the frequency should remain roughly the same. Bathing your newborn too often can dry out their delicate skin. Bathing two to three times a week will suffice.

How to give your newborn a bathtub

sponge bath for a newborn

1) Gather your supplies

Just like with a sponge bath, you want to warm up the room and collect all your bath items before undressing your baby.

Here are the bathing articles we recommend:

For a baby shampoo that is safe and gentle on newborn skin, turn to our foam shampoo for newborns. This formula is specially made to clean your baby’s hair and scalp, while minimizing cradle cap flakes. Plus, the easy-to-use foam texture is easily rinsed off.

Made with 99% naturally derived ingredients, this newborn shampoo is hypoallergenic and free of fragrance, parabens, phthalates and phenoxyethanol. Safe for the environment and your little one!

2) Fill the bath with warm water

Your baby has gone from sponge baths to a baby bath, but that does not mean you fill the tub (or sink) to the top. All you need is two to three inches of hot water.

Use a bath thermometer to make sure the water is somewhere between 90 and 100 degrees, or, if you do not have a thermometer, test the water with your wrist or elbow.

3) Ask your baby

Undress your baby, put them gently in the bath, and wash their body with a gentle, natural cleanser like our Soothing Cleansing Gel or Gentle Cleansing Gel. If you prefer an organic option, look no further than Organic Cleansing Gel with Olive Oil and Aloe.

products for newborns for sponge baths

This biodegradable formula comes in a recyclable bottle and is free of questionable ingredients, making it good for your baby and good for the planet! The packaging is even made of sustainable sugar cane.

Start by washing your baby’s face, and finish with the bottom. Then use the plastic cup to rinse the lather off the body.

Happy baby during bath time

4) Dup your baby dry

Once your baby is clean and rinsed, take it out of the tub and wipe gently by patting (not rubbing) your little one’s skin. Get them dried and dressed as soon as possible – a wet baby is a cold baby!

5) Moisturize your baby’s skin

Newborn skin is usually quite self-sufficient! Your little one may not need any lotion at all, but if they do, then choose a gentle, non-irritating cream that will be just right for their baby skin!

Our Soothing Moisturizing Baby Lotion is an fragrance-free, EWG Verified moisturizer designed specifically for sensitive, rash or reactive skin.

It is composed of 97% natural ingredients including avocado perseose, a patented ingredient designed specifically to help protect and moisturize your baby’s delicate skin, and schizandra, a berry extract to naturally soothe sensitive skin.

For normal baby skin, we recommend Hydra Bebe Body Lotion. With jojoba oil, sunflower oil, vitamins E and F and our characteristic avocado perseose, this non-greasy formula leaves the skin silky soft and moisturized.

Success with a newborn sponge bath!

Parents change baby's diapers

With the information here, you are ready to enjoy your newborn’s first sponge bath! Follow the tips we mentioned and sponge your baby off a few times a week to keep their skin clean.

In between baths, you can turn to certified organic micellar water with olive oil and aloe to keep your baby’s skin clean in a pinch.

When your baby is old enough for a bath in the baby tub, gather the supplies you need, such as our foam shampoo for newborns and gentle cleansing gel or certified organic cleansing gel with olive oil and aloe – which can be used by the whole family! – for a relaxing, gentle cleaning.

And keep in mind that while bathing your baby may be scary the first time, you want to be a professional before you know it!