Sponge Bathing A Baby

If you don't consider bathing a baby using a sponge (often referred to newborn sponge bath) as a proper bath, you are not alone!

Many parents believe that a baby bath is incomplete if it only involves a sponge and not a tub full of water. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends bathing a newborn using a wet sponge till his/ her umbilical cord stump falls off. This could take around one to three weeks.

Things you need for a sponge bath:

For sponge bathing a baby, you will need the following items:

  1. A nice and warm place with a flat surface.
  2. A towel to spread. Your baby will lie on it and you will then fold him in it.
  3. A wash-basin/ sink to hold moderately warm water. Ideal water temperature needs to be not more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Sponge bath supplies: a washcloth, cotton balls, baby soap or baby wash, baby shampoo (optional).
  5. Newborn towel (to dry your newborn with), clean clothes, a clean diaper and baby lotion.
  6. ...and the most important of all, your newborn baby ;-)

Ready? Here we go...

Follow these 8 simple but effective steps for bathing baby using a sponge:

  1. Spread the towel in a flat area, undress your baby and lay him down on the towel. Now cover your baby with this towel revealing only the area you are cleaning. This way your newborn will remain cosy without panicking.
  2. Begin with the face. Wet the washcloth, wring out excessive water and gently wipe your newborn’s face. You may not need to use a soapy liquid if your baby’s face is clean.
  3. With the help of damp cotton balls, wipe both the eyes gently from inside towards the outside. Use one cotton ball per eye.
  4. Now clean the washcloth and wipe the neck and ear region, and pay special attention to the folds of the skin. Clean the head and if required, use a tiny amount of baby shampoo normally once a week for a newborn as the hair does not get too dirty in the initial month.
  5. Now clean the hands and the entire body paying special attention on the underarms and genitals. You can use a sanitized wipe around the genitals.
  6. Keep on covering the area you are done cleaning so that it does not get cold.
  7. Once you are done with the sponge bath, wrap your baby in a dry baby towel and gently dry.
  8. Apply lotion. Put on his diaper and clothing.

Bathing Your Newborn using bath-tub:

Once your baby's umbilical stump falls off, you can then start with a normal baby bath using a bath tub. Read our highly read article on 10 Easy Steps To A Wonderful Bath. Your baby’s bath time is a time when you connect with your baby, so make it fun for both of you. Our article on how to fill your baby’s bathtub will love and giggles lets you enjoy this precious time with your baby.


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