How to Bathe a Newborn Baby Without a Baby Tub

How to Bathe a Newborn Baby Without a Baby Tub
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So the labor is over, and it is time to take your little newborn baby home. Unfortunately, you arrive only to realize that you don't actually have a baby tub ready. Now, don’t panic just yet. In reality, baby tubs aren't essential to keeping your baby nice and clean, and you can just as easily learn how to bathe a newborn without a baby tub.

To save you some hassle, we've compiled some of the best and most used methods to bathe newborn babies without the use of a baby tub.

We've also made sure to include some extra tips and tricks to make the experience more pleasant for both you and your little one.

How to Bathe a Newborn

How to Bathe a Newborn without a Baby Tub

Method 1: Topping and Tailing

It is highly recommended to sponge bath your baby for the first three weeks after they're born, or up until the umbilical cord stump falls off. This method works great as a regular cleaning process as long as it is carried out thoroughly and carefully.

When it comes to bathing your baby, you'll want to make sure that everything is prepared beforehand. This will help to smoothen out the process and also prevent your baby from being cold for longer periods.

Step 1

Gather everything you'll need ahead of time. This will most likely include:

  • A washcloth or flannel
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Specialized baby soap
  • Baby wipes
  • A clean diaper
  • A towel (ideally hooded)
  • A bowl of warm water
  • A soft sponge

Step 2

Find the warmest room available to keep your baby as comfortable as possible. A lot of people opt for the kitchen or bathroom counter. Next, you'll then want to lay out another towel, a blanket, or a changing mat ahead of time.

Step 3

Let the bathing begin! You'll want to make sure you have one hand free to hold your baby still to prevent any accidents and only expose the areas of your baby that you're cleaning. Keep the rest wrapped up in the towel.

Next, you'll first want to undress your baby and then lay them on their back on the towel followed by wrapping them up. Now, start washing their face by dipping the cotton wool balls into the warm water and wiping away from the eyes. Make sure to use a fresh piece of cotton wool for each eye to prevent the spread of any possible infections.

After that, wipe the rest of your baby down with a damp sponge or flannel, making sure to get into all of their little skin folds. Lastly, gently dry off your baby with the towel.

Using the Sink

Method 2: Using the Sink

After your baby's umbilical cord has fallen off, you're now able to wash them in a tub, sink, or a bathtub. Here’s how you can do it.

Step 1

Find the correct sized sink in your house for your baby. You'll want to make sure that the sink isn't too small as it can leave your baby feeling rather uncomfortable and make the whole process generally more difficult.

On the other hand, if it's too large, you'll find that the water cools down significantly quicker, leaving you a little more rushed for time.

Step 2

Place some form of rubber mat or bath liner at the bottom of the sink to help prevent slipping. This will make keeping your baby in place much, much easier. You'll then want to fill the tub with two to three inches of warm water.

Before placing your baby in the water, you must remember to test the temperature with the back of your wrist or your elbow. It's important not to have the water too hot as babies’ skin is far more sensitive than our own.

Step 3

Now, it all comes down to placing your baby into the sink correctly. Because you have less room to maneuver, you’re going to have to hold your baby differently as to how you would in a normal bath.

You'll want to hold the baby upright by placing your arm around his back and supporting his body by wrapping your hand around as you cradle his neck on your wrist. This will allow you to wash around the baby without too much hassle.

Step 4

The actual bathing process is more or less identical to how you would sponge bath your baby. As long as you are gentle and take your time in making sure to get in all of their little grooves, then you'll do fine. As a quick tip, know that keeping a damp, warm flannel over their tummy is a great way to help keep them warm during bath time.

Final Words

Do you now know how to bathe a newborn without a baby tub? Awesome! In the absence of a baby tub, you can also choose to bathe your newborn in a regular bathtub. Doing this is extremely common, and it will become your routine in no time. But then again, it can also prove a little more problematic.

While the method of cleaning is the same, you may find yourself in a few rather awkward positions as you have to lean into the tub. As much as some parents love to get into the tub with their newborn, this does expose them to dirt or irritants that our bodies have become more tolerant of, but their sensitive skin might suffer from. Hence, take this with a grain of salt and just invest in a baby tub soon.

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