Turning bath time into a pleasure

A baby is wrapped in a blue blanket with a teddy bear hood.

When young parents bathe their newborn for the very first time, this is an exciting time for all involved.  Many parents worry that they will do something wrong. Questions which are typically asked here include: How warm should the bath water be? Should I add a bath additive to the water? As of what age can I bath my baby? How often should children be bathed? Bathing children sounds complicated, but in fact it really isn't! There are a few simple basic rules. If you follow these, nothing can go wrong!

As of what age should you wash your baby?

You are toying with the idea of bathing your baby for the first time. But when is your little one ready for bath time? You should wait until the umbilical cord has fallen off and the belly button is fully healed. This prevents germs from entering into the wound which, in the worst case scenario, could cause an infection. Until that time, you should ideally gently wash your newborn with a lukewarm cloth.

Bathing newborns – how to prepare

The picture shows a small, blue thermometer for the baby bath.

The time for your baby's first bath has arrived. Rule number one: The bath is a no-go! Instead, use a baby bath or a bath bucket. Before starting, make sure you have everything you need so that you don't have to leave your baby unsupervised. You need one or two cloths and, ideally, a prewarmed, soft towel to dry your baby off. If your infant already has a head of hair, have a baby brush at the ready.

Check list: What do I need to bathe my baby?

  • Baby bath / bath bucket
  • 1-2 soft cloths
  • Preheated, soft towel
  • Possibly a baby brush

Your baby does not necessarily need a bath additive in the first few weeks. The ninth week is a guideline for when to add a care product to the water. If necessary, you can then use replenishing additives, for example a little almond oil, provided your child does not react allergically or, alternatively, a product developed specially for your baby which keeps his skin silky smooth and soft. A drop of breast milk is also suitable as a care product thanks to its high fat content. Your choice of product should be based on what your little bundle of joy likes. The best way to see what bath additive your baby likes is by putting these to the test.

Bathing your baby – what you should bear in mind!

Bathing your baby – what you should bear in mind!

The room:

The room used to bathe your child should be pleasantly warm. The same goes for the bath water: A water temperature of between 36 and 37°C is ideal. This means your baby can neither cool down or be scalded. Fill up the water so that your baby's shoulders are covered. If necessary clean your baby's bottom before bathing to prevent germs from entering the water.


If you are asking when the ideal to bathe your baby is: Simply choose a time when you have sufficient time and peace to dedicate to this task. This should become a wonderful ritual for you and your baby and should certainly not be stressful. Make sure your baby is in a good mood. He should neither be hungry or have recently drunk.

The water temperature for bathing your baby should be between 36 and 37 degrees.

Holding and washing your baby properly

Place one arm under the head and on the upper back of your child and gently grasp his shoulders with your hand. The other hand should be placed on the bottom when immersing your baby into the water. This hand should then be used for washing. Start by very gently cleansing your baby's face and neck and then work downwards. Pay particular attention to the skin folds and difficult-to-reach body areas, e.g., behind the ears. Finally, wash your infant's nappy area.

Very important: Never let your baby out of your sight when he is in the water!

Bath time should not be longer than 5 minutes in the first few weeks as otherwise there is a risk that your child could cool down too much.

Dry off your baby after bathing

A baby is wrapped in a towel.

Always dry off your freshly bathed bundle of joy thoroughly. Any moisture, for example in skin folds, can quickly cause your baby's skin to become sore. Proceed with caution. Do not rub vigorously and, instead, pat dry carefully. Some infants are prone to dry skin or suffer from so-called nappy rash, i.e., soreness in the nappy area. In both cases, it can help to apply cream to your baby after bathing.Only use care products for this which are specially designed for sensitive baby skin. You can also take this opportunity to give your baby a massage. This is not only good for your child, but can also have a positive effect on the bond between the two of you.

How often should I bathe my baby?

How often you should bathe your baby depends on the infant's age. You should ideally bathe an infant one to two times a week, but under no circumstances more. Babies do not sweat and, as a rule, don't get dirty. What's more, their skin is very sensitive which means excessive care can be harmful for your baby. In general: Keep an eye on your little one! If you notice that your baby is not at ease when bathing, give him a little more time and, in the interim, use a cloth to keep him clean.

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