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How often to bathe your baby

You don't need to bathe your baby every day, although you can if it relaxes and soothes them.

2 or 3 baths a week is enough to keep your baby clean.

Choose a time when they are not too hungry or tired. It is best not to bathe them directly after a feed.


Never leave your baby alone in the bath, as they can drown in very little water. Always empty bathwater immediately after use

Your baby's first bath

Your midwife or public health nurse will show you how to bathe your baby for the first time. Don't be afraid to ask for help or to see it done once or twice before you try.

You can also give your baby a 'top and tail' clean instead of a bath. When you are more confident, you can wash your baby in the main bath or in the sink, or in their own small baby bath. You could also have them in the bath with you.

What you need

Have everything you need ready before you start:

  • a baby bath or basin with warm water – plain water with no soap is best for babies under 1 month
  • a clean nappy
  • clean clothes
  • towels
  • some cotton wool

You don't need to use any soap, shampoo or products when they're very young. Plain water is fine, and safer for your baby's skin.

Page last reviewed: 26 March 2018
Next review due: 26 March 2021