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Ultimate Guides to Newborn Bathing and Grooming

Newborn bathing and grooming can seem daunting, but it’s not as hard as it seems. In this ultimate guide, we will walk you through each step of the process so that you can feel confident that your baby is clean and looking its best. We’ll start with bathing, then move on to bathing, diaper changes, nail care, and finally, gum/teeth care. By following these simple steps, you can keep your baby clean and healthy from head to toe.

How to Bathe Your Newborn Baby?

Bathing a baby is not difficult, but it does require some special attention. 

Step one: Make sure the environment is ready. The temperature of the room should neither be too cold nor too hot. The water temperature should be mild. It is suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics that the water temperature to bathe a baby should under 120° Fahrenheit. You can use thermometers to detect the temperature before you soak the baby’s body into the water. It is more accurate than your feeling on the wrist.

Step two: Get everything you need to use close to you. Before you begin, you had better put the cotton wipes, cotton sticks, shampoo, and rubber ducks near the infant tub and the clean clothes, clean diaper, dry towel, and body lotion near the changing table, or bassinet where you will place your baby after bathing.

Step three: Remove obstacles on the wet floor that could trip you down. It is unavoidable to get the area around the tub damp. It becomes dangerous especially when you are holding a slippery freshly bathed baby.

Step four: Hold your baby‘s neck and spine with one hand at the same time and start cleaning from the top with the other hand. Before you submerge your baby into the water, wash the baby’s face using a damp cloth or cotton wipe. For the face, we suggest cleaning one area at a time — it might scare a baby to have their entire face covered with a washcloth and get them irritated. Then, we can use the proper amount of shampoo to wash the hair. Be sure to rinse off any excess soap on hair before moving to the body. As you move down the body, thoroughly clean all the folds including the underarms, neck, and genital area. Sweat and skin can get stuck in those areas and fester, causing nasty rashes, so it’s important to keep them as clean and dry as possible. Save the diaper area for last. 

Step five: After finishing all steps above, you can soak the baby’s body in the water which is still lukewarm to just enjoy a little playtime. Just make sure the whole process is relaxing, they would soon enjoy the yellow rubber duck, water splashes, and bubbles.

Step six: Dry them with a big towel and put on the clean diaper. Before we get them dressed, we can give them a little message with baby-specific massage oil. Then, apply body lotion to the whole body except the head and diaper area, and finally, get them dressed. Boom, a clean baby.

How to Change a Diaper?

Diaper changing is one of the important aspects of taking care of a baby, and it requires enduring carefulness. To get this done, you need a clean diaper, some wipes or a cloth, a waterproof diaper changing pad, a diaper changing table, and a place to dispose of the dirty diaper when you’re done. 

Step one: Before we start, unfold the diaper changing pad in a flat place and settle the baby down. 

Step two: Remove the dirty diaper and clean your baby’s bottom from front to back using a damp cloth or wipes. 

Step three: Apply cream or ointment as needed. If your baby has diaper rashes or minor scratches due to friction which happens often, you will need to apply diaper cream each time you change a diaper. There is another important aspect to keep away from annoying rashes is to keep the bottom area dry. 

Step four: Put on a clean diaper.

It’s best to change your baby’s diaper as soon as possible after they have wet or soiled it. Because babies feel bad with a dirty diaper. Even if they don’t make any noise, wearing a dirty diaper for long could bring them skin irritation, diaper rash, or even serious problem. 

How to Trim Baby’s nails?

Trimming a baby’s nails is one of the important aspects of grooming a baby. If you cut them too short, they can bleed and if you don’t cut them at all, they can become ingrown. 

Step one: Gather your supplies which include a bowl of water, baby-specific clippers or scissors, cotton balls, and some petroleum jelly. 

step two: Fill the bowl with enough water to cover your baby’s feet. Submerge their hands and toes in the water and let them soak for a few minutes. This will help soften the nails and make them easier to trim. Or, you can cut their nails after bathing. 

Step three: Cut each nail short using either baby-specific clippers or scissors. Be sure not to cut them too short as they are smaller and the tools can easily damage the skin around the nails. 

Step four: if you accidentally cut too close to the skin, apply some petroleum jelly to the area with a cotton ball to help soothe any irritation. If the nail is accidentally hurt or even bleeding, you should handle it as you do for adults’ wounds.

step five: Repeat the procedures on foot.

Gum Care or Teeth Care

It’s never too early to start taking care of your baby’s gums and teeth. You can start cleaning their gums as soon as they are born using a soft, wet cloth or gauze pad. As their teeth begin to come in usually around the 6th month, you can switch to a child’s toothbrush with water or a little bit of toothpaste.

To clean their teeth, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush and brush in a circular motion. Be sure to brush the front, back, and top of each tooth. You can also help them learn to spit by having them practice spitting the water with toothpaste into the sink.

Once they are old enough, you can teach them to brush their teeth on their own. But it’s still a good idea to check in and make sure they are doing a good job.

Bad breath is often caused by bacteria build-up on the tongue, so be sure to brush your baby’s tongue as well. You can do this with a toothbrush or a tongue scraper.

It’s important to start taking care of your baby’s gums and teeth as soon as possible. Not only will it help keep their smile healthy, but it will also help them get used to the process of brushing and flossing. Be sure to brush their teeth at least twice a day and use fluoridated toothpaste. If you notice any problems, be sure to consult your dentist.


In this blog post, we have gone over the ultimate guide to bathing and grooming a baby. We have covered the basics of changing a diaper, trimming nails, and taking care of teeth. Be sure to follow these steps to help keep your baby healthy and happy. Thanks for reading!

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Daisy Zhu

Hi everyone, I’m Daisy Zhu, a former senior employee of Bureau Veritas which is a world leader in testing, inspection, and certification, and now the founder of I am also an experienced mother of a 3-year-old girl.

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