How To Bathe A Newborn Without A Baby Tub: Safety Precautions & Bathing Essentials

If you don’t have a baby tub to bathe your newborn, all you need is a deep enough basin for the baby. If that’s unavailable, give your baby a sponge bath to clean every part of their body and thoroughly clean all the folds and rolls. Prepare everything you’ll need beforehand and keep them within your reach. Only use doctor-recommended mild baby products, and never leave your newborn unattended during bath time. 

Parents of a newborn need to remember every new thing takes practice. Once you give your newborn a couple of baths, you can take on the task more confidently.

So in this post, let’s discuss bathing essentials without a bathtub so you are prepared to bathe your baby.

What things do I need to bathe my newborn?

Firstly, it’s essential for parents to know that newborn babies do not need to take baths all days of the week.

Giving newborns a bath only 2 to 3 times a week is suitable, or it would dry their skin quickly.

Babies go through multiple diaper changes and burp cloth changes in a day.

Mom watches the newborn sleep wrapped in a towel after a warm bath.

This allows parents to clean the major areas like the mouth, neck, and diaper area throughout the day. So their major body parts stay clean. 

Before you start bath time, you must gather all the necessary supplies and keep them around yourself within your reach.

Bathing supplies can include:

  • Towel for laying the baby down on it
  • Towel for wrapping the baby after the bath
  • A washcloth
  • Mild baby shampoo and soap
  • Few toys to keep them calm and entertained
  • Diapers and fresh clothes
  • Baby lotion or oil
  • Diaper cream

Preparing for the bath 

Once you have collected all the supplies and they are well within your reach, you have to prep the area for the bath. 

  • Start by cleaning and sanitizing the wash basin you will use.
  • Then, lay down some towels on the hard surface of the basin to make it non-slippery and comfortable for the baby. 
  • As you fill it up with water, ensure that you do not fill it up to the top, it should be shallow (about 2 inches).
  • The water needs to be warm; the suggested temperature is around 100 F. You can check the water using your hand or the elbow to ensure it is perfect for the baby.
  • Keep the room and water warm so the baby stays comfortable and does not catch a cold. 

Another important thing you should do before you begin bath time is to lay down a soft towel on a flat surface for after the bath so you can quickly put your kiddo on it and wrap them up as soon as you are done.

Bathing the newborn without a baby tub

As parents worry about everything, like how often they should bathe their newborn or if they are holding the baby correctly, it is helpful to think about bath time as a step-by-step process. 

Sponge bath

Bathing sponge, rubber duck, towel, and soft comb to use for baby bath.

If you’ll give your baby a sponge bath, first wrap the kiddo in a soft towel and lay them on a flat surface which should be covered with a thick towel.

As you start cleaning, expose one part at a time and clean it with the washcloth dipped in warm water. Soon you will have cleaned their entire body. 

Sink bath

But, if you’ve filled up a basin, gently lower the baby in the water, starting with their feet and legs. Make sure you place one hand to support their necks and head.

Once the baby is wet, lather them with mild soap and rub their body gently with a washcloth.

Remember that you must avoid the umbilical cord stump if it hasn’t fallen off yet.

If the child has been circumcised, wait for the site to heal completely. In such a case, it might be better to go for a sponge bath instead.

Bathing newborn in a sink full of water.

After bathing:

  • Rinse them thoroughly.
  • Pat them dry with a soft towel.
  • Cover them entirely before starting aftercare.  

Also, parents, it is essential to remember that newborns can drown very quickly, even in really shallow water, so you must always be by their side.

Be careful that your newborn doesn’t swallow bath water. While it’s not harmful, there are rare instances where complications like Dry or Secondary drowning, Pulmonary Edema, and Water Intoxication can arise.

Even if a baby has a sibling, it is advised that if you have to leave the room at any point, you take the baby with you and not leave it in the care of another child. 

Newborn bathing aftercare  

Yay! You have completed the bath time successfully. The only thing left to do is to apply lotion and diaper cream as needed.

Then, please give them a gentle massage, as babies enjoy it. And, as a final step, cover them up in their clean and warm clothes. 

Safety precautions for bathing newborn

Though we have already covered all the essential things to take care of, let’s recap them and review some extra points. 

  1. Ensure you have all the supplies ready and in reach before you start bathing your baby. 
  2. The water and the room temperature should be warm and comfortable for the baby. Too warm and too cold water can harm the baby. 
  3. Do not use an actual sponge if you opt for a sponge bath. Use a washcloth instead. Crumbs might fall from the sponge, which the baby can swallow, which can be harmful. 
  4. Ensure you support your child’s head and neck while bathing them. 
  5. Do not leave your child alone or with a sibling during bath time. If you have to leave the room, take the baby with you. 
  6. Newborn babies do not need a lot of soap or lotion, so use it in moderation. Also, use unscented, doctor-recommended baby products only. Regular soaps can be harsh on your baby’s sensitive skin and may irritate it. 


Can I use a kitchen sink for bathing my baby without a tub?

Yes, you can use a kitchen sink or any sink for bathing your baby if it is deep enough and can hold the baby comfortably.

Just clean the sink thoroughly and cover it with a thick towel so the baby doesn’t have to sit on a hard surface. 

Is it safe to bathe my newborn without a bathtub?

It is safe to use alternates when you do not have a bathtub to bathe your child.

Just take one step at a time, have all the supplies ready, and the room and water should be warm and cozy.

All you have to do is follow all the safety precautions, like supporting the head and neck of the baby and not leaving them unattended.

Then, everything will be fine, and you can give them a nice bath to keep them clean and fresh. 

What if my newborn cries during the bath?

Newborns take time to get used to new activities and can be fussy at first; worry not because there are some simple things to make bath time more enjoyable.

Firstly, the temperature has to be comfortable for them. Then, you can have some toys to keep them distracted and busy.

Use a soft washcloth and gentle touch. A gentle voice will help them keep calm. Also, try to make plays for them.

If the baby continues to cry and is super uncomfortable, remember, it is okay to cut it short and try some other time. Some things take time, and that is completely fine. 


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Priyaanshie Raathore

Hello, I am Priyaanshie, and I've always had a soft spot for babies. Ever since I was a child, I have had an affinity for spending time and taking care of little munchkins. But, as I grew older, I realized that raising tiny humans is no cakewalk! Parenting is a rollercoaster journey filled with excitement and challenges. And, as a writer for 1happykiddo, I am here to answer all the questions new parents have swirling in their minds to help them navigate this journey with lots of joy and confidence.

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