Skincare for Baby
7 Tips For a Better Bath Time
A bath routine is an important part of taking care of your little one’s skin and enjoying time together. Consider these seven time-honored tips before you take the plunge into bathing your baby.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
There’s a learning curve! You can expect some crying and squirming as your little one adjusts to the water. Choose gentle skincare products that won’t dry out delicate baby skin, and be careful not to bathe your little one too often.
Tub Time Tips
- Select bath products that contain Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid, and vitamin E that replenish and maintain the skin barrier.
- Gather all bath supplies before and gently massage in shampoo before introducing baby to the bath water.
- Maintain warm (around 100° F / 38° C)1, not hot, bath water temperature.
- Bathe only 2 -3 times a week
Follow these basic steps to ease your new baby into a bath time routine
1. Choose the right bath products
Baby’s skin is delicate. A baby’s skin barrier (outermost layer of skin) is 20- 30% thinner than that of an adult.1 The barrier helps skin maintain its moisture levels and protect it against external aggressors. For these reasons, hydrating products that support the skin barrier should be the basis of any baby skincare routine. Be sure to read product labels and look for ingredients, such as ceramides, hyaluronic Acid, and vitamin E that can replenish and fortify the skin barrier.2 Ceramides are lipids naturally found in the skin, which don’t dissolve in water. In fact, ceramides comprise up to 50% of the lipids found in the skin barrier. Lipids like ceramides help fill in the gaps between your skin cells so your skin can seal in moisture and keep impurities out.3
2. Reach the right temperature
Pro tip: Put a floating digital bath thermometer in the water to check before you place baby in the tub. Check it throughout the bath session to ensure the water doesn’t get too cool. Also, make sure the room isn’t chilly or drafty. The ideal bathwater temperature is around 100° F / 38° C4. (Warm, not hot.)
3. Strike the right balance
To avoid drying out your baby’s skin, bathe baby no more than 2-3 times a week.5 Use a gentle wash designed specifically for baby. CeraVe Baby Wash & Shampoo is fragrance-free, paraben-free and tear-free, formulated specifically for newborns. It contains ingredients such as hyaluronic Acid, vitamin E, and ceramides, and doesn’t disrupt baby’s protective skin barrier.
4. Take care and prepare
A squirmy, slippery baby needs a little extra support during tub time. Use your non-dominant hand to cradle your baby’s head and neck as you wash with the other hand. Gather all your supplies in advance and keep them within reach, so you don’t have to take a hand—or eye—off your little one.
5. Get a head start
Use a gentle shampoo to lightly massage the scalp area using circular motions. CeraVe Baby Wash and Shampoo gently cleanses without drying and contains ingredients like vitamin E that deliver soothing moisturizing benefits. Be careful not to press on the fontanels (soft spots located at the top and back of baby’s head where bone formation is not yet complete).
6. Clean inside creases
During bath time, use a wet washcloth to gently clean any creased areas. Rolls and folds on a baby are adorable, but they’re also a hiding spot for breastmilk, formula, and drool, which if left overtime can lead to rashes and skin irritation.
7. Apply lotion while still damp
To help prevent dry skin, wrap your baby in a towel the moment bath time is over. Then apply a rich, fragrance-free moisturizer while baby’s skin is still damp.6 You may discover that your baby loves a post-bath massage—another soothing ritual you can both look forward to.
Remember, not all babies enjoy the bath time experience at first. If your baby isn’t used to water, stick to sponge baths until your little one adjusts. When it’s time for the tub, try keeping your baby happy with sounds, songs and floating toys. If that doesn’t work, finish up quickly and take heart: With age, they will most likely enjoy the tub. And you’ll love this together time, too!
- Telofski, L., Morello, .A, Mack Correa, M., Stamatas, G.. (2012). The Infant Skin Barrier: Can We Preserve, Protect, and Enhance the Barrier? Dermatology Research and Practice. 198789.
- Sidbury R, Tom WL, et al. “Part 4: Guidelines of care for the management of atopic dermatitis. Part 4: Prevention of disease flares and use of adjunctive therapies and approaches.”J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Jul;71(1);1218-33
- "The Science of Ceramides." CeraVe, https://www.cerave.com/about-cerave/the-ceramides-difference. Accessed 4/18/21
More Skincare for Baby Articles