Baby's first bath: how to wash a newborn baby

13/05/2020 — By Alexandra Julian

Baby's first bath: how to wash a newborn baby

How often should you bathe a baby? Which baby wash is safe to use on very little ones?

We discuss the importance of protecting vernix and help you to choose newborn baby bath products that best care for your litle one's delicate skin.

When should I bathe my baby for the first time?

All babies are born with a sticky white substance on their skin. This is called vernix and helps to protect infant skin from amniotic fluid in the womb.

After birth your baby’s skin will slowly absorb the vernix and for this reason it is important that you do not bathe your baby before they are 24 hours old.

Although many parents look forward to giving their baby their first bath, it is recommended that you do not wash your baby every day whilst they are under a month old.

Instead the NHS recommend that you ‘top and tail’ newborns by gently washing their face, neck, hands and bottom using cotton wool and warm water[i].

Infant skin is very delicate at this stage and, because the skin’s pH balance and barrier has not been established, babies tend to have a lower tolerance to chemicals and toxins.

For this reason it is important that no soaps or bath products are used and that you only bathe your baby using water.

What newborn baby bath products do I need?

Exposure to bath products should be kept to a minimum whilst your baby is a newborn.

This is because babies and children have thin, absorbent skin which is vulnerable to chemical toxins.

As your baby adjusts to life outside the womb their skin will change and become more acidic. This happens because the skin is forming a protective barrier called the acid mantle.

It is very important that you abstain from applying baby bath products to your newborn’s skin at this stage to avoid disrupting their pH and irritating the skin.

Once your baby reaches the 1 month milestone you can start to bathe them, slowly introducing non-toxic, skin-kind baby products.

Organic bath products for babies aged 1 month+

Baby wash

When choosing a newborn baby wash for when your child is aged 1 month or over, look for SLS-free products that gently cleanse without stripping moisture from your baby’s skin. Organic Babies products use Yucca, which foams naturally, to minimise the risk of affecting babies’ delicate skin pH.

For washing baby’s skin and hair, we recommend: Scent Free Baby Wash & Shampoo.

baby wash

Baby salve

Gently pat dry your baby after bathing them and, if you notice that their skin has sore or dry patches, apply a baby balm that is designed to restore and nourish. Opt for products containing plant extracts with soothing properties such as Shea butter, which is rich in vitamin E, and calming Calendula.

For soothing patches of dry skin, we recommend: Soothing Baby Salve

Baby massage oil

Bath time is a great time to bond with your baby and relax them before bedtime, and gently massaging their skin with baby oil could help. To ensure the oil doesn’t aggravate sensitive skin opt for a 100% organic, fragrance-free baby massage oil.

For baby massage, we recommend: Organic Babies Nurturing Baby Oil

Nappy cream

If you notice your baby’s bottom looks red or sore when you put them in the bath, the likely cause is nappy rash, a common condition which affects up to a third of babies and toddlers in nappies at any one timeii.

According to the NHS nappy rash can be caused by a number of reasons including exposure to soap, bubble bath detergent or skin-drying alcoholii.

The discomfort of nappy rash can cause your baby to become irritable but using an organic nappy cream can help to ease their discomfort and prevent the rash from reoccurring.

Choose a product that contains water-resistant Beeswax and re-apply after baths and at every nappy change to naturally protect your baby’s skin from dampness.

For little bottoms, we recommend: Organic Babies Calming Nappy Cream


Organic Babies Baby Wash & Shampoo - Scent Free 150ml

Organic Babies Baby Wash & Shampoo - Scent Free 150ml

Scent-free shampoo, bubble bath & body wash for baby


Organic Babies Soothing Baby Salve 100ml

Organic Babies Soothing Baby Salve 100ml

Best-selling eczema-friendly rescue salve to soothe your baby’s skin.


Organic Babies Nurturing Baby Oil - Scent Free 100ml

Organic Babies Nurturing Baby Oil - Scent Free 100ml

Organic baby oil for baby massage and growing bumps


Organic Babies Calming Nappy Cream 50ml

Organic Babies Calming Nappy Cream 50ml

Protects against dampness that can lead to nappy rash


What ingredients should I avoid in baby products?

There are some ingredients that we refuse to use in Organic Babies products that are commonly found in skin care for children.

You can use our natural baby range in the confidence that we do not use any of the following:

  • Petrochemicals
  • SLS (Sodium lauryl sulphate)
  • Talc
  • Artificial fragrance
  • Colourants


Want more information about how to wash a newborn and choosing the best baby bath products? Join the conversation at @GreenPeopleUK or or you can speak to our UK customer care team on 01403 740350.