What to buy when you’re expecting: Bathing your baby



Bathing is such a special time for baby and parents. On the condition you make it fun from day one. If you’re prepared and you keep calm it can be a very special bonding time which becomes a routine over the years.

In our house dad is responsible for bathing, in this way dad gets to do some serious bonding with the kids and learns all their secrets.

Here is a list of everything we have used and is suggested for you. If you have any questions be sure to ask and I’ll see how I can help!

 what to buy to bath your baby

1. Baths

There are so many different schools of thought on bathing.

The below, as with everything else in this series, is my personal preference. Many people will give you other suggestions and thats okay!

Go with what makes sense to you and if it doesn’t work, try something different.


What we did first

What we did and I still stand by it is to get a small cheap plastic bath.  We would use this to bath the babies on top of the compactum in the bedroom or in the little plastic bath on the bathroom floor with a change station set up right next to it.



Why we did it like this

a) There are lower risks of drowning.

b) The baby can be moved easily.  Whether its from the bath to the other side of the compact. Or whether it’s to another station set up in the same room to dress him immediately so that the baby doesn’t lose body temperature.

c) You have better control over the way you are holding the baby. You can hold onto them without losing grip even when they are slippery.

d) If they poo in the bath  you can sterilise the bath easily or throw it away.


What we did next

  1. From the cheap plastic bath we moved our children into the bath on a sling bed type thing. The sling had a metal frame and a material hammock. We have had two of these and one was great and kept the baby safely the other was not great and our daughter kept slipping off. The other thing to bare in mind is that it must get washed often otherwise it will grow mould.
  2. After the sling we had a duck. It was like a big lilo but the kids could sit in it. It was so lovely.
  3. Lastly the kids moved into the bath with a non-slip mat.


You must remember that whatever you put into the bath will need to be cleaned and then dried in the sun to avoid mould.


what to get to bath baby


2. Bath Thermometer

I found this completely necessary! I’m not sure if my husband agrees because he reckons he is in sync with water temp.


The thermometer we bought 

We got the Avent thermometer. It was quite expensive and it worked like a charm until my husband and son broke it. The thermometer only broke under the intentional pressure of both of them!

Here is an Amazon link to the thermometer we used: Amazon UK link to Avent Thermometer. In South Africa we bought it from Baby City as this was the best price at the time. In Australia you can buy it from Baby Bunting or ToysRUs.

It is so great! I love it because you stick it in the bath and it floats. This cute little cloud also doubles as a room thermometer.


bathing your baby - avent thermometer


3. Bathing Products

There are so many bathing products on the market! It can be daunting. Like a lot of things, this is scary to consider because it will strongly effect your baby, especially their skin.


In the beginning 

At first you will just use a little bit of product or just water. The very first day and for the first bath you should be in the hospital and they will help you out.

I remember our very first bath with our second baby we just used baby oil because the baby’s skin is completely unused to air . I could not remember this with our first baby. I think because I was so overwhelmed about the whole thing but I made a note to remember it after baby number two.

After the beginning 

In South Africa, we used only Elizabeth Anne products because our child’s skin was (and is) so sensitive. Neither of my children could use the Johnson and Johnson brand without getting bad rashes but I was also like that as a child.

In Australia we have used the Cethaphil kids range for our little girl and that has worked out okay.

I have found no use for baby powder 🙂 I literally have no clue what to use it for. Maybe ask another mum you know and come back to me because I honestly would love to know.


Whatever you buy make sure that it is fragrance free because it just irritates their skin.


You should be good with these products alone. When your baby turns one or you find that their hair doesn’t seem clean to you, then move on to other products.



4. Surgical Spirits

Remember that when baby is born he will have an umbilical cord. You will need to attend to this.

In South Africa we used surgical spirits with an earbud. You douse the earbud in surgical spirits, until its sopping wet and then gently apply that after every bath. You will continue to do this until it falls off or out.



5. Towels

Hooded Towels

I love hooded towels, they are so cute but I’m not sure whether they are what they cost. You get much better towels for the same price.

I have three problems with hooded towels:

  1. If you have a child that is averse to having things on their heads hooded towels will be a complete waste. A lot of small children hate having things on their heads.
  2. The other problem with hooded towels is that the hood is far to big but the towel too small so not much body gets covered with them.
  3. Lastly, I am yet to find a good quality one that is made as well as adult towels.


With our first we only started using them for the beach and swimming. When our baby started walking he then enjoyed the hooded towel as it was a novelty.  With our second child, the window of use was even small.


What we bought 

I think we just bought quality small towels to start with. It was just a bit bigger than a hand towel.

Only after approximately a year did we move to a bigger standard size towel. I just bought good quality towels from the same place I bought our towels.

Make sure that they are very soft and that they will continue to stay soft after washing. I would suggest you use the same brand as the brand you rely on already.

You are going to need between 3 – 4 because if you get poo on it you may not be able to get it off without a few washes and then if it rains you are stuck.


6. Bath Toys

Our kids have loved bath toys from as soon as they could sit up in the bath.  This was dangerous because they would always be lunging for them.

I would avoid bath toys until your babies are toddlers and they can sit up unaided otherwise you will have disaster on your hands. Having said that, kids will make bath toys out of anything.

Very Important Information about Bathing Toys 

Important to remember with bath toys is that most bath toys have squirting features. As cool as this sounds, it actually creates a mould farm.

The water sits in them and gets mouldy over time.

If you’re a first time parent you won’t notice the mould until you have little bits of black mould floating in the bath. The way around this is to seal the holes closed with glue or just dont buy the squirty ones I suppose 🙂


If you’re reading this and you have no idea how to bath a baby and you’re not planning on spending long in hospital or not going to classes before the baby, give me a shoutout in on Facebook. I will dig out the notes I got from the hospital. It is a step by step guide on how to bath the baby.

Click on the links below to access the other posts in the series

What you need for feeding (and pacifiers too)

Everything associated with sleeping 

Age appropriate toys

What to buy in case baby gets sick

Nappy Changes

Baby Clothes

Baby Accessories – What!?







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