Sponge Baby

Duration: any

Age: baby, parent

Skill for Bub: Just for fun


Giving your baby a bath is an amusing sensory experience. Learn how to have fun in the tub with this activity.

Many parents get nervous about giving their newborns a bath when, in fact, bath time is an amazing sensory experience that allows you to have fun with your baby. (In the newborn days, because you have to keep the umbilical stump dry, sponge baths are the best way to clean Baby until the cord falls off.) An added bonus: Baths have been known to soothe fussy babies!

  • Make sure the room you bathe your baby in is warm and comfortable.
  • Have all your supplies (washcloths, baby soap, towel, etc.) ready before getting Baby undressed.
  • Starting with the shoulders, run a cup of warm water over your baby. As you pour the water, explain which body part the water is touching, as in, “These are ______’s (say child’s name) arms! These are ______’s legs! These are ______’s tiny toes!”
  • Explain how the water feels, as in, “The water is wet. The water is warm!”
  • Use a baby sponge to gently rub your baby’s skin. Explain, “The sponge feels bumpy! Your skin feels smooth.”
  • Gently splash the water and make waves for Baby to see. It’s OK to make a bit of a mess.
  • Make eye contact with your baby and smile. Watch her face light up!

Note: Use only a small amount of baby soap when washing your baby’s body, and be sure to rinse thoroughly with a clean, damp washcloth. Baby’s skin is very sensitive and daily baths may dry it out. Many pediatricians recommend bathing your baby every two to three days at this age.