Look at it context. Here it is in the NLT version
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again,[a] you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.[b] 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.[c] 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You[d] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
9 “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
Nicodemus is asking “Can I enter again into my mothers womb?” Many think that water, in this context, refers to a mothers womb. Jesus is contrasting the physical (human birth) with the spiritual birth (being born again).
Another view of John 3:3 is that Jesus was using Old Testament metaphorical language that Nicodemus would understand. Water is often used as a symbol of spiritual cleansing in the Scriptures. Many think that Jesus was tying Old Testament Prophecy to himself by using the term Water and the Spirit. This would confirm to Nicodemus that Jesus was the one who would “sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.” Ezekiel 26:25
Either of these explanations fits in better with other scriptures that indicated “being born again”, “receiving the Holy Spirit”, “being sons of God” are by faith/belief.
so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:14
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. Galatians 3:25
3 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13
The Bible is clear that we receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit through faith/belief and not baptism. Although, it can be at the same time as water baptism (Acts 2:38), after water baptism (Acts 19:5-6), or before water baptism (Acts 11:15-17). However, the Bible never has an example of someone being born again without faith/belief.