While bath time may be a part of your nighttime routine, experts do not recommend giving babies a bath every day. Excessive exposure to water can dehydrate their skin and exacerbate diseases like eczema. However, failing to bathe your kid frequently enough might exacerbate eczema and lead to other illnesses.
The question arises, how often should you bathe a newborn? This article will bring you to the solution to this question. Bathing a slick newborn can be a stressful affair. It’s possible that your infant will dislike it as well. With a little experience, however, you’ll both feel more at ease in the bathtub. With no further ado, let’s get started!
How Often Should You Bathe A Newborn
Bathing a newborn is something that many new parents anticipate. After all, nothing is more adorable than a newborn baby being lovingly washed and scrubbed while splashing around.
However, bathing our newborns, in reality, may differ from what we think, and you may be anxious about how to bathe your baby securely.
Perhaps you have a child who seems to despise baths. Or you’re wondering how often you should bathe them. Is it too much to bathe them every day? What if you only have time to take a good bath once or twice a week?
Bathing your kid does not have to be as difficult as it may appear. A few simple rules can make a big difference.
- Related: Safe And Right Temperature For Baby Bath
Initially At Birth
While it has traditionally been recommended that the newborn be bathed as soon as possible after birth, emerging evidence suggests that delaying the first bath may be advantageous.
The initial few hours and days after your baby’s birth are a special time in his or her existence. They’re simply getting to know their surroundings, adjusting to life outside the womb, and possibly starting to breastfeed.
Most experts also recommend delaying your baby’s first bath to make the transition easier for him or her. If at all possible, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends delaying your baby’s first bath for at least 24 hours. 1 If 24 hours is not practicable, WHO recommends a six-hour delay.
Waiting at least 12 hours after birth, according to a study including nearly 1,000 newborns, may promote breastfeeding. A bath after 48 hours, according to another source including 73 infants, helps keep neonates at a consistent temperature and improves skin growth.
Bathe your newborn one to two times per week until their umbilical stump falls out once you arrive home. Don’t submerge their body in water until this happens. Instead, use a warm washcloth and a gentle sponge bath to start with their head and face and work your way down.
If your baby spits up or dribbles milk during feeding, wipe them down more regularly, paying special attention to their face and neck. You may need to provide a bath to clean up diaper blowouts if the mess is coming from the other end. At this age, though, kids do not require a daily bath unless there is a mess.
Reasons to Delay First Bath
Babies that aren’t bathed immediately away may have an easier time controlling their body temperatures.
Hypoglycemia can be reduced by delaying the first bath (drops in blood sugar).
Your infant is born with a waxy coating known as vernix, which acts as a natural moisturizer and antimicrobial. Delaying your baby’s first bath keeps his or her skin moist, healthy, and prevents it from drying out.
If babies are kept with their parents and their first showers are delayed, skin-to-skin time and bonding are more likely to occur.
Delaying the first bath has been found in studies to boost the rate at which babies begin nursing after birth, as well as their odds of continuing to breastfeed successfully.
Before the Umbilical Cord Falls Off
You shouldn’t totally immerse your infant in water for the first several weeks of their existence until their umbilical cord stump falls off. Instead, you should give your infant a sponge bath or bathe her with a washcloth.
Within the first one to two weeks of life, your baby’s umbilical cord stump should break off, at which point you can immerse him or her in water.
1 to 3 Months Baby
You should bathe your kid one to two times each week during the first few months of his or her existence. You can start giving them more typical baths once they no longer have their umbilical stump.
Fill a baby bathtub halfway with warm water and let them sit and splash as you bathe them with water and gentle baby soap. You can cover them with damp washcloths to keep them warm during the bath. You might begin with their face and head and work your way down once more.
Bringing your baby into the bath or shower with you is another technique to bathe them at this age. If you choose to bathe or shower with your child, having another pair of hands to pass your infant to when you’re ready to exit the tub can be beneficial. Because they can be somewhat slick, extra caution is advised.
It’s also worth remembering that adults prefer water that is significantly warmer than babies. Maintain a lukewarm temperature, and your baby will likely enjoy the bath time cuddling.
3 to 6 Months Baby
You might want to switch up your child’s bath routine as they become older. At this age, newborns only need to be bathed once or twice a week, but if they appear to like the water or prefer splashing while being clean, you can bathe them more frequently.
Many parents use diaper and outfit changes as an opportunity to give their infant a quick wipe down and ensure that all of their vital organs are clean. If you prefer to bathe your child more than twice a week, limit the use of soap to one or two baths to avoid drying out their skin. After bath time, apply a mild, fragrance- and dye-free moisturizer to your baby.
6 to 12 Months Baby
You may decide that you need to start bathing your kid more frequently after he or she becomes active and starts eating solids. While babies only need one to two soapy baths each week, you can give them a sponge wash or put them in the tub to soak and rinse off as messes emerge.
Bath time may also be a wonderful approach to quiet down your infant before bedtime. It’s entirely acceptable to include a bath in your relaxing nighttime routine at this age if this works for you.
Tips for a Safe Bath
Bathing a newborn is a difficult task. You want to make sure that your kid is clean, but you also want to make sure that you are kind and that he or she is comfortable. Check out the following suggestions to make bathing easier and more effective:
Begin at the Very Top
Experts advise that you begin any bath by gently cleaning your child’s hair and face. After that, work your way down with a washcloth, soaping and washing your infant as you go.
Concentrate on the Folds
Most babies’ thighs, necks, and wrists have rolls or folds. These folds are cute, but they can also trap bacteria, dead skin cells, spit-up, and dribbled milk. Concentrate on properly scrubbing and rinsing your child’s folds and rolls while bathing them.
Don’t Forget to Include Your Hands and Feet
Because babies suck on their fingers and toes, it’s very vital to keep these areas clean. To get their hands and feet as clean as possible, use a soapy washcloth and gently spread their fingers and toes.
Try the Kitchen Sink
If you have a portable baby bathtub, it will almost certainly fit inside your kitchen cabinet. While your child is still young enough to be immobile, try bathing them in the sink rather than the bathtub to save your back. To avoid any accidents, move bathing into the tub once your child is able to roll or scoot.
Take a Chance on Co-bathing
There’s nothing more relaxing than taking a warm bath with your child. When your baby is old enough to take a true bath, join them in the tub and wash and clean them from there. If you don’t want to be naked in front of your child, you can always put on a swimsuit for the occasion.
Keep an Eye on the Siblings
If your baby has an older brother, you may want to bathe them both at the same time to save time and energy. This is usually fine once your child can sit securely on their own. Sibling baths should be avoided until your baby is ready to sit on their own to avoid your baby being bumped, jostled, or splashed as they acclimate to the water.
Choose Products that are Gentle
When choosing soap, shampoo, and lotion for your infant, look for goods that are devoid of dyes and fragrances. While scented bubble bath products may be enjoyable for a toddler, they might dry out or irritate the skin of a newborn and should be avoided. Whatever you choose, stick to it and try not to experiment with new products if the ones you already have work well and don’t irritate your baby’s skin.
How to Give a Sponge Bath
- Keep it simple, but make sure you have the necessary tools on ready, like a washcloth or baby sponge, a basin of water, and a towel.
- Use a safe surface to clean your infants, such as a changing table or a bed. You can also soften the floor by laying a towel or blanket on it, or by holding your baby in your lap. If your infant is on an elevated surface, keep an eye on them at all times to prevent them from falling.
- Avoid getting water in your baby’s eyes, and don’t sponge their healing umbilical cord stump directly.
- During this time, make sure your kid is kept warm. You might choose to wrap your infant in a towel and only uncover his or her various body parts until they’re ready to be bathed.
How often should you bathe a newborn? This article covers it all. Because most infants do not get particularly dirty, it is not necessary to bathe them every day or night. In between baths, you can spot clean any troublesome spots. Most doctors advise merely bathing your newborn baby a few times each week for these reasons.
Begin by giving them sponge showers until their umbilical stump falls off, then gently bathe them in the sink or tub. As newborns get older, they may require more frequent baths as they get messier or enjoy themselves in the tub. Just use good products for a healthy bath.