How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby

Edited byBarbara Nevers Updated October 11, 2020

One common question that first-time parents asked about their newborn, “How often should I bathe my baby?” Everyone has different opinions on how often to bathe a baby, but the answer to this question largely depends on your baby’s age.

Many parents think that bathing the baby every day is good and hygiene, but the reality is you don’t have to switch on the bathwater every day. If you feel a little uncertain about how often you should bathe your baby, we got you covered in this guide.

1. How Often to Bathe a Baby

Baby skin is susceptible and has not developed a substantial barrier to maintain its moisture, which means it loses hydration quicker, making them more prone to dryness than that of an adult. So how often should you bath your little one? Below are health tips about babies and bath time.

First week at Home

Your newborn is quite not ready for a full bath in the first week of delivery. The stump of the umbilical cord will not heal completely and fall off until 1 to 3 weeks after they are born. During this period, you can give your baby sponge baths to keep their umbilical cord stumps dry.

Keep in mind that sponge baths should only be given when the baby id messy because cleaning your newborn too often with water can result in skin dryness and irritation.

A daily bath is also unnecessary until a baby truly gets messy and learns how to crawl around the house. For the first week, you can also give your newborn a ‘top and tail’(1) clean instead of a bath. Don’t be afraid to ask for an assistant from your midwife or public health nurse to show you how to bathe your newborn for the first time.

Newborn to 6 months

You are free to bathe your newborn two or three times a week after the umbilical cord stump has healed completely, dried up, and fallen off. Keep in mind that bathing your newborns can be slippery; therefore, a secure hold is needed to keep your baby comfortable and safe during their baths. It is best to wash your baby in an infant bathtub or sink using warm water.

6 months to 1 year

Your newborn growth continues during the second six months. Your baby should have reached significant developmental milestones such as crawling, standing, and even walking. They will also start to try different baby foods and begin to take bites from your plate during this time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics(2) recommends that babies younger than one year should have a full bath three times a week or less (anything more than that can dry out the skin).

Emerging Toddlerhood

You need to switch from the baby bath to the regular tub before your baby’s first birthday. Your emerging toddler is more likely need to be bathed more often during this time of increased exploration and mobility. You can change to a daily bath to keep their little faces, hands, feet, and bodies clean. It is vital to make sure that bath time is both fun and safe.

2. Safety Tips During Bath Time

Safety Tips During Bath Time

Bath time with a baby has its own set of challenges, but with some tips and tricks—you’ll be a master. Some best practices for bath time for kids include:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of Bath Is Best For My Baby?

A sponge bath is highly recommended until the umbilical cord has healed completely, dried up, and fallen off. A baby should not be immersed in water because it increases the time for the umbilical cord to heal. Instead, use a sponge or washcloth to keep the baby clean. A baby is ready for a full bath as soon as the umbilical cord stump has fallen off.

When is the best time to bathe my baby?

Any time during the day is ideal. However, it is best to avoid baths just after a meal because so much is on a full tummy could, which result in spitting up. Some parents feel bathing before bedtime helps create a more relaxed state to sleep.

How much water does my baby need to bathe?

The standard recommendation is 2 to 3 inches of water. The water should be warm and not too cold or too hot. You can pour water over your baby while you’re bathing them if you’re concerned about the baby being warm during the bath.

How can I keep my baby clean within baths?

You can keep your baby clean between baths by washing their face with water and soft cloth regularly. Clean their bum and genitals every time you change their nappy. Wipe off everything you can if clothes get dirty, and replace them.

What about my older child?

Preschoolers and toddlers live life like it’s their job to get dirty. Therefore, bathing should increase as children age. It is perfect to spot clean your baby when they get messy, but if they get too dirty, then a full bath is a better option. Kids should also have a bathe after being outdoors wearing sunscreen and bug spray, swimming, or sweating.

In Conclusion

Bath times for your baby should be fun, but they also bring a lot of questions. We hope we’ve answered all the essential questions. Now, you should know how often to bathe a baby after reading this guide.

Finally, don’t be surprised if your newborn cries during the first few baths. Your baby might be reacting to an unfamiliar sensation. Your baby soon learns to love bath time. Thank you for reading this post, and enjoy your time with your baby.


Edited by

Barbara Nevers

Barbara is a full-time mom of 3 children and a part-time blogger since 2018. She likes to write on various topics about motherhood. She drinks a lot of coffee, loves French pastries, reads a lot, also enjoys crafts and Montessori activities.

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