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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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:
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 byBarbara 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.