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 on 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 tip 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' 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 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 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 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
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:
- Bathing a baby the right way requires time, so you don't need to rush. Set aside enough time to allow you to get it done without frustration.
- Don't leave your little one alone in the tub bath, even for a second.
- Make sure you have everything you need within your reach before bathing your baby. Set out a towel, washcloth, body wash, shampoo, a cup for rinsing and any other bath time essentials before putting the baby in the bath.
- Not attending to your baby is dangerous. So switch off your phone, as this is not the best time to check your Facebook or Instagram feed.
- Make sure you check the water temperature before putting your baby in the tub. You can use a thermometer or the inside of the elbow or the wrist to test the water, which should be warm and not hot.
- Gently sock up your baby in warm water with shampoo. Make life more comfortable, find a multitasking all-in-one baby bubbles, and wash.
- Keep your baby warm by exposing only the body parts you're bathing to the air.
- Always hold your baby during bath. Use your hands to support the baby head during bath time while your arm should be kept at the back.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Type Of Bathe 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 bath 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.
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.