How Often do you Bathe a Newborn?
Bathing your newborn is one of the most nerve-racking things about bringing home your new baby. You may have many questions about the process, and you want to make sure your baby feels good and comfortable at the same time.
The longtime practice has been to bathe your baby right after delivery, but research shows it’s better to wait a little while instead. Waiting at least 12 hours after birth may promote breastfeeding, and waiting for 48 hours has the potential to keep your newborn at a steady temperature and help skin development.
Your baby does not need a bath every day. Until the umbilical stump falls off, you can bathe your baby one to two times per week. You don’t want to submerge them in water, however. Instead, use a warm washcloth and give your baby a sponge bath starting from their head and going down their body. Once the umbilical stump falls off, you can start giving your baby a more traditional bath, but you still do not need to bathe them more than twice a week.
There are two major ways you can bathe your baby. One way is to fill a baby bathtub with lukewarm water and let them splash around as you wash them with gentle baby soap. An alternative is to bring them into the bath or shower with you. If you do this, you must remember that babies do not prefer water as warm as adults. As long as you keep the temperature lukewarm, your baby will be happy with this type of bath time.
Bathing your newborn can be nerve-racking, but once you know what to do, it’s very easy. Until your baby’s umbilical stump falls off, stick to sponge baths and avoid submerging them in water. Once a stump falls, you can them a more traditional bath or take them into the shower or bath with you.