How Often Should You Bathe A Newborn
Bathing a newborn is something many new parents eagerly look forward to. After all, there is nothing sweeter than a tiny baby getting gently soaped up and cleaned, while splashing around.
But the reality of bathing our babies may be different than expected and you may also be concerned about how to bathe your baby safely.
Maybe you have a baby who seems to really dislike baths. Or you feel unsure of how often to bathe them. Too much to bathe them daily? What if you cant get in a decent bath more than once or twice a week?
Rest assured, bathing your baby doesnt have to be as complicated as it seems. A few basic tips can go a long way.
As for how often you need to bathe your baby? There arent too many rules. If your baby can only get in a good bath a few times a week, you are actually totally on track. Its also usually OK if you want to bathe your baby more frequently, too.
Giving Your Newborn A Bath: Steps
These steps make bathing your newborn easy:
Children can drown in a few seconds in very shallow water. Never leave your baby alone in the bath, even if youre using a bath seat or cradle. Never leave older children or siblings to supervise. If youre disturbed by the phone or another task, take your baby out of the bath.
Safety Tips For Bathing Your Newborn
Here are some safety tips to follow when bathing your newborn .
- Gather all the items you need for the babys bath and keep them within reach.
- Maintain a comfortable water temperature to prevent overheating or cooling. The water should be slightly over 100°F .
- Invest in a bath thermometer to check the water temperature accurately. If you do not have a thermometer, dip your elbow in the water. The water must feel warm and not hot or cold.
- Do not leave your baby unattended in the tub. Avoid paying heed to other distractions while bathing your baby.
- If you have forgotten something you need, ask someone for help or take your baby along if you have to get it yourself.
- Always have a firm hold on your newborns body, as applying soap on them can make them slippery.
- Use a towel to pat dry the baby immediately after the bath. Do not rub the skin since it may cause irritation.
Bathing your newborn could be a good moment for parents to bond with the baby. It also ensures good hygiene. You need not go overboard with bathing and keep it limited to thrice a week. Sponge baths are recommended until the babys umbilical cord falls off. If you wish to bathe the baby often, take the pediatricians opinion first.
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How Do You Give A Baby A Sponge Bath
Chances are youve never given yourself a sponge bath, and thus, are a little nervous to give one to your baby. Fear not: Sponge baths are very simple. According to the pediatrician, all you have to do is put a little soap on a wet baby washcloth and wipe your baby all over, starting at the head and working your way down. Next, repeat the process with a wet but soap-free washcloth to remove the soap from your babys skin. Voila, youre done.
Pat Dry And Apply Lotion
After youve finished bathing your baby, pat dry and apply a good emollient ointment to lock in moisture and protect the skin, Dr. Nazarian recommends.To moisturize and protect your newborns kissable skin, apply Babo Botanicalss fragrance-free Sensitive Baby Daily Hydra Baby Lotion. This gentle, soft, and non-greasy baby lotion is made for the most sensitive baby skin and formulated to minimize the risk of allergic reactions. It contains 2% colloidal oatmeal to relieve dry skin as well as ultra moisturizing calendula, chamomile, shea butter, and jojoba oil. And you can feel good about putting it on your babys skin knowing that its clean, EWG Verified, and free of parabens, gluten, phthalates, and petroleum!
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How Often Should You Wash A Newborn
The answer to this question is the same regardless of whether youre in the sponge bathing phase or have started giving your baby full-blown baths. Per Dr. Poinsett, a baby doesnt need to be bathed dailythree times a week will suffice. In other words, daily bathing is unnecessary as long as youre thoroughly cleaning the bum and diaper area with every diaper change.
How Does Bathing Work
Even if you are a little unsure for the first time, you will soon develop your routine when bathing your newborn baby. Our six steps for a pleasant and relaxing bathing experience can serve as a guide. Perhaps you will take the first baths together with a second person who can help you if necessary.
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Common Questions About Bathing A Newborn Baby
How often should I bathe my baby? Babies dont need a bath every day. In fact, too many baths can dry out your babys sensitive skin. Experts recommend bathing a newborn two or three times per week.
What kind of soap should I use for my newborn babys bath? Pediatricians recommend using bath products and skin care products that are made especially for babies, since their skin is very delicate. Most baby products are designed to be gentle and not irritate a newborns skin. They dont contain the same intense fragrances that adult soaps and shampoos do.
What if my baby doesnt like the bath? While some babies love the sensation of being in the bath, some dont like it much. If your baby gets upset or cries during a bath, dont worry thats normal, too. A few things you can try to help calm them down include gently massaging their arms and legs, singing a song or speaking softly while bathing them, or giving them a bath toy. Usually, once they get used to bathtime, theyll start to enjoy it.
If you have any questions or concerns, its always good to reach out to your babys doctor. They can offer guidance on umbilical stump care, any rashes or bumps that you notice, or any other questions that arise when youre learning to give your newborn baby a bath.
Bathing Your Baby Safely
You don’t need to bathe your baby every day, but if they really enjoy it, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.
It’s best not to bathe your baby straight after a feed or when they’re hungry or tired. Make sure the room you’re bathing them in is warm.
Have everything you need at hand: a baby bath or clean washing-up bowl filled with warm water, 2 towels, a clean nappy, clean clothes and cotton wool.
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What Do I Need For A Tub Bath
Bath thermometer . These often have safe bath temperature ranges marked on them.
When bathing your baby in a tub:
Clear the counter or table top of breakable objects and electrical appliances to prevent injury.
Fill the tub with warm water, making sure the water is warm, not hot. Always test the water before placing your baby into the tub. Some parents feel most comfortable using a baby bath thermometer to confirm the correct temperature of the water.
Follow the same general bathing instructions for a sponge bath.
NEVER take your hands off your baby, or walk away, even for a moment.
Be sure to clean the bathtub after each use.
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Clean And Clear Special Circumstances
When youre bathing your baby two or three times a week, skin hygiene is critical:
- Stool can quickly irritate the skin, so change your babys diapers frequently, and wipe thoroughly using a front-to-back motion for female babies.
- While bathing a circumcised male baby, shake the water slightly so it runs over the penis. Do the same for an uncircumcised male, but gently retract the foreskin first you wont be able to pull it back very far, so dont force it or worry youre not being thorough.
- If your baby has cradle cap, a scalp condition that causes scaly patches to appear on the skin, you can wash the affected area with an anti-dandruff shampoo or gently rub it with a soft brush and baby oil. Use a gentle, circular motion to pull up the skin flakes rubbing too hard can pull out hair and the underlying layers of skin.
Use the same brushing method for skin rashes, such as eczema or diaper dermatitis. Harsh soaps can cause rash flare-ups, which is another reason to use mild, chemical-free soaps and bathe your baby less often. After cleaning the affected areas, apply a thick layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor to moisturize the skin and protect it from further irritation. Use more than you think you need most new parents dont use enough.
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What About My Older Child
Toddlers and preschoolers live life like its their job to get dirty. Surely you need to bathe them every day, right? Maybe not, according to Connecticut-based pediatric dermatologist Dr. Brittany Craiglow.
Bathing should increase in frequency as children age, but this doesnt mean that a daily bath is always necessary, she said. It is perfectly fine to spot clean when kids get messy with paint or markers, for instance. Break out the wipes or the wet wash-cloth to clean obvious messes and diaper areas, but save the soap for days when toddlers or preschoolers do what they do best: If they truly get dirty such as from playing in the mud then a bath is a better option.
There are other exceptions to the no-soap rule. Kids also should have a bath after being outdoors wearing sunscreen and/or bug spray, swimming or sweating, Dr. Craiglow said. Soap should be used in these scenarios, but for routine bathing stick to using it only on feet and diaper areas, particularly if kids are prone to dry skin.
How Hot Should The Water Be
The water temperature to bathe your baby should be warm, never hot. The ideal temperature is 98.6°F . You can use a bath thermometer to monitor the temperature, or check the water with your wrist or elbow to confirm its warm and not hot.
Also, check different sides of the tub or baby bath to confirm there are no hot spots. If using a tub or basin, turn on the cold water first and then the hot water to fill it.
If you live in a house, you can also adjust the water heater to ensure it doesnt go above 120°F , which can badly scald your babys skin. You likely cant adjust the water heater if you live in an apartment complex or condo.
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Topping And Tailing: Washing Your Baby Without A Bath
Instead of giving your baby a daily bath, sometimes itâs enough to just âtop and tailâ your newborn â this just means giving the face, neck, hands and bottom a quick clean.You also might prefer topping and tailing to a âproperâ bath in the first few days after your baby is born, until you feel more confident about handling your newborn and looking after the umbilical cord stump.Although you might sometimes hear this referred to as a sponge bath, you donât need a sponge for topping and tailing your baby. Cotton wool is far better from a hygiene perspective, because youâll need a fresh piece for each part of your babyâs body that you clean.Before getting started, youâll need
a bowl of warm water
Hereâs how to top and tail your newborn:
Hold your baby in your lap or on a changing mat, in just a vest and nappy, and wrap him or her in the towel.
Dunk a piece of the cotton wool in the water , and gently wipe around your babyâs eyes. Start at the nose and move outwards. Use a new piece of cotton wool for each eye.
Take another piece of cotton wool and use it to wipe around the ears, but not inside them.
Use the same technique to wash the rest of your babyâs face, neck and hands.
Dry your babyâs skin gently, but thoroughly â taking care to dry in all the creases â and put the clean nappy on.
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How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby
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 babys age.
Many parents think that bathing the baby every day is good and hygiene, but the reality is you dont 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.
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Clean The Area Around The Umbilical Cord After You Change The Diaper
The cord of the umbilical cord typically falls off in 515 days. You need to keep this area clean and dry so that it doesnt get infected. Use a slightly damp clean washcloth to gently clean around the base whenever you change the diaper. And make sure you wipe away any discharge from the cord. Continue to clean this area for a few days after the stump falls off.3