Create Your Own Routine
As your child gets older, their bathing cadence can continue to be around three times a week. The older they get, the more they tend to run around and get dirty or sweaty, so bathing frequency should vary based on their activity level.
Some families prefer to create a bedtime routine for their baby as soon as possible, and this typically includes a bath, followed by a feeding. For other families, bath time is a bonding experience or a fun way for their child to play. If daily baths work best for your child and lifestyle, be sure to sufficiently and consistently moisturize their skin.
One thing we always emphasize with new parents: Whether your child is 6 months or 16 years old, do what works best for you. What matters is that theyre safe and clean. Other than that, no two families bathing habits need to be the same.
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Wash Face Hands Neck And Diaper Area Daily
While your baby will do fine with just 3 baths in a week, certain areas require more frequent washing. The face, hands, neck, diaper area, and any skin folds like groin folds or armpits may need to be cleaned daily with a wet washcloth and then dried off. Make sure you pay particular attention to the area around the mouth. Also, clean any spit-ups and messy diapers as and when needed.7
How Often Should Kids Wash Up
I mean, as long as everyones talking about it…what about your toddlers stink? Per the Cleveland Health Clinic, toddlers and little kids only need a soak in the tub two to three times per week. Older kids ages six to 11 should hit the bath two to three times per week at a minimum, and tweens and teens should shower daily. But the experts note that these arent exactly hard-and-fast rules. If your toddler is throwing a temper tantrum and doesnt want to get in the bath, its no biggie. And if your big kid spent the day playing in the mud, then theyll need to hop in the tub even if its not their bath day.
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When Should A Newborn Have Their First Bath
Many hospitals used to bathe newborn babies right away, often within an hour or two of birth. In the past few years, the recommendations of when a newborn baby should have their first bath have changed. The World Health Organization says that it’s best to wait at least 24 hours after babies are born to give them their first bath.
There are a few reasons that professionals suggest waiting 24 hours before your baby’s first bath:
Preventing dry skin. Babies are born with a special waxy coating on their skin called vernix. It acts as a natural barrier to the air and protects the moisture in your baby’s skin.
Breastfeeding and bonding with parent. Research has shown that skin-to-skin contact and very early breastfeeding can help the mother/baby bond and make breastfeeding more successful overall.
Skin Care For Your Newborn
A baby’s soft and delicate skin needs special care. Generally, it is best to use products made especially for babies, but your baby’s healthcare provider can advise you about other products. Products for adults may be too harsh for a baby and may contain irritants or allergens. Many parents like to use lotions. But unless the baby’s skin is dry, lotions really are not needed. Powders should be avoided, unless they are recommended by your baby’s healthcare provider. When using any powder, put the powder in your hand and then apply it to the baby’s skin. Shaking powder into the air releases dust and talc that can harm your baby’s lungs.
Many babies have rashes and bumps that are normal. Some rashes may be a sign of a problem or infection. Diaper rash can be irritating to the baby and needs to be treated. If you have concerns about a rash, or your baby is uncomfortable or has a fever, call your baby’s healthcare provider.
Laundry detergents may cause irritation to a baby’s delicate skin. If your baby seems sensitive to detergent, you can use a special detergent for babies with sensitive skin and give the laundry an extra rinse with plain water to remove any leftover detergent.
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Common Questions About Bathing A Newborn Baby
How often should I bathe my baby? Babies don’t need a bath every day. In fact, too many baths can dry out your baby’s sensitive skin. Experts recommend bathing a newborn two or three times per week.
What kind of soap should I use for my newborn baby’s 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 newborn’s skin. They don’t contain the same intense fragrances that adult soaps and shampoos do.
What if my baby doesn’t like the bath? While some babies love the sensation of being in the bath, some don’t like it much. If your baby gets upset or cries during a bath, don’t worry that’s 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, they’ll start to enjoy it.
If you have any questions or concerns, it’s always good to reach out to your baby’s doctor. They can offer guidance on umbilical stump care, any rashes or bumps that you notice, or any other questions that arise when you’re learning to give your newborn baby a bath.
Babys First Bath At Home
Once you get your little one home, theres no set timetable for when to give baby her first sponge bath. Experts agree that the timing for bathing a newborn is up to the parents, and that theres no big rush. Many families are excited about giving a baby their first newborn bath at home, but waiting a few days is fine, says Justin Smith, MD, a pediatrician at Cook Childrens Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
Holly S., a mom of two, gave birth to her second baby at home and didnt bathe him for more than a week. Theres no need to wash them right away in most circumstances, she says. Any blood from the birth can be wiped off, and you just need to wipe their diaper areas thoroughly in the meantime. She also made sure to rub the vernix into her babys skin to get the most out of its antimicrobial and moisturizing properties.
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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
Baby Bath Set: What You Need
Depending on your home and lifestyle, you may need certain baby bath products to give a newborn a bath:
- A baby bathtub that meets safety standards: You can place it on the floor while bathing your baby.
- Bath towels for babies: A hooded bath towel will help dry your babys hair and body while keeping them warm.
Make sure your baby bathtub is compliant with safety standards. For baby shampoos, choose products that are dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, and alcohol-free.
- Bath toys for older babies: These help make bath time enjoyable and fun while supporting your babys eagerness to develop new skills.
- Shampoo shield: This helps protect your babys eyes from shampoo while you wash their hair.
- Baby washcloths: Buy soft washcloths made of pure cotton to protect the babys delicate skin.
- Baby shampoo: Baby shampoo is much gentler than shampoo for adults. The best products are dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, and alcohol-free.
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Clean Scalp Once Or Twice A Week
You can shampoo your babys hair once or twice a week. Massage the entire scalp with mild shampoo, including the part over the fontanelle. But be gentle. Cup a hand across your babys forehead to prevent soap from running into the eyes. If soap does get into the eyes, wipe it off with clean, plain warm water.8 Soap nut works well at cleaning your babys scalp as well. 9
How To Bathe A Newborn
Bathing a newborn may seem daunting at first, but with a little preparation and the right setup, babys first bath can be a stress-free, joyful experience. Yes, baby will likely cry, but it doesnt mean youre doing something wrong.
Dont worry about it so much! advises Mary F., a mom of two. We were so concerned about how to handle our first baby. She was so tiny! So breakable! And then we watched the nurse give our daughter her first bath in the hospital. You would have thought she was washing dishes! That was the moment where we were like, Ohwere not going to break her.
Here, we lay out step by step what you need to doand what you need to knowwhen it comes to bathing a newborn.
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Should You Feed Baby Before Or After Bath
Bathing your baby safely Its best not to bathe your baby straight after a feed or when theyre hungry or tired. Make sure the room youre bathing them in is warm. Have everything you need at hand: a baby bath or clean washing-up bowl filled with warm water, two towels, a clean nappy, clean clothes and cotton wool.
What Do I Need To Know About My Baby’s Skin
- Your baby’s skin is sensitive and fragile. Your healthcare provider may tell you to wash your baby only with warm water during the first month after birth. If you do use soap, use only gentle baby soap on areas that are dirty, such as his bottom. The soap you use on your baby should not contain any preservatives, alcohol, or perfumes. Ask your baby’s healthcare provider what type of soap is best. Wash your baby’s skin gently. Do not rub.
- If your baby was premature, his skin may be thinner and more sensitive than other babies. Your premature baby may not need a sponge bath as often because his skin may dry out faster. Soap may irritate his skin.
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How Often Should I Bathe My 1 Month Old Baby
When trying to answer how often should I bathe my newborn, the first factor to consider is their age. Nurses and medics are quite strict in the first 2 months especially. They claim that this should be kept at a minimum of 1-2 times in a week and understandably so. Ensure the water is warm enough as you use a sponge or a light cloth to cleanse. Avoid pouring water at this stage when in the baby bathtub. Once the umbilical stump is done away with, you can think of incorporating more traditional baths.
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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Your Newborn Baby And Sponge Baths
With a fresh-out-of-the-womb baby in your house, you might feel at a loss for what to do! When it comes to bath time, your babys first few baths should be sponge baths. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, only give your newborn sponge baths until the stump of the umbilical cord falls off, which usually happens by about one or two weeks of ageSee the baby’s doctor if the cord has not dried up and fallen off by the time the baby is two months old.So, what exactly does a sponge bath involve? Its easier than you might think!Simply fill a bowl with warm water, grab a baby washcloth, and wrap your naked baby in a cozy bath towel. Lay them on a flat surface. The American Academy of Pediatrics says, Start washing the face first. Use the dampened cloth to wash her face, being careful not to get water into her eyes or mouth. Then, dip it in the basin of water before washing the rest of her body and, finally, the diaper area.To help your newborn stay warm during their sponge bath, keep them wrapped in the towel and only uncover the part of their tiny body that youre washing.When your babys umbilical cord has healed, you can put them in the water to get them clean, but be prepared they might not like it at first!