How Often To Bathe A Newborn
Baby bath time is something that a lot of new mamas look forward to. Some babies take a bit more convincing, but once they learn to like the water, bathtime can be a fun part of everyones day and a great way to bond.
But how frequent do these baths need to be? If youre wondering how often to bathe a newborn, were taking a deep dive right here.
In this article
- When do you start bathing a newborn?
- How often should you bathe a newborn?
- When should you start bathing your baby every day?
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.
When Should You Start Bathing Your Baby Every Day
Lots of mamas get into the routine of bathing their baby at bedtime every day. If this would work for you, its up to you when you start.
Some families might start with regular bedtime or morning baths when their babys skin is a bit less sensitive and when they feel like theyve got feeding and diapering under control and want to add a new element to the routine.
Others might wait longer, and might even bathe their kids every other day for years until theyre old enough to wash themselves! Theres no textbook answer here.
One thing to bear in mind is that your baby will get dirtier when they start to explore the world and when they start to eat solid food.
So be safe at bathtime, take your lead from your little one, and dont feel like you need to have a schedule from the beginning. Youre doing great, mama.
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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.
How To Give Your Baby A Bath
Get everything ready before you start your baby’s bath:
Ensure that all the supplies you need like shampoo, soap, a hooded towel, and a cup for rinsing are within armâs reachânever leave your baby unattended in the bath, so make sure you have everything you need on hand, including your babyâs fresh change of clothes
Make sure the room is warm before undressing your baby.
Follow these step-by-step guidelines for bathing your baby:
Line a sink or baby bathtub with a towel, and fill it about 2 inches full of warm water âtest it with your elbow or the inside of your wrist to make sure itâs not too hot
While supporting your babyâs head with your non-dominant hand, use your other hand to guide him into the water feet first. Youâll want to do this swiftly so he doesnât get cold, and youâll want to make sure his head and most of his body are above the water level
Wash his body from top to bottom with clear water, and, if you prefer, a mild baby soap. Keep him warm by pouring warm water over his body using a cup. Use a soft cloth to wash his face
If he has hair, itâs enough to shampoo once or twice a week. When you do, massage a drop of mild baby shampoo into his scalp, even the soft spots of his head. Be careful not to get any soapsuds or shampoo in his eyesâcup your hands over his forehead when rinsing his head. If some soap or shampoo does get into his eyes, go ahead and wipe them using a cloth dampened with clear water.
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Common Newborn Skin Rashes And Bumps
Its normal for the irresistibly soft and smooth skin of your baby to encounter the occasional bump in the road. Babies can develop bumps and rashes on their skin from birth, and the more you know about their sensitive skin, the more confident you can feel about caring for it.
Causes of bumps and rashes
How to treat skin these common skin conditions
- Gently wash their face with warm water and patting dry.
- Use a gentle, safe, and hypoallergenic baby wipe to clean the skin from anything that may cause skin irritation.
Things to avoid
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How Long Can You Go Without Bathing A Newborn
You may bathe the baby less than three times a week. Alternatively, you may give sponge baths even after their umbilical cord falls off and only bathe the baby in a bathtub when they are soiled and dirty. Parents may prefer to wash only the face, hands, neck, and bottom. This is known as topping and tailing . Ultimately, parents may choose a frequency of bathing the baby based on their choices and the pediatricians opinion.
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What Are The Most Common Skin Conditions In Newborns
Itâs very common for newborns to have rashes or other skin problems. Some of them have long names that are hard to say and sound scary. But most will go away on their own in a few days or weeks.
Here are some of the things you may notice about your babyâs skin.
- It looks like pimples.
- Babies often get pimples on their cheeks, noses, and foreheads. This baby acne may show up during the first few weeks of life and usually clears up on its own within a few months. Baby acne has nothing to do with whether your child will have acne problems as a teenager.
- Tiny white spots very often appear on a newbornâs face during the first week. The spots are called milia . Sometimes white spots appear on the gums and the roof of the mouth , where they are called Epstein pearls. The white spots go away by themselves in a few weeks and arenât harmful.
- The baby sometimes has tiny red dots on the skin.
- You may notice tiny red dots on your newbornâs skin. These red dots are called petechiae . These are specks of blood that have leaked into the skin. They are caused by the trauma of being squeezed through the birth canal. They will disappear within the first week or two.
Gently Pat Your Newborn Dry
Once youve finished bathing your newborn, you can remove them from the bathtub and set them on a clean, soft towel. Use the towel to gently pat them dry, going in the same order that you washed their body.
Your baby might feel a little cold when first coming out of the bath, so it helps to dry them off quickly.
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Rash On The Face And Body
Scarlet fever causes a rash that looks like pinpricks and feels rough, like sandpaper. The rash can be red, but this may be less noticeable on brown and black skin.
Scarlet fever usually starts with a white coating on the tongue, a sore throat, headache and a high temperature.
See a GP immediately if you think your child has scarlet fever. Itâs treated with antibiotics.
Measles usually starts with the same symptoms as a cold, plus a high temperature, sore eyes that are sensitive to light and grey spots inside the cheeks.
After a few days, a spotty rash appears on the head or neck and spreads to the rest of the body. The spots can appear red or brown, but they may be less noticeable on brown and black skin.
When Can You Bathe Your Baby Every Day
It is best to bathe the baby no more than three times a week for the first year . Bathing more than thrice a week may dry the babys skin and cause discomfort. Once your baby is older than 12 months, you may bathe them every day with water. Some newborns may enjoy bathing in a bathtub, making bathing an excellent time to bond with the little one. In such cases, you may consider bathing the baby more than three times after doctor consultation.
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Setting Up A Newborn Bath: Tips
Heres how to get ready for a newborn bath:
- Take the phone off the hook or turn your phone off while bathing your baby. Youll be less likely to get distracted.
- Make sure you have everything you need within reach for example, towel, washcloth, cream or ointment, clean clothes and clean nappy.
- Avoid using soap because this will dry out your babys skin. If needed, use a fragrance-free oil or a gentle non-soap cleanser at the end of the bath.
- Position the bath somewhere stable and at a height where you can comfortably hold your baby.
- Fill the bath with just enough warm water to wash your baby. Use jugs of water to fill the bath if youre planning to bath your baby away from the tap.
- Take off your watch and jewellery and wash your hands.
- Check the water temperature is 37-38°C before you put your baby in the bath. If you dont have a thermometer, use your wrist or elbow to test the temperature it should be comfortably warm, not hot.
- Before bathing your baby in a sink, briefly run cold water through the tap once youve finished filling the bath.
- Dont add extra water while your baby is in the bath.
Using A Product That Does Not Suit Their Skin
We all love the gentle sweetness of the fragrances used in baby products. But its certainly not the best for babies. Each babys skin is unique and reacts to different products differently. Fragrances have been proven to be notorious irritants even to adults with sensitive skin, let alone babies. Some additives and certain types of surfactants in body washes also may cause skin irritation. Some tips on choosing products for your precious ones have been mentioned later in the skincare routine below.
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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.
How Frequently To Bathe Newborns
The AAP recommends bathing your infant three times a week until their first birthday. “Obviously there are unique messes that babies can find themselves in as they get older and more mobile that may require an extra bath from time to time,” says Dr. Grant. “But in general, this rule is sufficient as long as the diaper area is cleaned appropriately at each diaper change.”
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How Do I Wash My Baby
- If you want to top and tail your newborn, you can do this by washing them using cotton wool and bowls of warm water.
- You can wash your newborn in a small baby bath.
- If youd prefer to share a bath with your little one, see below for more details.
- It can help to have an extra pair of hands at bath time, so encourage your partner to get involved.
- You shouldnt use any cleansing products to bathe your baby only mild, non-perfumed soap can be used where needed. Plain water is safer for your babys skin during in the first month.
Hand Foot And Mouth Disease
Hand, foot and mouth disease is a mild but highly contagious viral illness that causes a rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It is not the same as the foot-and-mouth disease that affects farm animals.
The disease is common in childcare and kindergartens. Your child might feel unwell and have a fever and blisters on the hands and feet and in the mouth, and also in the nappy area, that last 7 to 10 days. Children with hand, foot and mouth disease should stay away from childcare or school until all the blisters have dried up.
Hand, foot and mouth disease usually resolves on its own without major problems but in rare cases it can be more serious especially in people whose immune system is not functioning normally or pregnant women. These rare problems include infections of the brain and heart muscle and miscarriage in pregnant women.
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