How often to bathe a newborn baby? A 2019 study including nearly 1,000 babies found that waiting at least 12 hours after birth may promote breastfeeding.
Additionally, another 2019 studyTrusted Source including 73 infants suggested that a bath after 48 hours helps keep newborns at a steady temperature and aids skin development.
Perhaps it is because they seem so fragile…especially when they are naked! Bathing newborn babies don’t have to be a traumatic experience, so don’t be scared.
We have dive depper into this topic to help you handle your baby bathing. Just follow this guidelines, and you can do it! (And remember, you are bigger than she is!)
How Often to Bathe a Newborn?
Before you start, keep a few things in mind.
Safety is your goal. “Slippery when wet? is an extreme understatement. Do not leave your baby alone in the water for even a moment. Keep your hand on the baby at all times. This will comfort your child and ensure that she does not turn over into the water.
Bathtime can be unsettling for some newborns. You may ask yourself how Often to Bathe a newborn? They often react to the event with anything from grunting to screaming.
The best way to handle bathing newborn babies who get upset is to do it quickly and efficiently. They will find pleasure in bathtime as they mature, but it may only happen for a short time.
Remember, a newborn baby’s skin is much more delicate and sensitive than ours. Use the inside of your wrist or arm to ensure the water is warm. If your newborn’s umbilical cord stump has not fallen off, avoid getting the area wet. This needs to dry out before it falls off.
This is how often to bathe a newborn
There is no “right answer” to this question. At least once per week, but I know mothers who bathe their babies daily.
It depends on how “dirty” the baby gets (it’s not like they are outside playing in the dirt… yet), how much the baby enjoys bathtime, and your time. Using a gentle soap 2 to 3 times a week is suggested.
I LOVE the clean, fresh baby smell!
So what equipment do you need for bathing a newborn? How often to bathe a newborn? Honestly, you only need water, a gentle, toxin-free baby wash, and a towel.
But other items make the event more enjoyable. Click here to see the other baby bathtime essentials.
How Often to Bathe a Newborn Baby?
Here are some basic steps for bathing newborn babies:
1. Prepare and lay out everything you need within reach: towel, washcloth, baby soap/shampoo, brush, diaper, etc. (Remember that you will only want to leave the baby for a moment to grab something.)
2. Undress your baby to her diaper, and then cover her with a blanket until the water is ready.
3. Run the water until it is at the right temperature. The temperature should feel warm to the inside of your arm/wrist. Remove the diaper and gently place your baby in the bath. Talk or sing in a calm voice to her the entire time. Keep a firm hold on your baby.
4. Hold your baby with one hand while washing with the other. Start with the “cleanest” body parts, and end with the “dirtiest.” Use the wet washcloth to wash the baby’s face – starting with the corners of the eyes.
5. Use soap on the washcloth or your hand to wash the rest of her body. (Continue to speak soothingly while using one hand to stabilize the baby.)
Tip: Lay a warm wet washcloth or hand towel over your baby while you wash other body parts.
6. Wash the hair last. This helps her retain more of her body heat. If your baby tolerates the bath so far, you can wash her hair in this same position. (If your baby has become very upset, see note below.)
Using baby soap/shampoo and a baby brush will best clean newborn hair and scalp.
Work the shampoo into the hair/scalp using a firm circular pattern. (See the article Cradle Cap Treatment to help prevent and treat this scaly nuisance.)
Using a cup for water, or the sink spray hose
6. Using a cup for water, or the sink spray hose, rinse the baby thoroughly. Make sure to TEST the temperature through the hose first! (I learned this one the hard way. Room temperature water left in the hose is COLD to a newborn.)
7. Lift your baby and place it on the nearby towel you spread before the bath begins. Remember, your baby will be extremely slippery, so make sure your hold is secure.
I have found the best way to lift a wet baby is to reach one hand under the back of the neck and grasp the opposite upper arm, allowing the neck and head to be supported by my wrist. I then securely hold the upper thigh of one of the legs and lift.
8. If your baby has made it through bathtime without screaming, removing her from the bath will most likely start the crying. The best remedy is to quickly dry, dip, swaddle, and cuddle your baby.
( Swaddling babies is my favorite technique for calming fussy newborns.)
This should calm her. After she has settled down, you can finish by applying lotion (if desired) and then dressing her.
9. Consider learning about baby massage. This can be a great bonding experience and is pleasurable for both parent and baby. Incorporating baby massage into your newborn’s bathtime has benefited both parent and child greatly.
There! That wasn’t so bad, was it?
Bathing newborn babies can be enjoyable once both know the routine. Remember to stop and smell the baby!