Giving your newborn baby a bath for the first time usually comes with lots of questions. Here we have broken down the most commonly asked questions.
When should we give our baby a bath?
The World Health Organization recommends delaying the first bath until at least 24 hours after birth. But it is not uncommon for your hospital to offer baby’s first bath roughly eight hours after delivery.
Once your baby is home, there’s no actual need to bathe daily. Until the umbilical cord is healed, the AAP recommends you stick to sponge baths. Once the cord falls off, experts suggest bathing once to twice weekly, while daily wiping clean their face, hands and genitals.
Why is it recommended to delay your baby’s first bath?
Some may wonder why it’s recommended to hold off on bathing baby. In short, it’s because of their vernix. That thick creamy, white coating has a purpose during pregnancy and immediate postpartum.
By holding off on bathing, the vernix, which covers baby in the womb protects their skin and prevents pruning in utero, also helps regulate warmth, moisture as well as contains antioxidant and antibiotic properties.
How are we supposed to bathe our baby?
Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic:
– Keep one hand on the your baby at all times. You should use your non-dominant hand to support their head and neck. Make sure everything you need is within arms reach.
– Use a flat surface — like a kitchen sink, changing table or bed — a basin or sink to hold the water and warm water (around 99-100 degrees)
– Leave a majority of the your baby wrapped in a towel and expose only the part that you’re washing at a given time.
– Have a new dry towel ready once bath is completed to keep your baby warm.
Once the umbilical cord has fallen off your baby can graduate to a baby tub or the sink.
Remember to enjoy bath time. Bath-time can be very sweet bonding moments.