How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby? (2024)

For new parents, a lot of daily life goes by in loving, fretting, and fussing over the baby. Despite being just tiny little humans, babies sure do come with a lot of chaos!

Even seemingly small and normal tasks might thus seem challenging and scary to new parents. Don't worry, you're not alone. You've got this!

Bathingthe baby is one such challenge that a lot of parents and caregivers get confused about. When should a newborn's first bath be? How often should I bathe my baby? Do babies even need baths? Are sponge baths better than regular baths? Should toddlers bathe daily?

The questions might seem overwhelming and endless. But we've got the answers for you!

Here's a little baby bathing guide to help you out.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Newborn Baby?

How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby? (1)

When should a newborn's first bath be?

TheWorld Health Organization (WHO) recommends waiting at least 24 hours after birth before giving your newborn baby a bath. If you can't go that long without bathing your newborn for cultural reasons, then wait for at least 6 hours.

Studies suggest that delaying the bath after birth can help with breastfeeding success. Clearly, immediately after birth, it's more important for your baby to spend time with the mother! Your doctor and nurses will also tell you how to proceed when it comes to keeping your baby clean.

Additionally, doctors believe that keeping the layer ofvernix caseosa — the white, waxy, cheese-like layer of biofilm that covers the skin of newborns — intact for around 24 to 48 hours is beneficial for the baby.

The vernix protects the baby when they are in the womb, possesses antimicrobial properties, helps in regulating body temperature, and keeps the skin moisturized.

Thus, experts suggest delaying the newborn's bath so that the little one can continue to reap the benefits of having the vernix on their skin even after birth. In a few days, the vernix will simply get absorbed into the skin.

If there's any amniotic fluid, blood, or spit on your baby's head and body, use a soft, wet cloth to wipe it away.

Are there any exceptions here? Yes, if your baby is covered in meconium (early stool) or if the mother is positive for HIV or hepatitis, then it is important to give the little one a bath right after birth.

Now, you might be wondering what to do once you bring your newborn home. When should the baby's first bath out of the hospital be?

For the first few weeks, you don't need to bathe your baby every day. In fact, bathing them too often will probably dry out their skin. Additionally, it's better to keep the baby comfortably warm; with baths, there's always the risk of the baby getting cold.

Doctors generally recommend waiting until the umbilical cord stump heals, dries, and falls off to bathe the baby. This usually happens when the baby is between one and four weeks old.

Of course, until then, you can give them sponge baths. Use cooled boiled water and don't use soap.Damp cottonpads or Q-tips can be used to clean the gaps between their fingers, toes, and skin folds.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby Under Six Months Old?

How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby? (2)

After the umbilical cord falls off and the stump heals, you can give your baby a regular and proper bath two to three times a week.

Always use a half-filled baby bathtub or a shallow plastic tub for this purpose to make sure your baby stays safe. Gentle baby soap and mild shampoo can be used, but are not necessary. If you do use these products, make sure to avoid your baby's eyes during application and rinsing.

After giving your baby a bath, use a soft, clean towel to dry them thoroughly but gently.

Regularly inspect and smell your baby's skin to see if it is clean and healthy. Don't forget to check the area behind the baby's ears, neck, knees, and inside skin folds. Clean your baby's face properly as well.

The "topping and tailing" method comes in handy here. When you top and tail your baby, you wash their face and bottom using two bowls of lukewarm water and a soft cloth. This way, you won't have to put them in a bath but can still use water to clean them.

You can also wipe your baby's bottom using a wet cloth every time you change their diaper. It's important to get the diaper area clean in order to avoid infections and allergies!

How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby? (3)

Frequently (and gently) wipe their face with a wet cloth as well, to get rid of those milk, formula, spit, or puke stains. Keep your baby on a flat surface whenever you clean them.

Of course, if your baby becomes extremely dirty (thanks to surprise poops, pees, and pukes) you will have to properly bathe them! It's also a good idea to ask another person to assist you with the baby's bath.

You can even take your little one into the shower or bath with you as long as the water is gentle and warm. Sit down in the shower with your baby, keep their neck supported, and gently bathe them. If you're in a bathtub, you can keep your baby on your chest or propped-up thighs.

Don't keep your baby directly under the shower or tap, but use the water and your hands to clean them. Always make sure the water temperature is safe and ideal for the little one. Also, don't use your soaps and shampoos on them and make sure they don't slip and fall. You can ask someone to hold your baby once you're done with the shower/bath and need to get out.

Plus, give your baby an oil massage after a bath. You can use a natural oil such as coconut oil. This will help your baby's skin stay moisturized and will contribute to the healthy development of their skin, joints, and muscles. You can also apply oil to your baby's scalp after shampooing.

Keep your baby warm after bathtime, especially if you live in a cold area!

How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby Over Six Months Old?

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As your infant grows older, they will explore their surroundings more and possibly get messy in the process.

From playing with the dog to enjoying crawling all over the house, your baby is going to get dirty! Anyway, chances are that you'll want to bathe them three or four times a week at this point, especially if you live in a hotter climate.

Remember, use soap and shampoo only if your kid is dirty. If your baby enjoys bathtime or you wish to cool them down during summer, simply give them a bath with cool water without using baby soap or shampoo.

If cultural reasons and traditions dictate that daily baths are best for your baby, speak to a paediatrician and choose the best course of action for your little one.

It is alright to give your baby daily baths as long as they aren't falling sick and their skin isn't dry.

If you are opting for daily baths, cut down on the use of baby soap; reserve soaps and shampoos for when your baby is truly dirty. Plus, moisturize your baby's skin thoroughly after each bath; hydrated skin is protected skin!

How Often Should You Bathe Your Toddler?

How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby? (5)

Toddlers usually need a bath every day or every other day. If your toddler is especially active, you might want to consider bathing them more often. This is also the time to instil in them the importance of taking baths/showers so that they practice good personal hygiene when they grow older.

Use kid-friendly soaps and shampoos for your toddler. You can also make bath time fun for them by telling them a story or using bath toys. This is also the time to make your kid laugh by using that baby shampoo to make horns out of their wet hair!

However, if your toddler has dry skin, you might want to cut back on how often you bathe them and how much soap you use. Remember that it's important to keep their skin moisturized post-bath.

The Bottom Line

To sum it up, you should bathe your newborn baby two to three times a week. Once they hit six months, you can start bathing them three to four times a week; you can also bathe them daily if your doctor gives you the go-ahead. And once they become a toddler, you should be bathing (or showering) them daily or every other day. It's best to use warm water for a baby bath or shower.

However, it's important to keep an eye on your child's skin and adjust their bathing schedule accordingly. If their skin is dry, you might want to bathe them less often. And if they're especially active, you might want to bathe them more often.

At the end of the day, there is no set rule on how often you should bathe your baby. It really depends on your baby's skin type, how active they are, the weather they encounter every day, and what works best for you and your family.

So, take all of these factors into consideration when deciding how often to give your little one a bath. And if you're ever in doubt, always err on the side of caution and consult with a doctor!

If your baby has skin and hair issues, such as eczema, rashes, or cradle cap, speak to a paediatrician to figure out the best way to tackle baths and skincare. If you want information about the most common skin problems in babies, check out this article.

Enjoy Happy and Healthy Baby Baths With Nature's Baby Organics

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Clearly, babies have sensitive skin that requires gentle care. Thus, it's best to ditch baby products that rely heavily on chemicals and go the organic route instead. If you were looking for a reputed brand that specializes in organic baby care products, you've come to the right place!

Nature's Baby Organics offers a range of plant-based, minimally processed, and USDA Certified organic shampoos, body washes, lotions, oils, and dusting powders that are specifically designed to keep your baby's skin soft, hydrated, and protected.

From the SLS and paraben-free to the aloe, calendula, and chamomile containing, our baby products are meant for all skin types and are especially great for the problem-prone skin of babies.

Nature's Baby Organicsuses the goodness of natural ingredients to make skin and hair care products that are gentle enough for babies and rich enough for grownups!

Head over toour website today and make bath time healthy, healing, and fun for you and your baby.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby? (2024)


How Often Should You Bathe Your Baby? ›

How often does my newborn need a bath? There's no need to give your newborn baby a bath every day. Three times a week might be enough until your baby becomes more mobile. Bathing your baby too much can dry out your baby's skin.

Is it OK to bathe my baby once a week? ›

Experts generally agree that parents can safely bathe their newborns three times a week. That said, there is no hard and fast rule about how often you should bathe your infant. The AAP notes that three baths a week should be plenty for a newborn, but if you want to bathe your baby even less frequently, that's fine too!

When should you start bathing a baby everyday? ›

Once they hit six months, you can start bathing them three to four times a week; you can also bathe them daily if your doctor gives you the go-ahead. And once they become a toddler, you should be bathing (or showering) them daily or every other day. It's best to use warm water for a baby bath or shower.

How often should I bathe my 5 month old baby? ›

In the first year of your baby's life, you really only need to bathe them once or twice per week. Start with sponge baths until their umbilical stump falls off and then begin bathing them gently in the sink or tub. As they grow, babies may require more frequent baths as they get messier or start having fun in the tub.

How long can a baby go without a bath? ›

But for most families, bathing the baby two to three times a week is plenty after the first couple of weeks of life. In fact, we recommend delaying your newborn's first full bath for at least two weeks. Newborns shed about three layers of skin within their first week, which often surprises new parents.

Can you bathe a baby too often? ›

Bathing your baby too much can dry out your baby's skin. If you're quick and thorough with diaper changes and burp cloths, you're already cleaning the parts that need attention — the face, neck and diaper area. Between baths, you may also check the folds of your baby's skin, including thighs, groin, armpits and chin.

When to start using baby soap? ›

Using soaps and shampoos

Only use plain water for newborn babies. You can start using unperfumed baby bath from about 4 to 6 weeks, but be careful to only use a little so you don't damage your baby's skin. Babies with longer hair may need a drop of mild shampoo on wet hair, lathered and rinsed off.

Why no bath until cord falls off? ›

The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that tub bathing performed before the separation of umbilical cord may leave the umbilical cord wet and predispose infection by delaying its separation; thus, it is required to make sponge bathing until the umbilical cord falls off (14).

Should I wash my baby's face everyday? ›

You should wash their face, neck, hands and bottom carefully each day. You can do this on a changing mat. Choose a time when your baby is awake and contented and make sure the room is warm.

Is it better to bathe a baby at night or in the morning? ›

You can bathe your baby anytime in the day that is convenient and practical for you. Just make sure you choose a time when your baby is well rested and not hungry. Traditionally, babies were given a bath before sunrise or early in the morning.

How often should I wash baby hair? ›

Most babies only need their hair washed two or three times per week, but it's best to use your parental instinct. You'll know when your child's hair is dirty and could do with a wash. If it doesn't need shampooing, you don't need too, just gently rinse their head with water and a soft flannel.

Do newborns need lotion? ›

Skin care for your newborn

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.

When to start tummy time? ›

Most babies can start tummy time sessions a day or two after they are born. Babies benefit from having two or three short (3- to 5-minute) tummy time sessions each day. As your baby gets older, you can have longer, more regular sessions throughout the day.

Is it OK not to bath a baby? ›

You do not need to bathe your newborn every day – 2 or 3 times a week should be fine. However, if you and your baby both enjoy it, there's no reason you cannot give them a daily bath.

When to start a bedtime routine for a newborn? ›

You can start a bedtime routine whenever you're ready. It's never too early (or too late!) to start implementing a consistent bedtime routine with your baby or toddler.

What if babies are not bathed? ›

Delaying bathing for at least 8 hours after birth protects the newborn's skin from bacterial invasion, keeps their skin conditioned, keeps their blood sugar stable and often causes the baby to cry, both of which can promote hypoglycemia.

Is it OK to bathe only once a week? ›

Showering daily is not necessarily "unhealthy," but you may not need to. For many people, a full-body shower every other day or even every third day is enough. That said, just because you don't shower daily does not mean you want to skip out on personal care.

How often should I bathe my 18 month old? ›

Bathing your toddler 2-3 times a week is usually enough to keep them clean. But you do need to wash toddlers' faces and genitals every day. And a bath every day is fine if your toddler gets dirty from playing or enjoys bath time, especially as part of a relaxing and calming bedtime routine.

How to give a one week old a bath? ›

You will need a bowl of lukewarm water, a washcloth and a mild, fragrance-free baby soap. Lay your baby down on a comfortable, flat surface. Keep your baby warm by wrapping him or her in a towel and only exposing the part of your baby's body that you are actively washing.

How long to delay a baby's first bath? ›

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends delaying bathing until 24 hours (h) after birth, and when not possible, to be delayed for at least 6 h [7]. However, this recommendation was based on expert consensus. Delaying the first bath may allow time for a neonate's vitals to stabilize after birth.

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