How often should you bathe a baby

I have written How often should you bathe a baby to answer some of the following questions that I get asked by my new moms and dads.

1) How often should you bathe a baby who is newborn
2) How often should you bathe a baby with Eczema
3) How often should you bathe a baby in the summer
4) How often should you bathe a baby who is Ill
5) How often should you bathe a baby safety tips
6) How often should you bathe a baby the complete guide to bathing baby.

How often should you bathe a baby page also gives you a step by step guide on how to bath your baby and all the necessary safety tips you need to remember before you give baby their first bath as well as How often should you bathe a baby.

How often should you bathe a baby

Most new parents get nervous about bathing baby on their own. A newborn is tricky to handle when dry but when they are wet, slippery and moving about you may feel all fingers and thumbs. With practice you will soon feel confident when bathing baby. Bath time should be a fun and happy time. It can help to relax an upset baby or a baby with tummy issues. In an older infant bathing baby is usually done at the end of the day and signals that it’s almost bedtime.

Many newborns do need to learn the skill of enjoying a bath. How often should you bathe a baby does depend on how much they enjoy their bath time. If your baby is not that happy in water, keeping then calm, warm and making their first few baths quite quick will help them learn that bath time is fun.

Many years ago you would not have left hospital with your baby until you had bathed baby under the watchful eye of your midwife. Now most babies come home from hospital after only a day or two and this means that you have yet to give baby their first bath.

How often should you bathe a baby who is newborn

Many health professionals suggest that baby only needs a sponge bath every few days until the umbilical cord has dried and fallen off. This usually happens at about 10 days old but with some umbilical cords they can stay for up to 2 weeks. Only giving baby a sponge bath is advised by some midwifes so that the risk of getting an infected umbilical cord is lowered.

If I am caring for a baby who still has his umbilical cord attached, I take the lead of the midwife who is caring for the mother and baby I am looking after. Some do suggest that bathing baby will help a stubborn umbilical cord to drop off more quickly.

I work with many families where it is a must that baby has a bath everyday from day one.

Usually I bath baby every third day to begin with and once they reach 4 weeks old,  having a nice warm bath to signal that it is almost bedtime at the end of each day is relaxing to do and starts the bedtime routine.

How often should you bathe baby with Eczema

A baby with Eczema may need more frequent bathing but this does depend on how severe your child’s eczema is and what type they have. It is always best to be advised by your Doctor or Health care worker on How often should you bathe a baby with Eczema.

A 20 minute bath in the morning and evening using bath emollients and plenty of aqueous cream will often keep the skin moist enough to help control any ‘flare ups’.

I have written 2 pages all about eczema and how to help lessen ‘flare ups’. Please click the link here to see what else you can do for your little one.

How often should you bathe a baby in the summer

How often should you bathe a baby in the summer depend on the age of the child and how hot it is. A summers day in the U.K can be quite warm but is never usually as hot as when you’re on holiday. I only tend to give one bath a day in the summer in this country.

I recently took a 6 month old to the south of France and we had temperatures in excess of 42 degree’s almost every day. He only needed one bath a day as we had several dips in the pool to keep us cool and we stayed out of the midday sun when the temperature soared! If he had been a newborn he may have needed a quick cooling dip in the morning, as he would have been too little to have a splash in the pool, just to keep him feeling fresh.

Newborn babies are the same as adults. Some adults ( like myself ) thrive when it is warm and love to be in sunny weather. Some cannot cope with the heat at all, and get very sweaty and cranky when they feel too warm so how often should you bathe a baby is best to be guided by your baby.

How often should you bathe a baby who is Ill

If your baby has a fever then more than one bath a day is a good way too help keep their temperature low. There is no set time to do this. It’s just as and when needed. If your little one is feeling miserable with their illness and does not want to sit in a cool bath then don’t force them to do so as getting upset will only make them feel worse.

If your baby has chicken pox then cool bicarbonate of soda baths are great at helping to lessen the itchy feeling on the skin. They help by taking the heat out of the spots and helps then to heal quickly. If they are happy to stay in the water for a good while then let them and when they come out pat the skin dry rather than rub.

How often should you bathe a baby  Safety tips.

Before bathing baby for the first time there are several important how often should you bathe a baby safety tips that you need to remember.

  1. Never leave baby alone. You must never leave your baby in the tub on their own, even if they are sitting in a baby bath seat. A infant can drown in less than an inch of water so always make sure you have everything to hand and baby stays in your eye line before you begin bathing baby.
  2. Run the cold water first. I always turn the cold tap on first then fill with hot water once there is an inch of cold water in the tub. Doing this means that once your baby is a toddler, if they did ever climb into the bath while the taps where running then the water in the bath should only be warm not hot.
  3. Make sure that you have turned off both taps before you start bathing baby. This will avoid any hot spots. Give the bath water a good swish around with your hand first so you get an even water temperature.
  4. Water temperature. Make sure the water is the correct temperature. There are some great baby water thermometers available today. If you don’t have one, then a good guide is to dip your elbow into the water. It should feel pleasantly warm but never hot. Babies have there bath water much cooler than adults. The ideal temperature is 36 to 37 degrees.
  5. Room temperature. You will need to make the bathroom very warm so when baby is in the water they don’t get cold. A pleasant 70 to 75 degrees F is ideal to allow baby to enjoy baby bath time and not get cold.
  6. Towel rails. These are great at warming baby’s towel so it’s warm when you wrap baby up but they can get very hot and I have seen the damage a towel rail can do to a little hand that grabs it! The best idea is to turn it down so it is warm but not hot and make sure you can hold it firmly for many seconds.
  7. Non slip bath mat. For bathing an older baby, its best to have a non slip bath mat in the bottom of the bath.
  8. Bath seats and rings. You can use a bath seat which allows you to be hands free while cleaning all those creases but never think that baby can be left in one even for just a few seconds. Bath rings work well for older infants.

So now we have a nicely warmed room and all dangers have been dealt with we can give baby a bath.

How often should you bathe a baby checklist

Get organised and take all the things you will need into the bathroom before you get baby.

You will need:

  • Towel laid on the floor
  • 2 Baby sponges
  • Some cotton wool pads
  • Baby water thermometer
  • Clean nappy
  • Massage oil
  • Baby body and hair wash
  • Smelly baby!

I often find if baby is beginning to get upset, that taking baby into the bathroom and lying them on their towel while you run the bath water often helps to relax then and is a good time for them to have a good kick about. If you have a nice warmed room it’s also nice for them to get some nappy and clothes free time.

How often should you bathe a baby the complete guide to bathing baby

  1. Take baby into bathroom and let them have a good kick without a diaper on while you run the water. Only do this if your baby is happy to do so.
  2. Use your water thermometer to make sure the water is the correct temperature. 36 to 37 degrees centigrade is perfect for bathing baby.
  3. You will need about 4 to 6 inches of water in the bath.
  4. If you are using a bath seat, they mostly come with a maximum water level gauge on the side. Fill to the level that is recommended.
  5. Give the water a good swish about and re check the water temperature. Between 36 and 37 degrees is the perfect temperature for bathing baby.
  6. Once the bath is run gently lower baby into the water or their baby bath seat. It’s always nice to let them get use to the water and enjoy their bath before you start to clean all those creases.
  7. I use two sponges to clean baby. One for their bottom area and one for the rest of their body and face.
  8. Make sure that you clean under their arms, give the tummy a wipe to remove any dead skin and clean all their creases in the nappy area.
  9. To clean baby’s face, wipe from the inside of the eye out to the edges with their face sponge. Gently give the rest of the face a wipe and clean behind the ears as milk often dribbles behind them when they are feeding.
  10. Lastly sponge down their head. You do not need to use soap everyday, and when you do just a small amount is all that’s needed.
  11. Once baby is clean and you have rinsed off any excess soap carefully lift them out of their baby bath seat and wrap in a nice warm towel. Cover and dry the head to stop them from getting too cold. Then pat dry the rest of the body.
  12. Before you pop a little baby oil over them to help the skin stay soft make sure that the head and all creases are well dried. This will avoid baby getting any sore patches.
  13. Pop a clean nappy, vest and all in one back on baby and then it’s probably time for the next feed.

How often should you bathe a baby

Final thoughts…

Bathing baby should be a fun happy time for baby and you. Some babies have to learn that bath time is fun.

If your baby gets upset at  bath time then make them quite quick until your little one has got a little older and has learnt that bath time is fun.

Try not to get stressed by your infants cries and your baby will learn from you that bath time is a time to look forward too at the end of each day.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading all about How often should you bathe a baby and that you have many years of happy splashing to come.

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