Child Health

Bathing a Baby

​​Overview:

Bathing a newborn baby is an enjoyable experience for parents. It's a great time for stronger bonding with the newborn. Sometimes, however, parents worry about how and when to bathe a baby. WHO recommends delaying a baby's first bath until 24 hours after birth—or waiting at least 6 hours. The reason is:
  • Bathing a baby immediately after its birth causes a drop in body temperature and blood sugar;
  • Immediately after birth, the baby's body is coated with a white, waxy substance that acts as a natural moisturizer and may have antibacterial properties;
  • Before the umbilical cord falls off, the baby should not be submerged in water to keep this area dry.

How often do babies need a bath?
Newborns do not need a bath every day since they rarely sweat or get dirty enough to need a full bath that often. Three baths per week during baby's first year may be enough. Bathing more frequently can dry out your baby's skin.

Tips for safely bathing a baby:
  • Use a firm plastic basin for the baby, with a sloping surface and anti-slips on the inside.
  • The basin must be equipped with anti-slip pads to keep it stable and prevent movement.
  • Avoid bringing floating toys, buoys, and chairs into the basin because your baby may drown if he moves away from them.
  • Keep a towel and other bath essentials at hand so you stay close and keep an eye on your baby at all times.
  • If you forget something, need to answer the phone, or open the door while bathing the baby, take the baby with you.
  • Do not leave your baby alone in the bathtub even for a second. 
  • The water temperature should be controlled and tested before you place your baby in it. Make sure the water is warm.
  • Keep your baby warm by placing him in the water immediately after you take his clothes off.
  • Baby's body and face should be kept well above water level for safety. This means that you will need to pour warm water over his body frequently to keep him warm.
  • Use soap sparingly as it can dry out baby's skin.
  • Baby's hair should be washed two or three times a week with a mild shampoo or body wash.
  • A baby’s bath should be a relaxing and calming experience, so try to enjoy it with him.
  • Avoid having toys in the bathtub, especially if you are bathing a newborn. Toys can distract you from the baby.
  • Once you are done bathing your baby, immediately wrap a towel around his head and body to keep him warm.
  • Use a fragrance-free moisturizer immediately after a baby’s bath to prevent dry skin or eczema.

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Last Update : 30 September 2020 12:50 AM
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