How Often Should I Bathe My 1-week-old Baby?
There’s nothing more warm and snuggly than a freshly bathed newborn baby. But if you’re a new parent, you might be unsure of how frequently you actually need to wash your baby.
Unlike older children and adults, newborn babies don’t need a bath every single day. In fact, bathing your little one too frequently may even dry out their skin. Newborn babies typically have more sensitive skin, so they only need a bath two-to-three times each week.
Typically, diaper changes and burp cloth cleanups are enough to keep your little one fresh, but if you feel like your little one needs to be bathed more frequently, you can feel free to give them a sponge bath. Simply dip a washcloth or a bath sponge in warm water mixed with baby soap and gently wipe down their head, face, and diaper area.
How do I Bathe a Newborn?
Because all newborn babies have very little ability to support their heads, bathing them requires a bit of extra love and care. As with any time you handle a newborn, be sure to support their head and neck during bathtime. Until their umbilical cord falls off (usually within the first week or two), most experts recommend a simple sponge bath.
Once their umbilical cord has fallen off, you can begin cleaning them in a baby bathtub or even in your sink. Babies are generally comfortable in water temperatures around 100°F, just make sure that the water is not too hot. You should also check that the room you bathe them in is warm enough so they don’t get cold when bathtime is over.
Some newborns have a lot of hair while others are almost completely bald. If your baby has a full head of hair, use a baby shampoo to carefully lather their head. If they have curly or easily-tangled hair, this is also a great time to run a soft-bristled brush through it.
Bathtime can be exciting and even scary for your child, so be sure to speak to them in a soothing manner or even sing them a little song. If your baby is particularly fussy during bathtime you can also distract them with bath toys! Your positive energy and calm, happy voice will help them feel at ease and enjoy bathtime.
Carefully inspect their body while you bathe them and examine any skin folds for dirt or signs of irritation like diaper rash. Finally, be sure to dry them off the moment they come out of the water using a baby bath towel. If your child has dry or irritated skin this is also the perfect moment to apply baby oil, as their skin will be warm and their pores will be open.
If you’re still feeling a bit of trepidation about bathing your baby, that’s okay! Remember that parenthood is a process and just as your little one is starting to learn about the world, you’re learning the ins and outs of parenthood. You can check out this handy baby bathtime checklist to make sure you’re ready for splashing and bubbles!