To Bathe or Not to Bathe a Newborn… Everyday!

Should you bathe your new born daily? My Pediatrician says, “No not everyday. Bathe your newborn every other day or every three, use Butt Paste regularly to fight off diaper rash.” He says the reasoning is that daily baths can be too drying on their skin. Most literature on newborn routines say, “bathe daily as part of your night time routine.” My sister says, “Heck yes!  Bathe that boy everyday!”  My girlfriend, a new mom says, “Heck No!  I don’t bathe my newborn everyday, her skin cannot handle it.” Over the last 7 weeks my opinion on this has changed multiple times. This is another classic example of trust your instinct, your baby's cues and possibly your nose too!

I am all for daily baths, but I am not for super dry flaky skin that can come as a result.  I also have to admit that right now I am still so tired from our already packed routine of feedings, diaper changes, play time and nap time, that missing a bath is really not going to upset either one of us.  No bath, no Harm no Foul.

As usual I think it all boils down to the baby and the mother's preference.  At first I followed the pediatricians recommendation and wouldn’t consider a daily bath.  I would wipe Ollie down at night around his neck and face.  I also use cotton balls to wipe off his eyes, one for each eye, everyday bath or not.

Now that Spring is here and the temperatures have spiked over night, daily baths have become the norm. Between the spit ups, the sweaty neck, the frequent dirty diapers and fear of a gnarly Cradle Cap. Of course I am using baby wash and shampoo and slathering on a great baby lotion after bath to stave off dry itchy skin.

Just like with everything else right now for me, a clueles first time mom, I am taking it one day at a time in regard to baths too.  If Ollie is funky, I bathe him.  I expect that the summer months will cause a regularly funky baby. The other great bonus of the daily bath is that Ollie seems to love them. It’s a Win-Win!  Ollie is happy and so is his booty!   


Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


Anonymous said...

I bath Cooper every day, it's the only thing that tells him "it's sleep time now.. not nap time or rest time, it's close those eyes for a minimum of 4 hours time". I actually avoid using shampoo or bath wash etc unless I have to and his skin is fine. I even bathed him twice a day over the past weekend because we were in tropical QLD and the humidity was awful. -Kate

Anonymous said...

My little girl has excema and simply cannot handle a bath every day, or even every other day. While I check the folds of her neck, underarms, and diaper area daily, she usually gets one bath a week and that is perfect for her. Anything more, and I have to start using a steroidal cream to combat the dry skin. As long as she hasn't had a blowout or something else that warrants a dunk in some suds, it just doesn't seem worth it. I am very lucky, though... she has never been one to spit-up and has had few messy moments since she was born. Once summer comes, I'm sure the baths will increase... I hope she can handle it by then!!
Bottom line, each baby is different and each momma knows best. :-)

foodpixie said...

Baby girl got her first real bath last night at nearly 6 weeks old. This was because her belly button hadn't dried up, the pediatrician put some silver nitrate on it and in a few days it was dry. But, before that we only did a sponge bath once a week. Her skin is extremely dry and I had read that for most babies all that really gets dirty are their hands, butt, head and neck, which we clean regularly. I too fear the cradle cap, but I read it's most likely caused by a fungus or clogged sebaceous glands.

She liked the bath.

Kitten said...

We do once a day too to get our babies used to the routine of bedtime. It helps them relax and get soothed. Honestly, with our son, we started him with a bath AND a book at about one month or so, even though neither made real sense to him, I'm sure.

Kiwi Mum said...

We do every second day at the moment, but we are just coming out of summer (yep it's me, the New Zealand mum again lol) and I bathed bub every day - he was too stinky otherwise! I was just careful to make sure his skin was dried off well (easy in summer heat) before dressing him. Now with our less frequent baths I just make sure he gets a face and neck wipe to stop milk scud building up.
I think we'll continue with our alternate day bathing throughout winter, unless of course he gets himself all funked up again! :-)

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

Kitten I LOVE the book idea! I'll be starting that tomorrow! Xx

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

I expect to do the same as well. Did you do cool baths due to the heat or still warm? Did you ever have issues with the heat and your sweet newborn?

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

Thank you all so much for your comments on this one! Our babies all have such different needs proving there is no right answer here. You all are fabulous and the reason I write. We have our own little community and I love it!!!