The Perfect Time to Give Newborns Their First Bath
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When should newborns have their first bath will always feature in your list of questions as a new mom. Newborns and their bath are worth all the considerations.
After a long nine months, it is a rewarding feeling to hold your baby in your arms finally. As you hold your baby, you are probably excited about all the things you would want to do with your baby. Amid such beautiful thoughts, a streak of anxiety can creep in. How do you take care of this little person in your arm? When should newborns have their first bath? Taking care of a newborn can be overwhelming, especially for a first-time, mom. For a newborn, there are so many firsts:
- The first time to take them outside
- The first time to introduce solid foods
- The first time to kiss them
- The first time to bath them
Some of these ‘firsts’ like bathing a baby are scary. There is the constant tension of what if you drop them, what if this or that happens. You probably want to remain in the hospital as long as possible so that they would bathe the baby several times for you not to do it yourself.
However, bathing your baby should not be nerve-wracking. It is a good time for you to bond, calm her, and even learn how to play.
At what time should newborns have their first bath?
According to the World Health Organization, a baby’s bath should come at least 24 hours after he or she is born. Some people will suggest that you wait for 48 hours or even more. The consensus is that it is better to wait for long before you give your baby her first bath.
When you bring your newborn home, there is no essential need to bathe them every day. The American Association of Pediatricians recommends that you only do sponge baths until your baby’s umbilical cord heals completely. After healing, you can stick to once or twice a week baths. However, keep her face, hands, and genitals clean daily with simple regular wipe downs.
When she is all grown, you can increase the frequency of her weekly baths to make it a routine.
Why you Should Wait a Little Longer Before the First Bath
For those who are wondering when should newborns have their first bath, hear this. There are several reasons why you should wait a bit longer before giving your baby his/her first bath. One of the reasons is that waiting longer allows more time for you and your baby to bond. You can achieve this, most, especially with the skin-to-skin contact.
The other reason is that babies benefit more from spending time with their moms rather than being whisked away for a bath. Some research studies show that it increases the likelihood of breastfeeding initiation.
In addition, babies usually come out with a creamy white coating, which helps to regulate warmth and moisture after birth. Besides, this covering that the baby develops in the womb has antioxidant and antibiotic properties. So holding off on the first bath is right for you baby.
Last, but not the least, babies have less control over keeping their bodies warm. So to keep them warm for longer, you should hold off the first bath for a while.
Don’t worry. Your baby is not going to stink as long as you do regular wipe downs. Time will come when the newborn smell will be long gone.