Baby baths are not just about bathing and cleaning the baby. They also serve as playtime for babies and give the parent/s an opportunity to bond with the child.
Handling a soapy, wet baby can be frightening, especially for first-time parents. So, plan ahead, stay calm, trust your instincts, and enjoy the process rather than fearing it. Once you’ve massaged the baby, follow it up quickly with a bath. Dermatologists say that leaving the babies oiled up for long durations can clog their pores and lead to skin infections.
Do Babies Need to Bathe everyday?
“If you’re a first-time parent and aren’t too confident about handling the baby, start with a sponge bath for the first week or two before moving on to full water baths,” says Dr. Chhabra, consultant pediatrician at Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon. Until you are confident, you can limit baths to thrice a week. “You aren’t compromising on the baby’s hygiene”, reassures Dr. Mehta (neonatologist, pediatrician, adolescent health specialist, and senior consultant, Max Balaji Hospital, Delhi), “because until the baby starts moving about, he/she doesn’t really get dirty. Besides, with each diaper change and post-feed wipe the parts that need the most cleaning are already taken care of”.
The baby’s bath water should be comfortably warm and not steaming hot, especially if he/ she has dry skin. “Hot water robs the skin of its natural oils, worsening the dryness,” explains Dr. Mehta.
Bathtub: If you plan to use a tub, buy one with a broad rim for resting your arm.
Baby soap/bathing bar: You can use baby soaps for the first 3 to 4 months to wash your newborn’s hair too. Choose soaps that are pH neutral, herbal, and fragrance-free.
Shampoo: Doctors recommend tear-free shampoos that don’t irritate the baby’s eye.
Towel/washcloth: A hooded towel makes drying of the baby’s head easy.
Opt for fine cotton/Turkish towels that are super absorbent and will stay soft even after several washes.