New parents might be nervous about all that comes along with having a newborn. One of those anxieties might be surrounding baby's first bath or how often to bathe a newborn.
Dr. Stephanie Liu, a family physician and assistant professor at the University of Alberta, tells TODAY.com parents should try to delay baby's first bath for at least 24 hours.
“The rationale is that babies that get baths right away may become cold and this can increase their risk of hypothermia,” Liu says, citing the World Health Organizations 24-hour guidance. “The minor stress of the bath may also increase the risk of blood sugars dripping, known as hypoglycemia.”
Liu says that at birth, babies are covered in vernix.
“This is a waxy white substance that acts as a natural moisturizer and may have anti-bacterial properties,” she says.
For bathing, Liu recommends caregivers gather all the supplies they will need before getting started, followed by checking water temperatures before bathing a baby.
How often should you bathe a baby?
Once the first bath is done, how often should parents bathe a newborn?
Liu says newborns and babies don’t need to be bathed every day.
"For my babies, I bathed them two to three times per week," she says. "Sometimes bathing everyday can dry out an infant’s skin. As a child gets older, they may need baths daily as they become more active."
Liu also recommends that parents take care when drying their newborn or baby after a bath.
"Pat dry their skin and do not rub it dry," she says. "Rubbing can be irritating to their sensitive skin. While there is still a film of water on the skin, moisturize immediately with a fragrance free cream. This seals in the moisture."
This article was originally published on TODAY.com
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