Unless you live in a particularly dusty area, giving a newborn baby a bath daily is generally not required. When the baby is a bit older and has started crawling, eating solid food, or rolling in the dirt, you will need to bathe him more often. But even so, do keep an eye on how the baby’s skin is reacting to the water and/or the cleansing agent being used – if the skin is too dry, your baby is being bathed too often or the soap is too strong for your baby’s skin. On the other hand, if baby’s skin is covered in a layer of grime (happens when the weather is warm and humid), bathe him more often to help him cool off; just keep the bath time to 5-10 minutes, else his skin will dry-up.
However, do understand that no matter how clean you think your environment is, your baby can still pick up germs from contaminated toys, carpets, pets, or from their own bodily discharges. And what is the first thing babies do when they pick up something? They put it in their mouths! So, if you choose to bathe your baby less frequently, it might be a good idea to regularly and frequently wash his hands and face. Also, make it a point to clean the baby’s genitals and bottom with water and a baby cleanser after every diaper change. Other areas that need attention are the baby’s neck, thighs, armpits, behind ears, and between fingers and toes.
That said, no matter how frequently you bathe your baby, you must realize that your baby’s skin is way more sensitive to the alkalinity of the soap that is your skin, hence using your soap for your baby even infrequently will result in your baby’s skin losing natural oils and becoming more vulnerable to dryness and rashes.Always use baby cleansers, baby soaps, and liquid bath emollients with a neutral or slightly acidic pH for your babies.
Most new parents also ask as to what is the best way to bathe a baby. Well, to be honest, there is no one right answer, and different Doctors might recommend different methods. There was nothing wrong with the way in which most of us were bathed by our parents, but if you must have an alternative, below are the three most common ones:
This is usually recommended for babies who still haven’t dropped the umbilical stump. Not only is it easier for the baby, mothers also find this method easy to manage, especially with a baby who is still learning to control the fine motor skills.
Bathing in Bathtubs
This can be fun for both babies as well as the mother. Some babies enjoy being in the water, and a suitably sized bathtub can allow them to stay warm in the water without risking any accidents – babies have a tendency to get in trouble in seemingly ridiculous ways.
Bathing with Bath Seats
If you don’t want to let your baby sit in the bath water (for hygiene issues or otherwise), bath seats or netted bathers provide the best alternative. These are typically fitted in the shower area, a tub or a sink, and allow you to hold the baby while the water flows over him and drain away.
Now, it’s entirely up to you how frequently and how you want to bathe your baby – as we said earlier, there is no one right answer – but whatever frequency and method you choose, you must always be careful when giving your baby a bath. Always hold your baby (with at least one hand) as the slippery floor might cause him to fall and injure himself, and never leave him alone in the bath, even if he is in a bath seat.