How often should I bathe my newborn?

Q: Does my newborn need a bath every day?

A: Drop the soap: Newborns don't need a bath every day. In fact, a lot of babies get rashes and dry skin from too many baths. Until your baby's umbilical cord stump falls off, wash her with a soft sponge or cloth instead of putting her in the tub. When the cord has healed, she only needs a bath once or twice a week. After a few months, daily baths are fine (though not necessary), but use a moisturizer as soon as she's out of the tub. --Sharlene K. Johnson

Originally published in Parents magazine, May 2007. Updated 2009