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How often should I bathe my newborn?

Does my newborn need a bath every day?
Submitted by Parents Team

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

Answered by Parents Team

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I am a nurse in a NICU and this is what we have learned: Bathing too frequently can disrupt the natureal flora of the skin and make it dryer. Studies have shown that it is not necessary to bathe an infant more than every 4 days with cleaning "top and bottom" in between with water or a pH balanced cleanser. There is no evidence that supports waiting until the cord falls off to tub bathe an infant. That is no longer the standard. If your baby's skin is dry and in need lotions, it is probably because of bathing being too frequent or cleansers being too harsh. While some babies enjoy their baths, some do not. If they are crying and distressed during their bath, then the fact that they sleep well after a bath does not mean it makes them sleep better. It is more likely because they are physically worn out. Babies prefer swaddle bathing. You should look it up!
Submitted by jillccbellsout
My daughter is 6weeks I bathe her everyday.I enjoy the time with her and babies spit up a lot so I feel she needs it to make her feel better..
Submitted by stephyrodgers5
well bathing is a new born baby is really a difficult job..yet not impossible...i am a new mommy of a 1 mnth old baby and this wer i came to know about how to bathe ur newborn
Submitted by das_gayatri
well bathing is a new born baby is really a difficult job..yet not impossible...i am a new mommy of a 1 mnth old baby and this wer i came to know about how to bathe ur newborn
Submitted by das_gayatri
i also have a 9months old son,he is in creche,so i bath him morning and evening,is that too much for a bath
Submitted by ije131
when my newborn came home i only bathed her with johnsons fresh bath wipes but now that shes 9 months i give her baths maybe 3 times a week , , , is that to less or to much ?
Submitted by malikalyons68
I bathe my 6 week old daughter 3 times a week. That is more than enough. I have heard that bathing a baby everyday is not necessary, unless they have had an accident or unless they just need it.
Submitted by gabriel07142006
no need of bathing everyday.3 times a week is enough.josianne mum of shelby 7 weeks old
Submitted by ja.ayling
I was told that bathing everyday can interfere with babies natural oils on their skin. I bath my newborn every 2-3 days unless needed. My baby also has bad baby acne on her face so I try to avoid washing her face too often as well.
Submitted by banarama1
Bathing my baby every day calms her down specially when she is fussy and crying.Letting the water run her boday is much better, but as soon as she is out of the tub she need moisturizer to maintain her soft skin.-Joanna Duarte
Submitted by joannaduarte1
No bathing is needed before the stump falls off. Just sponge bathes are recommended. Then after the belly button has healed, once or twice a week is plenty of bathing. Your little one's diaper area is getting washed every time you change them already!
Submitted by lsteineman
I bathed my first born daily, but with my second, especially born during winter, he had very dry skin from being bathed daily. I stick to bathing every other day unless he spits up a lot during the day. Also make sure you put lotion on them!
Submitted by colormeluv