When Should I Start Bathing My Baby Every Day?

If you find bathing babies a daunting task, you’re not alone! After having our first child, the task of bathing my baby fell to me because my wife was afraid of breaking our baby’s fragile body. It didn’t get better after I had my second baby, for me, it’s still a nerve-wracking experience to bathe a baby who cries at the top of her volume while wriggling all the time.

On top of that, Some parents often have the nagging doubt that they didn’t wash her as often as they should. 

Beside keeping your babies clean, Bathing have many benefits to your babies’ cogitive and emotional development. While bathing, babies could learn to mimic their parent

When should I wash my baby every day? The answer is that you don’t have to wash your baby every day until they are mobile enough to walk around, overexposure to water can do more harm than good to your baby’s skin. Frequent bathing could dry out your baby’s skin and even lead to serious skin problems like eczema.

Sponge bath for newborn baby

Sponge bath for newborn baby

For newborn babies, you can start by giving them sponge baths. Bathing them in bathtubs might potentially increase the chance of inflection in the umbilical cord stump. Umbilical cord stumps usually dry off and fall off after about 1-3 weeks. After that, a traditional warm tub bath is in order.

How does sponge bath work? I usually prepare a water basin filled with lukewarm water, dip a washcloth in the water and gently wash your baby from the head down, avoid touching the umbilical cord stump, although occasionally getting the stump wet is nothing to be concerned about. Wrap your baby in a towel to keep warm and only uncover the part that needs wash if you happen to be in winter. 

Tub bath for infants up to 12 month

Infant bathtime routine

It’s very tempting to fill bathtubs with soapy bubbles to amuse your baby, but you need to consider using soap sparingly. Using excessive Soap could peel away the protective layer of oil and other healthy bacteria, exposing your baby’s skin to potential problems.  

Most of the time, a 10 minutes warm water bath without soap and a thorough coating of baby lotion are all your babies need to stay clean and cozy. Even if you decide to do without a bath for your babies a few days in a row, as long as you change diapers timely and wipe their mouth and neck frequently, you have already done a good job maintaining proper hygiene for your baby.

Most importantly, be prepared for your baby’s strong reaction to a tub bath, they may not like it first. I have been there, my baby kept crying and wriggling when she sensed that she was heading for a bath. Finally, we figured out a trick that worked for us, my wife would hold her and take the bath with her, she immediately calmed down but clung to her mother tightly during the bath. Be extra cautious when you decide to try this trick out because the baby is not placed on a stable surface, be gentle and slow.

After each bath, you need to gently apply some moisturizer to your baby’s skin while giving a gentle massage to relax your baby. For some babies, bathing probably seems very intense and scary and your massage is all they need to recover their faith in their parents. 

When is the most ideal time to bathe a baby?

I believe there is no right answer, and everyone has different opinions on this matter. But I think there are a few points you need to bear in mind when choosing the time to bathe your baby.

For newborn parents who are beyond sleep deprived and struggle to adapt to a new life with your babies, you need to pick a time when you feel relaxed and after you are well-rested. You are not a machine and even machines need to be well-oiled. Bathing a baby needs your undivided attention. Approach this job with caution if you haven’t done this before. Wet surfaces and slippery babies are a risky combination.

Should I bath the babies before or after feeding? some parents might ask. It’s generally agreed that you should bathe before feeding or wait after your baby’s tummy is settled. 

Many parents prefer to bathe their babies before bedtime to give them a proper winding down. While it’s a good idea to help babies sleep, don’t overdo it just for this sake. Remember what I explained above, too much bath is harmful to babies’ sensitive skin.

Risk factors to consider when bathing your baby

You have to be extra cautious to bathe a baby. As a father, I always remind myself to check the water temperature before I put my baby into the water, and remember that most adults prefer temperatures that are a little hot for babies. It helps to have a baby bathtub with a temperature indicator which changes in color when the temperature is too hot or not warm enough.

Never leave a baby unattended. Ask someone in the house to replace you if you have to leave your baby. Stay with you baby if you are the only adult in the home even when all hell breaks loose outside. According to CPSC, From 2004-2006, nearly 100 children younger than 5 years of age drowned each year in bathtubs. I think most of these cases are preventable if their parents keep an eye on their children.

How often should I bathe a toddler?

Toddler bathtime routine

As your children become more mobile, chances are that baths will increase in frequency to keep them clean. My elder daughter seems to make it her daily mission to get messy and sweaty. There is not a moment when she is not on the move. After she finished her meal, I can usually find all the traces of meal ingredients on her face, neck, and clothes. 

Getting her to bathe is no easy task, she no longer willingly submit to my bath arrangement. She would ask me to leave her alone until she finished her painting or her puzzle pieces. I pride myself on being a reasonable father. I usually concede on small details as long as she takes her bath and is on schedule. Avoid power struggle at all costs, you can win, but at an enormous cost to your relationship with your children. Consult this link for more tips on how to deal with a willful toddler.

Take bathing time as an opportunity to bond with your children. Bathing a toddler goes beyond maintaining hygiene, it’s a time to take a genuine interest in your children’s daily life and ask them to share a few funny stories that happened to them or their friends. Getting them to share their little secret or funny stories goes a long way toward establishing a healthy relationship with your children.

But do you have to bathe a toddler daily? While I advocate bathing a toddler more frequently, I also advise using soap sparingly or no soap, simply soak a toddler in warm water and save soap for days when they are dirty or sweaty. Wipe cleaning the messy area or diaper area as often as you can is more important than a bath. If you happen to apply sunscreen lotion to your children when they play outdoors, then a soapy bath is absolutely necessary to wash off the residue lotion.

Some experts claim that bathing before sleep can improve sleep quality, I am not so sure about that. Possibly it works for some children, but its effect is questionable on my elder daughter. Last night I was woken in the middle of the night by her giggling in her dream. No amount of bathing could calm my daughter’s hyperactive brain.

Key takeaways

While it is important to keep your baby clean, it is not recommended to bathe your baby every day. Frequent bathing could cause your baby’s skin to dry off and lead to potential problems.

Consider using soap sparingly when bathing your baby, soap could wash away the protective layer of body oil and healthy bacteria which could protect your baby’s skin against many skin problems.

Caution is strongly advised when bathing your baby, give them your undivided attention, and use common sense.

Wipe Cleaning frequently is more important than bathing. Clean the messy area, their face, neck, and diaper area as often as you can.

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