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How often should you bathe a baby?

mom bathing her baby

Key points:
1. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends bathing babies around 3 times a week in their first year to prevent dry skin, but cultural practices and parental instincts may influence bathing schedules.
2. Regardless of bathing frequency, ensuring cleanliness in diaper areas, neck folds, and body creases is essential to maintain a clean and comfortable environment.
3. Bathing offers not only hygiene but also a soothing and relaxing experience for babies, making it a great addition to a bedtime routine.
4. Avoid bathing right before or after meals, incorporate bath time into a calming bedtime routine, and provide emotional support to ease any initial resistance babies might have to water.

Bathing your baby every single day won’t be necessary until they’re up and moving around the whole house.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends bathing your baby about 3 times a week during the first year of life, to prevent dry skin. Our little ones have very delicate skin that’s lubricated for their protection. However, around the world, many cultures have the custom of daily bathing. Every parent knows how much their little one sweats or gets dirty, so it’s best to decide bathing schedules according to their instincts and their doctor’s recommendations. In some cases, pediatricians will suggest that you bathe your baby every day, especially if the weather is very humid or hot. 

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Tips for bathing a baby

Now, whether you decide to bathe your baby every day or not, make sure to keep the diaper area clean after each change. Likewise, take extra care of the neck area and all body folds; these areas sweat and dirt and lint accumulate in them. Pass a damp cotton cloth through those folds to ensure that you have a clean and happy baby!

Here are a few notes to make the most out of this ritual!

  • Bath time is not only hygienic, it’s also a pleasant and relaxing time for your baby.
  • The bath is an excellent start to a bedtime routine! Try to make it a quiet time without concerns. It will help your baby eventually recognize that it is almost time to go to sleep.
  • Remember not to bathe your baby just before or after eating because, on one hand, a hungry baby is less likely to cooperate, and, on the other, the movement can cause reflux.
  • Finally, a bath should be a time of relaxation and tenderness. It is very common for babies to cry or show resistance to water the first few times since it is something very new for them. So make sure you offer them support, love, and a sense of security to make the process less upsetting.

If you want to know more about the process of bathing a baby, you can read our previous posts about it and how to make it fun for your little one!

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