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Bathing Your Baby

Lots of new babies and one frequent question that comes up early on is, “how often do I need to bathe my baby?”.  Good question and I don’t think there...

Lots of new babies and one frequent question that comes up early on is, “how often do I need to bathe my baby?”.  Good question and I don’t think there is a “right” answer. 

Babies are frequently born with dry and peeling skin, especially on their hands and feet. This is one way that the doctor can tell that the baby is “term”.  Despite being bathed or not bathed, the infant will peel and flake off this little bit of dry skin and then will be left with that beautiful baby skin all over. 

Some people say not to bathe a baby everyday, but I honestly think it is totally up to the parent. I bathed all of my babies everyday, as I loved the way they smelled after a bath, and I was also convinced that a daily bath before bed would make them sleep better!! (not so sure this helped at all). 

Whatever you decide to do about bathing, you want to make sure you are using a mild soap, and I like Aveeno and Cetaphil products, especially if your baby is prone to dry skin.  I always started by washing the baby’s face, then their body and lastly did their hair and scalp.  Babies lose most of their heat through their heads, so I did this last so that I could bundle them up right after the bath.  

After a bath it is a good idea to apply a moisturizer to the skin and again there are a lot of good products out there.  Many of the baby products just smell good as well (what beats the smell of the pink baby lotion), but some are not as good moisturizers as others. If your baby has really dry skin and needs the hydration use one of the newer products that contain ceramides ( Aveeno, Cetaphil, Cerave).  They may not smell as good, but they are hypoallergenic and are better for dry skin and babies who are prone to eczema. 

Bath time is a fun time for both baby and parent! Before you know it your baby will no longer be getting baths in the infant bathtub, but they will be splashing away with toys in your tub. Enjoy these moments as they will go by quickly! 

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About Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Dr. Sue Hubbard is an award winning pediatrician and medical editor for www.kidsdr.com.  She is a native of Washington, D.C. who travelled south to attend the University of Texas at Austin and never left.Read More

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