How often should you bathe your baby? It is a question that a lot of new parents ask themselves and others when they have their first child. There are two separate questions in this. Firstly, how often is often enough, and second, how often is too often? While there is some belief that you can never be too clean, the fact is that your skin – and your baby’s – provides natural protection through bodily oils, which prevent infection and irritation being caused by clothing and everyday dirt. Bathing overly often will strip those oils and lead to increased irritation, and is therefore a bad thing.
Some people think that a daily bath is necessary, but for a child this is not really the case. In fact, cleansers and water can damage your baby’s skin if used too frequently. If you must bathe the baby daily, then you must use a gentle cleanser like a mild soap designed specifically for babies to avoid the aforementioned stripping of oils. The parts of a baby that will get dirty quickest are its face, from feeding and general baby activity, and the diaper area. Regularly washing your baby’s face, cleaning up at the time of a diaper change, and cleaning up in case of any other obvious soiling will be more than enough.
There is no stipulated time frame for how often you absolutely must bath your baby. Every other day is really frequently enough as long as you ensure that the baby is generally clean. Babies do seem to enjoy a bath, and find warm water soothing. Even if you like a good hot bath, remember that your baby’s skin is more sensitive, and just above tepid will more than suffice.