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Babies don’t get dirty until they start crawling. So, you don’t really need to give your baby a bath every day. Experts say that bathing babies two to three times a week is enough to keep them clean.
However, many mothers and elders in the family prefer to bathe and massage their babies every day. It is important to remember that newborn babies can lose heat very quickly. Hence, your baby’s bath should be quick and thorough, no more than five to ten minutes.
Keeping bath times brief will also help in protecting your baby’s delicate skin from drying out.
Ideally, the temperature should be between 36 and 40 degrees. It shouldn’t be too hot or cold. Make sure the bath water is comfortably warm but not hot before putting your baby in. Whether you use a geyser or an immersion rod to heat baby’s bath water, it is a good idea to check the temperature of the water.
Do a “touch test” by dipping your elbow or the inside of your wrist in the bath water. Put cold water in the bath first, then hot. This will reduce the risk of scalding your baby.
Never put your baby into a bath when the water is still running since the water temperature can change quickly.
Use baby wash or a very mild soap (that doesn’t lather up) to clean your baby for the first 12 months. Baby soaps that are enriched with ingredients such as Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Milk, Honey, Neem, and Aloe Vera are gentler and less likely to irritate the skin. Babies don’t need the deep lathering effects of a regular soap.
Until your baby is about a year old, use products designed for babies or a very mild soap only on the parts of his body that really need it. Once he starts eating solid food, you may have a few more areas to clean.
Choose a time of day when you’re not expecting any interruptions and can devote time to your baby. Get familiar with your baby’s feeding and sleeping pattern. Find a time when she is well rested and fed.
If all her other needs are met, your baby is more likely to enjoy her bath. Your newborn’s bathing time can also depend on the weather. You can bathe her at the warmest time of the day in winter, which is early afternoon. You can also make a bath part of your baby’s bedtime routine.
A warm bath can be very soothing for your baby and will get her ready to sleep at night. During winters, bathing at night also has the advantage of your baby staying warm as you wrap her up for the night.
Choosing the right shampoo for your baby can be tricky. Remember to only use a mild and gentle baby shampoo for your baby’s hair, and not a regular shampoo. Look for a shampoo with a soap-free formulation.
Using a herb-based shampoo will help nourish and condition your baby’s locks. Always remember to read the label on the shampoo bottle for the list of ingredients before buying.