How Often Should I Bath my Baby?

How Often Should I Bath my Baby?

A question many new parents ask: ‘How often should I bath my baby?’ - and the simple answer is, it depends. But don’t worry - we won’t leave you high and dry! Read on to find out how often your baby really needs a bath, and when to give them that all important first bath.

how often should i bath my baby

Does my baby need a bath every day?

Let's face it, while your baby is tiny, they don't really get too 'dirty' throughout the day. For this reason, many new parents decide to do baby bathtime a little less frequently- say, every other day, or 2-3 times a week.

Others though, decide that they want to establish a bathtime routine early on, and they might choose to do baby bathtime every night. There is no rule- you do what suits your family.

Generally speaking, most babies will be ok with a top & tail wash every other day, in between bath time. The only exception to this is, obviously, the odd nappy explosion! And if you've been there, you'll know there's really nothing else for it. It's bath time!

How Often Should I Bath my Baby

When should I do baby’s first bath?

Experts now agree that your baby’s first bath can be delayed by up to a week, or even longer if you choose. The reason why baby’s first bath doesn’t need to be rushed are all outlined in our post on how to bath a newborn- but in a nutshell:

  • Your baby doesn’t need a bath in the first 24 hours after birth.
  • Your baby’s skin is covered in a substance called vernix, which helps to protect and moisturise.
  • Your baby is fine with a top & tail wash before their first bath.
  • Most families choose to wait at least 48 hours after birth before giving baby their first bath.

How Often Should I Bath my Baby

How often do I need to bath my newborn?

Generally speaking, your newborn baby will probably only need a bath once a week for the first few weeks. In between this, a quick top & tail wash will be fine.

Your newborn has very delicate skin , so keeping bath time less frequent at first is a good idea, to keep the skin from drying out. You should avoid soap until your baby is at least 4-6 weeks old , and keep the whole process short and sweet too.

How Often Should I Bath my Baby

How often do I need to bath my 1-3 month old?

As your baby gets a little older, you can start to increase the amount of times you bath them, and you night find they want to stay in a little longer too. Every other day, or 2-3 times a week is often a good schedule for babies around this age.

You can use some mild soap for your baby’s bath if you wish, but make sure you read the label to check for ingredients that could irritate the skin.

How Often Should I Bath my Baby

How often do I need to bath my 3-6 month old?

Babies between the ages of 3-6 months still only really need a bath every other day. They’re still not really getting that ‘dirty’ (give or take the nappy explosions we mentioned earlier!) and their skin is still very susceptible to irritation.

At this age however, babies really start to show an interest in games and playful activities, so if your little one enjoys bath time and it works for your routine, you can increase the frequency to start to establish a good bedtime routine.

How Often Should I Bath my Baby

How often do I need to bath my 9 month old?

By the age of 9 months, lots of babies are sitting up and engaging with activities and toys, so bath time can be a really fun part of the day . Lots of families find that by this age, their baby enjoys bath time daily- although there is nothing wrong with sticking to an ‘every other day’ routine at this point too.

Can I bath my baby every day?

Yes, you can bath your baby every day if you wish to. Some families find that having baby bath time every night helps them to establish a good routine, especially when there are other children to factor in. It’s a well known fact that bathtime can help massively when it comes to building a good bedtime routine , and some parents swear by a good splash in tub, followed by a story and then bed. If it works, it works!

Some parents also find that baby bath time is just such an enjoyable experience, that they (and their baby!) want to do it every night. 

How Often Should I Bath my Baby

How do I wash my baby?

As already mentioned, your baby does’t need soap or bubble bath until they’re at least 4-6 weeks old. Before that, plain warm water is absolutely fine, and then when they’re older, very mild baby soap can be used.

Lots of parents find that a quick and gentle wash before the bath works well. This way, while your baby is in the tub you can just hold them carefully, swishing warm water onto their skin without worrying about how to give them a wash at the same time.

Fill a bowl with warm water and have a bamboo washcloth ready. Start with your baby’s face, cleaning under the chin and gently around the eyes and ears. Then remove your baby’s nappy, keeping the vest on (baby’s get cold really quickly!). Wash the nappy area, again with warm water and a soft cloth.

For older babies who are sitting up in the bath, you can skip the ‘pre-wash’ and do it in the tub instead. Make sure your baby is steady and use one hand to keep them still if needed. Use a bamboo washcloth with a small amount of soap to gently wash your baby’s nappy area and body. Use just plain water for the face and avoid the eyes. Plain water is fine for baby’s hair too, but you can use a mild shampoo if you want to.