When can a newborn be bathed?

Some parents may hear the suggestion that newborns should not be bathed immediately, but others hear the opposite. Actually what to do, yes? Come on, see the following explanation.

So far, it has become a culture that newborns need to be bathed immediately. Even so, the World Health Organization (WHO) and several recent studies suggest that babies should be bathed 12-24 hours after birth.

Benefits of Delaying Newborn Bathing

Delaying a newborn's first bath can provide a variety of benefits, including:

Prevent hypothermia

Newborns are very sensitive to changes in temperature. The normal temperature might feel cold for her tiny body. If the baby is immediately bathed, the change in temperature will trigger the baby's body to work harder to stay warm. But if the body is not able to, the baby can be cold to experience hypothermia.

Not only that, the increased workload of the baby's body when adapting to changes in temperature can also make his blood sugar levels drop quickly so that the baby is more at risk for hypoglycemia.

Protects the natural layers of the skin

Newborns have a white, waxy coating all over their bodies called vernix. Not just any layer, vernix functions to maintain skin moisture while maintaining heat on the baby's body. Not only that, this layer can also be an additional protection for the baby.

One way to prevent this layer from eroding too much is to delay the baby's first bath. Newborns should simply be wiped with a wet towel.

Supports breastfeeding

Delaying the baby's first bath after birth can also support the process of early breastfeeding initiation (IMD). After birth, the baby should be placed directly on the mother's chest. In addition to helping IMD, this can also make the baby feel safe and comfortable.

Meanwhile, if the baby is immediately separated from his mother to be bathed, he will feel stressed. This condition will also interfere with the initial bond between the baby and the mother, which is important in the breastfeeding process.

Things to Pay Attention to when Bathing a Newborn

When you bring your little one home and want to bathe him, here are some things to consider:

No need too often

Mothers can bathe the little one at any time as needed. The reason is, in some babies, bathing can be one way to be more relaxed and fall asleep quickly.

Even so, some experts recommend that newborns only be bathed 1-3 times per week with a bath duration of 5-10 minutes. This is useful for keeping the baby's skin moist.

Don't soak right away

Mothers are advised to clean the baby gradually, starting by wiping the skin with a wet towel and special soap for babies. As much as possible avoid immediately soaking the newborn.

It is not recommended to immerse the baby in water before the umbilical cord is removed. Meanwhile, for male babies who have been circumcised, bathing should be done only after the circumcision wound has healed.

Pay attention to the water temperature

Babies should be bathed in a warm room and with lukewarm water (not too hot or cold). The recommended water temperature is around 32°-45°C. Avoid temperatures that are too hot because it can cause the skin to burn.

Some of the benefits of delaying bathing a newborn can be a consideration when the baby should be bathed. Even so, as long as your little one looks fine when he is immediately bathed, you don't need to worry too much. It is no less important to do for newborns is to follow the schedule of visits to the doctor and the recommended immunization schedule.