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How Often to Bathe Your Baby

Learn how often to bathe your infant from pediatrician Dyan Hes, M.D. in this Howcast video about newborn and baby development.


Parents love to bathe their baby. Babysitters love to bathe a baby. It gives everybody something to do. The problem is that babies don't need to be bathed that often. Parents always fixated about a ritual, and a ritual to go to bed, and we need to bathe our baby to go to sleep. It makes her calm or him calm.

And I'm not a huge fan of bathing a baby everyday. Babies don't get very dirty. They don't do that much, especially newborns. So as long as their butt is wiped and clean, and some diaper cream is on there, and you clean under the neck where the babies dribble, babies don't really need to be bathed more than two to three times a week tops.

Long baths are not good for babies, even if they do enjoy it, because you wash off the natural oil of the baby, of the baby's skin. I find that my patients who bathe their baby everyday, a lot of times those babies come out with a lot of rashes. They get things like eczema, or atopic dermatitis, or dry skin because their parents are spending a lot of money on a lot of fancy baby products. You know some baby products say that they're organic, but do babies really need lavender rubbed on their skin or apricot rubbed on their skin? If you're lucky and your baby's not sensitive then that baby does great with it. But a lot of babies, even if something's organic, it doesn't mean that they need it.

So I find that a lot of the local, common brands that are baby safe and hypoallergenic. You use a baby safe soap. You wash them twice a week with it. I do recommend that you moisturize your baby daily, even if you're not bathing with a hypoallergenic baby soap. Because it keeps their skin nice and moist, and it prevents rashes from coming. You can discuss with your doctor what brands that your doctor recommends. But just remember that the baby industry is a billion dollar industry. And people try to sell you a lot of things. And that your babies don't really need to take a bath every single day.

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