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Reasons Why You Should Delay Baby’s First Bath

by | February 12, 2019

Wondering if it is alright to delay baby’s first bath? It is! Read on to know how it can actually be beneficial for the baby and you…

When my third child was born, I got to look at her face for about five seconds before the nurses whisked her away to get assessed and then bathed. It was very unsettling for me. She was gone for over an hour. I really felt like valuable bonding time was stolen from us. It was my first c-section, and although I knew that I wouldn’t get to hold or nurse her straight away, I wasn’t expecting her to be gone for that length of time.

Reasons Why You Should Delay Baby's First Bath
By MAGNIFIER/shutterstock
Reasons Why You Should Delay Baby’s First Bath

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I vividly remember screaming at my baby’s father to ‘find my daughter and bring her to me.’ It was really scary. I actually watched a video of her being bathed that my mother in law took before I got to nurse or even hold my baby. When they finally brought her to me, after a major temper-tantrum was thrown, I got to nurse her for about five minutes, and then it was time to move me out of the recovery room, so she was whisked away from me, again.

There are many reasons that suggest to delay baby’s first bath, as it is beneficial for the mother and the baby.

Reasons Why You Should Delay Baby’s First Bath

Improves Mother-Baby Bonding

Those first hours after a baby is born are so precious. That first bonding experience of skin to skin provides a sense of security for baby.


Around the twentieth week of pregnancy, your baby starts to develop vernix, a white, waxy coating on her skin. Vernix acts as a waterproof barrier and protects your baby’s skin in the womb. It’s also a natural moisturizer that protects your baby’s skin from drying out after birth. Vernix also has antibacterial properties that protect your baby against infection.

Improved Breastfeeding

Babies who have uninterrupted skin to skin time with mom are more likely to have successful breastfeeding. Being separated from mom for a bath can interfere with this first breastfeeding process.

Helps Regulate Temperature

Newborns are unable to regulate their temperature very well. Giving a newborn a bath can make baby cold and use up more energy and oxygen to stabilize her temperature.

Make sure your healthcare providers are fully aware of your preferences and support you to delay baby’s first bath.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]



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