(Closed) Not washing baby after birth.

posted 7 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
380 posts
Helper bee

I’m not a Mother, but I’m pretty sure that you’re not supposed to bathe a baby (as in, an actual bath) until the umbilical cord falls off. Youtube it! There’s lots of educational videos ๐Ÿ™‚

ETA: That takes about 7 days (from memory)

Post # 5
466 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@nicannette:  At our prenatal class, the instructor said the baby would get a first bath at the hospital where the nurse will show you how to bathe the baby safely/properly, but that when you take your baby home and do it, then yes, just rub the vernix into the skin because it likely won’t wash off nor do you want to try to scrub it off. But babies aren’t exactly dirty (unless they have an explosive diaper or throw up all over themselves), so a daily bath isn’t necessary, so I probably wouldn’t worry about it too much.

Post # 6
817 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I would think if you just waited a couple days that would be fine. I believe you can just massage it into the skin and then wait to bathe a couple days.My sister didn’t have them clean the baby up too well and was still covered in the vernix, but I’m not sure how long she went before bathing. I’m not sure what we are going to do ourselves yet with this babe.

Post # 7
5654 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2011

We skipped baby’s first bath! There’s actually a number of benefits to skipping it & hopefully here in the near future hospitals will change their policies to line up with more evidence based practices. (Not washing with soap like hospitals routinely do) If baby gets the routine bath in the hospital then the vernix IS removed/washed away, along with its benefits.

Benefits of not bathing baby:

    1. Vernix is a skin protectant & when rubbed in rather than wiped off it hydrates baby’s skin & you likely won’t get that flakey baby that most get at about 7-10 days old. 
    2. Vernix & the other secretions on baby actually help protect against pathogens & certain kinds of bacteria & fungi!!
    3. It helps promote breastfeeding as baby will still smell like you so naturally to a baby you smell like them! It helps the continuity to the process of baby being snug in the womb to being snug at the breast.


    None. Once baby is wiped down you’ll be none the wiser. Most of the ^ benefits are things that aren’t obviously seen. ie. protection against fungi & bacteria.


    After the initial “cleaning” newborns really don’t get all that dirty & like a pp said, until the umbilical cord falls off you should submerge them anyways, just give them sponge baths. We do bathtime every night starting when P was a few weeks old (her umbilical stump took forever to fall off) as part of her evening/bedtime routine, but we don’t bathe her with soap anyways… Just a drop or two of lavender oil in the bath & a good wipe down/scrub. Soaps tend to dry her out & irritate her (she’s got a sensitive tush) so we stopped using them. Definitely continuing reading up & researching it! The more this stuff is done the sooner it’ll become commonly accepted practice. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Post # 9
    1474 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    We plan on doing this too! Our childbirth instructor talked about a lot of the benefits @amnystik mentioned. She also added that its an easier transition for baby’s skin from inside the womb (moist and protected) to outside the womb (dry, heat/air conditioning, clothing, etc).

    Post # 10
    820 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    @runsyellowlites:  Awesome info ๐Ÿ™‚ I know this is definitley not the practice here.

    Post # 11
    6889 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    We had a 4 week stay in the NICU this is what we did per the nurses. Little boy got a “sponge bath” basically a light rub down of water and wasn’t really a bath. His first real bath wasn’t until we got home from the hospital.

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