Amazing Protection Your Baby Is Born With That Most Wash Away

When your precious little newborn does something for the first time, no matter what it is, you want to be there marking down the memorable moment.

Giving your infant their first bath is no exception.

When you go through the strenuous process of bringing a new life into this world, the last thing you want is for your baby to be whisked away every time you get a snuggle in.

The birthing process is not only tiring for you, but for baby. Then when they come out into this scary, cold world, all they want is to be held close and know they are safe.

Traditional approach is for the nurses to give your newborn a bath within a few hours of birth, to check it off the to-do list.

If you don’t do the bath the first day, or night, you deliver, then when should you? And why should you wait?

It would be best if you wait 4-6 weeks before giving your baby their official first bath, and after baths begin, one a month is sufficient to keeps their new skin cleansed.

This may seem like a long time, but little baby bodies aren’t prone to getting dirty and you want that natural coating they are born with to protect them as long as possible; plus, it’s what gives them that wonderful new baby smell.

Unnecessary baths can actually be harmful for your little one’s delicate skin.

Many babies experience eczema that requires extra creams and lotions, some even prescription strength. But most of this can be avoided by a delayed and infrequent bathing schedule as frequent baths don’t allow their skin to acclimate to its new environment.

In fact, your new baby doesn’t need lotion at all! And just like frequent bathing, lotions can inhibit your baby’s skin from adjusting to the world outside the womb.

They don’t actually require routine baths until they are 9-12 months old, at which point you can incorporate it into evening downtime.

Plus, it’s healthier for them. While in utero, the baby’s blood sugar is being supplied by the placenta.

After delivery, the stress of bathing releases hormones that can wreak havoc on your little one’s system, causing their blood sugar to drop; which can make a burned-out baby sleepy and unable to eat efficiently.

It is recommended to only use warm water and a washcloth, and only if necessary.

Once you reach the point of bathing your little one, Justin Smith, a pediatrician at Cook Children’s Medical Center, said in The Bump, “There’s no harm in using a natural, scent-free soap, but warm water and a cloth is plenty to get them clean.”

Be careful with the ingredients list in many of the baby soaps you see on store shelves, they often contain toxic chemicals that can agitate your newborn’s skin and system, as previously reported on Mommy Underground.

According to Baby Center, and most medical professionals, parents should not submerge their baby’s body in a tub or sink until the umbilical cord has fallen off and healed.

The first time you put your baby in a bath, or sponge clean them, you will know pretty quickly if they are ready, and feel safe, for that next step in life.

Don’t force it; newborns can go quite a while without needing a bath. The real messy areas of their body are getting cleaned thoroughly with every diaper change.

You may think that your baby is born dirty because of the route they took to get to you, or because of the white substance they have smeared all over their skin.

This protective layer that babies are amazingly born with is called vernix and is essential to their protection.

Delaying your bundle of joy’s first bath is “the safest medical choice for babies” because it keeps the vernix protecting the baby in their most vulnerable days, according to a pediatrician on Children’s MD.

Vernix is made of proteins that are designed to prevent bacterial infections such as Group B Strep, E. Coli, pneumonia, and meningitis.

The research on these incredible findings can be found in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, under the article titled: Antimicrobial Properties of Amniotic Fluid and Vernix Caseosa.

Many of the serious bacteria that babies are naturally protected from can be fatal, so you don’t want to wash away that protective layer.

The “cheesy” substance all over your baby’s skin is also like applying the world’s best moisturizer every day. It keeps the bad stuff out and the good stuff in.

Hypothermia is another concern when you rush into putting water on your newborn. Inside their previous cozy home, it was a warm 98.6 degrees.

When the baby first sees you face to face it is in a room that is a brisk 70 degrees approximately, because you get mighty hot working on that first introduction.

Complications can arise if a baby gets too cold, which is more prone to happen if they are put under water.

Most importantly, you really want, and need, your time early on with baby for skin to skin contact.

This not only aids in bonding with your baby, but it is crucial for getting your baby to latch.

Breastfeeding is much more successful if you have them up against your bare chest in the first few hours of life.

Having your baby at home, your midwife may recommend waiting to wash the baby as protocol.

If you opt for a hospital birth, most professionals will have no problem fulfilling your wish to delay the bathing. Just make sure to put your wishes in your birth plan so everyone is on the same page.

Whatever route you choose, do what works best, and safest, for you and your baby.

Enjoy those intimate first moments with your baby and remember there is no rush; there will be plenty of baths in your near future.

Please let us know if you decided to have your baby bathed right after birth, or if you opted for delayed bathing, and if you noticed a benefit of either.

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