There are thousands of articles and blog are available on newborns’ first bath. But, people are still not much aware of the real reasons to delay the first bath of a newborn. Hence, this blog will help you understand when should you first bathe your newborn and how does it benefit you and your little one.
Reasons To Delay The First Bath of Your Newborn
The first five to six hours are a crucial time for the newborns to adjust with the transition. So, bathing can wait a while. And not only that but a delayed first bath of newborns have some proven benefits on their health. Here, we’re going to discuss the top 6 reasons to delay the first bath of a newborn.
1. The Waxy Skin Coating – Vernix
While being in the womb, the little one starts to develop a waxy, whitish skin coating – vernix, that protects the little one while floating in the amniotic fluid for 37 to 42 weeks. But this skin protection is beneficial for your baby even after birth.
Vernix is natural skin moisture that safeguards your baby’s skin from drying out during early exposure to air after birth. This waxy coating also smells divine that you would wish to bottle it. Though you can’t do that, you can keep the layer from 8 hours to even a few weeks.
This vernix has even more benefits for your baby. Delay the first bath of baby and give the little one a quick wipe with a warm towel or flannel if need to wash out any blood or meconium smears.
2. Reduced Risk of Infection
Vernix is made up of fats and proteins that protect the baby from the common bacterial infections like Staphylococci, Clostridium difficile and E. coli etc. But this skin shield is a natural antibacterial formation to protect the newborn against germs.
3. Better Mother & Baby Bonding
Your baby was within your womb for nine months and has grown up listening to your heartbeat, voice, and your smell. After birth, the newborn searches for the same smell, voice, heartbeat to feel safe, which further help begin their developmental behaviour. Furthermore, keeping the baby close to its mom helps in recovery hormone discharge of the mother and the bonding between two.
4. Better Breastfeeding
The first 20 to 30 minutes after birth are crucial for the baby and mamma to have successful breastfeeding. If the baby and mom are left skin to skin at that time, the baby starts begin crawling towards the breasts and search for the nipples own its own. This spontaneous self-latching helps the newborn remember the way to suck and swallow.
Promoting early and unassisted breastfeeding helps protect the baby from several illnesses, boost up its immunity, and reduce mortality rates. On the other hand, quick separation after birth for the first bath may disturb the entire process and make breastfeeding more challenging for both mom and the baby.
5. Helps Maintain Body Temperature
While growing inside the womb, the babies stay in a warm atmosphere. After birth, they come out in an atmosphere where the temperature is nearly half inside the womb. But the newborns are not so well in adjusting their body temperature. In case, the vernix helps them maintain warmth as well as skipping the early bath helps them get a stable temperature.
6. Keeps Sugar Level Stable
As we have said it multiple times before, the first few hours after birth is very crucial these lead to big adjustments for the baby. The baby needs to learn to breathe, to keep warm, to preserve energy as the placenta is no more there to do all the required. Moreover, when they are separated from the mom, they feel unsafe and to express their stress they cry loud. Meanwhile, bathing causes further stress which promotes stress hormone discharge and triggers the drop of blood sugar level.
Unstable blood sugar level may create the need for special care which again may cause separation from mother and further stress. It may also disturb the natural breastfeeding process and cause further complexities. Thus, delay the first bath of baby making sure the newborn is not likely to be stressed.
We hope you now understand when should you first bathe your newborn. It’s a special experience to bathe your child for the first time. Don’t make it a stressful experience. Consult the concern with your doctor and caregivers before the delivery and make sure they recognise your preference and support you to give your baby the first bath when both of you are ready.