The scent of a newborn baby is so intoxicating to new moms, one German study likened the sensation to eating a hamburger or a drug addict getting a fix! To keep this natural smell, there’s no need to frequently bathe your baby, as long as you’re keeping his diaper area clean, and wiping his hands and face a few times a day.
In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants up to 12 months old may only need bathing three times per week. But life — and pureed sweet potato in the hair — happens. So you may find yourself bathing your little one more often than that out of necessity once he’s eating solids and playing in the dirt more.
When you do give him a good wash, follow these tips:
- Be picky about the soap you use and check the labels carefully. Many baby soaps contain moisture-draining ingredients that can lead to dry skin and cradle cap, a yellow scaly rash. California Baby@ body washes are all vegan, sulfate-free, and non-stripping.
- Bath water should be warm, not hot, and less than 90 degrees F.
- Use cotton balls gently around sensitive areas like the eyes and ears. But never put the cotton balls in your baby’s ears.
- Pay special attention to areas that get sweaty, oily or dirty, like the armpits, creases and skin folds in the knees, neck and thighs, and in the diaper area. Be sure to check under the chin, where milk can pool. If dirt is not removable with just water, then use soap at this point.
- Use a small amount of shampoo, leave it on for a minimal amount of time and don’t massage it too hard into the scalp. Rinse it out completely. If your baby has cradle cap, try a tiny bit of vegetable oil on the crusty part to soften it.
- Wear a towel around your neck like a bib in case you need to cuddle your baby and keep her warm.