As with everything else baby related bathing is a mixed bag of opinions.
With Little Bebe we were told by the midwives not to bath her for at least two weeks and then no more then twice a week after that. Bathing too often can remove the babies natural skin oils and do more harm then good.
We were then given advice from the health visitors that bathing every evening could help with bedtime routine. Talk about conflicting information.
My sisters have all been given different advice too, from bath straight away to do not bath them for as long as possible. My sisters live in a different county and seems to be given lots of different information to me – the NHS trusts almost seem independent, they should really be working from the same hymn sheet.
For one of my nephew’s the advice on bathing by the hospital led to scary effect – my sister was told not to wash let alone bath for two weeks but my nephew had picked up e-coli from the hospital. Bathing him or just topping and tailing would have helped to lesson the effects. Thankfully my sister was quick to spot the problem at just four days old and after a five day stay in hospital on an anti-biotic drip my nephew was on the mend.
Bless Little Bebe was covered in blood after our birthing problems so not bathing her for two weeks seemed so wrong – thankfully one of the midwives washed her hair for us, and we were allowed to top and tail her before we were discharged at five days.
Since then we have used what has worked for us – we top and tail daily, Little Bebe has a bath once or twice a week and the occasional shower with either Mr Bebe or I. When Little Bebe was smaller she was probably bathed slightly more often due to toilet or sick incidents, but we have never bathed her on a daily basis.
With regard to toiletries we do not use them, warm water with cotton wool balls or a baby sponge is all we use for now. Little Bebe has beautiful skin that is soft and blemish free, and she hardly ever suffers from nappy rash. We choose not to use soaps, shampoos, lotions or bubbles as she does not need them yet, we thought why expose her to all those chemicals unnecessarily.
Little Bebe loves her baths, she splashes around, is happy for her head to be covered in water to the point where she dunks it herself, and loves playing with her bath toys. She gets excited being taken to the shower and she leans back so she is fully under the stream of water. The only problem can be taking her out – we get anything from the I’m not impressed face to a full on scream.
We have found what works for Little Bebe and us, bath times are always fun and it is something we are all involved in.