Among all the routine moms endure, bath time is either the most chaotic or most calming, depending on the day. Sometimes it's even beneficial to skip the bath routine altogether – just not too many days in a row. Although babies, especially as newborns, don't need the infamous daily bath routine to stay healthy and clean, there are still a few gross things that happen to baby's body when you don't bathe them enough.
The irony of bath time is not lost on me. Although I'm so often worried about keeping my little ones clean with a bath a few times a week, I also realize bathing babies in and of itself can be a gross job. And determining if your bath is dirty enough for a bath isn't always an exact science. Unfortunately babies can't verbally say when they need a bath or feel dirty. Ultimately it's up to parents to decide what bathing routine works best and when a simple wipe down or hand wash will suffice instead.
Regardless of how often bath time happens in each household, there can be a lot of contradicting information on how often it needs to happen. If you find yourself worried you may be going too long in between bath times, look for some of the gross things that might happen if you don't bathe babies enough.
According to Dr. Cynthia Bailey, a sign that your child needs to bathe is when red rash often occurs in babies' skin folds. In addition to skin folds, babies' arm pits or diaper area can also experience the same symptoms if more bathing is needed.
I can honestly say I don't know a mom who hasn't dealt with diaper rash. Although diaper rashes can have an endless amount of causes, Boston Children's Hospital suggests a good cleaning is one of the best ways to prevent diaper rash. If you find yourself in a situation where you're constantly dealing with it (and have ruled out clothing, products with skin contact or not keeping the area dry as a cause), try more frequent bathes. Make sure to thoroughly and gently pat dry the diaper rash region afterwards.
Anyone who's lived in close proximity to someone else knows once the germs start spreading, they're very hard to stop if you're not taking precautions. One way to do so, according to WebMD, is by washing with soap and water to get rid of bad germs.
When it comes to bathing your baby, it's not necessary to do a daily bathing routine, but it is important to bathe regularly and stay clean. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises bathing babies three times a week during the first year. If you're stuck between not wanting to bathe daily and worrying about waiting too long, three times a week is a healthy medium.