In the movies, it always seems like seconds after a baby is born all the blood and bodily fluid magically disappear and the mom and dad are left snuggling a pristinely clean newborn. You rarely see a new baby pictured in its natural goo-covered state. In real life, your baby is usually given a quick wipe down before they're handed over to you. That'll be followed at some point by their first bath, and it may surprise you to learn that there can be some gross things that happen the first time a newborn bathes.
Many moms and dads consider their baby's first bath a major milestone. I know I have tons of pictures of my little girl in the kitchen sink with a look of betrayal on her face at what she considered a pretty miserable experience. Her first bath at home wasn't technically her first bath, as the nurses at the hospital took care of that. After an emergency c-section for me and a trip to the neonatal intensive care unit for her, I'm sad to say I have no idea when exactly that happened or whether her reaction was any less indignant than at home. Given the circumstances, decisions like whether the vernix should be rubbed in or wiped off or even whether she should even be bathed at all were the furthest thing from my mind. With baby number two, I'll know much more about the process.
Here are five things to know about your newborn's first bath.