How often should I bathe my baby?

Many adults bathe daily, but as we’ve explained earlier, babies’ skin is very different to ours, and daily baths aren’t usually a good idea – once to three times a week is plenty.

Why? For one thing, your baby isn’t running around getting truly dirty yet - you’ll need to wait until the toddler years for that to happen! The main bits that will need cleaning in these first months are your baby’s face and neck (mainly due to milk dribbles) and the nappy area (for obvious reasons) – both of which can easily be tidied up with a quick top-and-tail session when necessary, leaving a full bath for when you have plenty of time.

The other reason is that bathing too frequently – even in plain water – can actually contribute to dry skin issues by disrupting the protective outer layers of the skin. Babies’ thin, delicate skin is particularly vulnerable to this, so limiting the number of baths and keeping them quite short (only around 5 minutes if you can manage it) will help minimise moisture loss. Using an ultra-gentle, moisturising and/or a bit of emollient baby lotion after the bath can also help if your baby is prone to dry skin.