Hold up ... why you may want to delay your newborn's first bath
February 18, 2014
If you've watched any birth videos, or even seen an overly dramatic birth on TV, you may be thinking babies can come out a little ... icky. And your baby may certainly be a bit icky at birth. But, (1) I'm pretty sure you won't care in the moment, and (2) here are some great reasons to avoid washing away aforementioned ickiness.
(Don't worry, I'm not saying you should walk around with a cheesy baby; the vernix will naturally absorb into baby's skin after birth.)
A delayed bath may lead to a better breastfeeding experience
When a large hospital began delaying baby's first bath from 2 hours after delivery to 12 hours, they saw increased breastfeeding rates. (Full report here.) Why? Most likely due to the fact that babies had more skin-to-skin time with momma. And the more time you spend with your baby in the early hours, the more opportunities you have toget breastfeeding off to a good start.
Baby just wants to be with you
It's simple: the longer you delay baby's first bath, the more time s/he gets to spend with you. Warm, secure, snuggled, close to her food sources -- who wouldn't want that?
If you really want baby to have a bath before heading home, try holding off for at least 12 hours, and request that the bath be given in your postpartum room.