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I've seen in some birth plans that they don't want the baby bathed in the hospital or by hospital staff. I told my husband that I didn't want the baby bathed because I want to do it and he didn't get it. I was just wondering if there were any other reasons for not doing it or any other information on it. Thanks!!
 

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One good reason is that if you can let the vernix sink into their skin, it's really good for them just in terms of skin condition. But regardless, it's a milestone, the first bath, and you should have to explain wanting to be in charge of a milestone!!
 

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I just read something about how the smell of the baby helps with the mother's bonding experience. I haven't given Malachi a bath yet and he is 2 1/2 weeks old! It definitely isn't necessary to give a bath right away. I totally understand wanting to give the bath yourself and I vote for doing it yourself whenever you want to!
 

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I would say for me, (not only wanting to be the first one to do it) it would be about the products they use. Perhaps they just use water I have no idea, but I know most conventional baby soaps/shampoos have ingredients that I won't be using in my house and don't want on my baby
 

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Ditto what all of them said.
Also...my DH watched them bathe our DD after she was born. He is the one who told me we shouldn't let them do it this time. He felt like they were very rough with her, and it was a very "assembly line" process, the nurses chit chatting...he said she may as well have been a potato. Plus it meant that she got chilled from the bath so they insisted on sticking her in the warmer for a bit, which meant she was away from me for longer. Not good for mommy or baby!
 

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My midwife with my first told me that bathing the baby soon after birth frequently causes the baby's body temperature to drop and if the temp drops they insist on putting the baby in the warmer for a while, which means baby is not with you, which can cause a whole host of problems (delayed nursing, bottle-feeding/pacifier, "routine" stuff you would have refused but you're not there to refuse, etc.) Her recommendation if you wanted a bath was to do it on day two of your stay, when the baby's temperature was much more stable already (and besides you'd already done some nursing).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dov'sMom View Post
My midwife with my first told me that bathing the baby soon after birth frequently causes the baby's body temperature to drop and if the temp drops they insist on putting the baby in the warmer for a while, which means baby is not with you, which can cause a whole host of problems (delayed nursing, bottle-feeding/pacifier, "routine" stuff you would have refused but you're not there to refuse, etc.) Her recommendation if you wanted a bath was to do it on day two of your stay, when the baby's temperature was much more stable already (and besides you'd already done some nursing).
:that It's ideal for neither baby nor mama to bathe right after labor because the smell of mama's tired, sweaty body is just what baby needs (ick but true) and the smell of baby still doused in vernix and amniotic fluid is just what mama needs for bonding. Also the vernix will keep baby's skin from drying out if it is left on for enough time, and ditto to everything Dov'sMom said above about body temperature and them using that as an excuse to keep baby from mom. I personally have no problem with the hospital doing a bath (with a parent witness) after the first day, once those issues are mostly over.
 

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vernix also has antibacterial properties as well and if I were giving birth outside of my home, I'd like for babe to have all the protection she can get.
 

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I'm planning on doing the bath at the hospital myself. The last 2 were bathed by the hospital staff and now I know better not to let them do that right away. I'm also bringing my own non-toxic baby wash with me (Earth Mama Angel Baby).
 

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Yes to everything mentioned above.
I asked that my baby not be bathed in the hospital in my birthing plan with my first. My doctor said that it was a personal choice he sees lots of and the nurses did not have a problem with it.

He was born term and didn't have any vernix to rub in but we still waited over a week before bathing him at home.
 

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Yes to all above. Plus, I just rewatched some of DS's newborn videos, one of which was a TEN MINUTE LONG "first bath" (not directly after birth, it was the next morning) where he literally screamed himself red the entire time. OMG, I so don't remember it happening, but watching it was so much torture I can't believe I lived through it! He was obviously so distressed and the nurse just took her sweet a$$ time, doing what she wanted to do....it was horrible, ugh.
 

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Last time my midwife told me it's best not to bath babes for about 2 wks (sumerged in water). She showed me how to do an oil rub followed by a sponge bath (no soap). As I recall it takes about 2-4 wks before babies' oil glands start working and their skin dries out easily.
 

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AWESOME topic and information, gals. THAT IS WHY I AM SO THANKFUL I'M ON THIS FORUM!!!! I honestly never even thought about it...just threw the Johnson and Johnson they used and sent with us, when we got home...
Tell me more about the oil rub/sponge bath combo, lulu n2...any specific oil you suggest?
 

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My reasons are all of the above, but probably the most compelling one is not wanting the baby's temperature to drop and have to be put on the warmer. I have heard that if you are getting resistance from the nurses you can say "it's our family's tradition for the parents to give the first bath."
 

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Have him watch this video - I know it's not this bad everywhere, but seriously? Not cool in my book - poor baby!

Also, you may find that the nurses gripe about the baby not having a bath because then the baby is considered "unclean" and covered in "bodily fluids" and so they have to put on gloves before they touch the baby. I told them to suck it up. DD was a week early but she totally didn't have much vernix if any and looked overdue (dry skin, wrinkly fingers etc.) so the baby may not even be all "gross" (not that I think it's gross at all, but I know my DH is skeeved out by stuff like that).

Good luck!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kalamos23 View Post
Have him watch this video - I know it's not this bad everywhere, but seriously? Not cool in my book - poor baby!

Also, you may find that the nurses gripe about the baby not having a bath because then the baby is considered "unclean" and covered in "bodily fluids" and so they have to put on gloves before they touch the baby. I told them to suck it up. DD was a week early but she totally didn't have much vernix if any and looked overdue (dry skin, wrinkly fingers etc.) so the baby may not even be all "gross" (not that I think it's gross at all, but I know my DH is skeeved out by stuff like that).

Good luck!
Awful! What a way to welcome baby to the world - isn't birth enough trauma for one day?

I agree - I'd probably would want hospital staff to wear gloves anyway...all the germs there. Also, my baby was covered with more vernix this time than my last 2 - I was kind of surprised by how much - but in about an hour or so, with him wrapped in a towel, then blanket, it was all soaked in.
 

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Oil bath - I used organic olive oil for DS, I did start to get tired of the smell, though. I bought a bottle of apricot kernel oil for this one (though I still need to read up on it).

First get the room nice and warm. Then I would have several towels ready and keep most of baby covered while I would rub him down with oil, massaging. The oil would help dissolve any "crusties." Then I would get a warm tub of water and a washcloth to wipe in the crevices and fat rolls.

DS's first real bath was in the tub with me
 

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I adore that just-born, unwashed baby smell!

That video is crazy; was the baby covered in motor oil or something? But I was present when the NICU nurses gave Julianna her scheduled bath once, and it wasn't too different from that. Julianna screamed so hard, I thought I might pass out. Even thinking about it now, more than a month later, my heart races. Awful. I've bathed her twice in the month she's been home (after two diaper blow-outs), but I had to make it super-fast both times because she has a negative association with the water.
-- My experience is different though, because Julianna was probably bathed all 15 nights of her hospital stay.
 
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