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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At my last birth I requested that the baby not be bathed until I was present or could help. I waited until the middle of the night the second night to request it because he was starting to smell. (too me at least) This time I am not sure, I am thinking of letting them bathe the baby and just having my husband participate while I am getting sutured up. I don't think its going to make all that much of a difference in me getting her in recovery time wise.

So did you choose to bathe your baby after birth or not? why or why not?

Kim
 

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My husband actually assisted in bathing both our children. I was a bit occupied with recovery the first time and wasn't able to do much for some time and the second time around I had my toddler present and needed to look after her so dh took part in the bath time.
 

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After delivery of our son he was handed to me for skin to skin contact (this at my hospital). I was stitched up and we had an hour before someone said they had to weigh him and take measurements. They then offered to give him a bath and we being so exhausted were fine with it. They did so in the room while we watched. I was glad they did, he really needed it. He actually seemed to really enjoy it. Something familiar in all the confusion of birth.
 

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Studies show that bathing the baby too soon can have a negative impact on breastfeeding if the baby is separated from mom. So if the baby is bathed while in the nursery and is there for a while, that can be bad. Both of mine were bathed and separated from me and I didn't have any problems, though. I'm having a homebirth this time and will probably have the baby in the birthing pool, so there will be no need to bathe him. But if I don't have him in the water, I will most likely give him a sponge bath except for his hands and maybe hair until he's a few days old. If you do decide to let your baby be bathed, you can tell them not to wash his/her hands since then they can still smell you on their hands.
 

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My first was bathed in the hospital I think on the next day after he was born. DH went with the nurse to do it.

My second that was born at home, honestly, I don't even remember when we first bathed him but it probably wasn't for a few days. Come to think of it, I think it was when DH's mom showed up to visit because I remember us talking about the belly button thing. How they used to say not to submerge the baby until the cord fell off but now they teach a full bath is fine with the cord. She is a nurse too and was telling me that she teaches moms it's fine to submerge baby from day one. I think some places still teach sponge baths only until cord falls off. Some places still teach to use rubbing alcohol on the cord (like where I work) and some places don't teach to use it anymore (like where she works). For the record, research has shown it doesn't cut down rates of infection or cause it to fall off faster.

I don't plan on bathing this next one until something compells me to.

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If you do decide to let your baby be bathed, you can tell them not to wash his/her hands since then they can still smell you on their hands.
That's a good idea, I hadn't ever thought of that.
 

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the vernix is good for the baby's skin!!! it should be rubbed into him/her instead of washed off. personally we'll probably not bathe (& rub it in) but then after a couple of days/week give a bath or a sponge bath... blood is obviously a different story
 

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I let dh assist while I was being stitched up. It was a good experience for dh because he was a new dad (I was a new mom but I had an idea of what to do with a baby). He soaked up everything those nurses told him about the baby and corrected me several times. however she screamed because they made her sit in that warmer. I had probably an hour or so before they bathes her and she just wasn't interested in breastfeeding.

This time we're having the baby at home and I'm assuming barring any emergency I'll be able to participate in everything.
 

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I don't think we bathed dd for a few days - but she was born in water so she was pretty clean
Not planning a bath for this one either, I think that I agree with the idea that scent is very important to newborns, and that washing away the smells of the womb might be upsetting on some level for them.
 

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If you are having a hospital birth, be sure your DH knows what the plan is. I asked that my dd not be bathed, but I was exhausted and groggy and they didn't really let me know what was happening next and before I knew it, they had taken her to the nursery and us to the maternity ward (birthing rooms were separate rooms). When I asked the nurse where they'd taken my baby, she said the pediatrician needed to see her and they would bring her right in. Well, they did.. brought her right in scrubbed shiny clean and with a disposable diaper on. Her wrists and ankles both got scabs and bled over the next couple of days. (they claim this is normal.. well.. yeah.. maybe it is if you stirp the skin of all protection mother nature provides) They also (agianst my request that she not be put in disposable diapers and that we had our own clothing for her) dressed her in an acrylic crochet hat (a nice gesture, but that acrylic isn't even washed before it's put onto a baby! I'm not saying the little old lady's who make them are gross.. but how the heck do we know? and who knows what is on that yarn in the store or factory) and a shirt that smelled of bleach. They also did a heel stick without us present.. I think if you are going to put a newborn through that, a parent should be holding them. So her first half hour in this world must have been a terrifying and unpleasant one. I wasn't happy.. but I was too tired to say anything. I really wish my DH had stayed and supervised even though the staff acted very offended if you didn't just let them do what is "routine". I don't think it's a HUGE thing, but really, there are some things that are sacred. I know some mothers want their newborn to arrive to them smelling like johnson & johnson soap and lotion and be all shiny clean like they came from a store shelf, but I found it rather upsetting as I'm positive my daughter did also. I envy those who are able to have a home birth without their husbands losing 10 years of their life to the stress it causes him
because hospital births kind of leave you at the whim of the staff. Just know that YOU won't be in a position to correct or oversee much of anything so make sure your DH is.

Can you tell I wasn't impressed with the hospital I was in?
 

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I loved the way my son smelled when he was born (like buttered popcorn)
and didn't bathe him for 4 days (when that new baby smell was gone
 

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With my first, I wanted to bathe my baby when I felt up to it. I had helped the nurse bathe my sister when she was born. But the mean night nurse at the hospital said my baby was a bio hazard until she was bathed and hospital staff would have to wear gloves when they handled her!!! So she bathed her while I couldn't even get out of bed because I was so light headed from blood loss.

My next will be born at home, and I will probably wait at least a day to let the vernix soak in I guess!
 

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We just rubbed the vernix into baby's skin. It has many benefits, and should not be washed off, most especially if you are in a hospital. It protects against dryness and infection, and most hospitals use J&J baby wash, which irritated my firstborn's precious skin (so I have never used the stuff with DD2).
 

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DS was bathed next to my bed about 6 hours after he was born. He still had lots of vernix on him afterwards as the nurse who bathed him said its good for his skin if its not all washed off. He had verniz until he was a few days old. My Bradley teacher told me about rubbing it in after the fact, so thats what we will do this time around.
 

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DC#1 got a bath shortly after birth. In the nursery while I recovered, DH took video of it. DC#2 didn't get a bath until she was about a week old. Just a moist washcloth here and there. I liked it better the second way. She had no trouble nursing or maintaining body temp.
 

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my little guy came out pretty clean and he didnt smell bad at all.. he smelled sooo good.. we wiped him off with a cloth to get him dry but i didnt actually bath him till he was about 4 days old i think.. i did wipe his bum when he pooped of course and his first bath was with me and all subsequent ones till he was about 6 months old.
i dont think they need a bath at first at all.. he seemed so clean and fresh, even without a bath.
 

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This is yet ANOTHER thing that i'm so scared of not having control over when the twins are born


I can tell DH what i think should be done, but he tends to back down more easily than me in the face of medical know-how. He sat through our 12-week scan acting like he understood everything, nodding along....then when we got home asked me what in the world the doctor had been talking about. ACK!!

I always thought (and i read this in Henci Goer's book too, i think) that the baby's temp is pretty good when born, so give them to mom, let them stay nice and warm....and deal with bathing later. BIOHAZARD??!??! That's a terrible thing to tell a new mom about her baby.

But i'm just wondering if this is one area where i should just let go a little b/c it could potentially cause me more stress than anything else if i feel like on top of giving birth to two, i have to watch out for where they go right afterwards, who's handling them, etc.

Sigh.

K
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well I think I have decided to do something a little different this time.


We are still not going to bathe the baby after birth, but we are going to bathe her later that afternoon when all our other children are there and in my room. A good sponge bath I think will do the trick up on the bed with me.

Kim
 

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I wont tell you how long we didn't bathe our wee one for (but a lot longer than a week anyway!!), just didn't see the point really and she smelled wonderful! We told the hospital staff not to bathe her and they didn't, we laid a nice soft towel on top of her and she lay next to me nursing and sleeping whenever she wanted for about the first day - best moments after a terrible labour and c/section.
 
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