Hi there! 🙂
I am not a medical professional! If you would like to delay your baby’s first bath, please talk about that with your care provider to make sure that it is the right decision for you and baby. Everything in this article is based on my personal research and experience with vernix. 🙂
Now that we have that out of the way…
Did you know delaying a babies first bath can be beneficial?
Babies aren’t born dirty (unless maybe they had their first poop, called meconium, in utero), so they usually don’t need a bath when they are born.
There is a very good reason to delay a baby’s first bath, besides it being unnecessary.
It’s called vernix!
This wonderful substance is something that a lot of newborns are covered in when they are born. This is especially true in babies who are born a bit early. Both myself and Bubba had a lot of vernix on us when we were born.
So what is vernix?
Vernix Caseosa (literally translating to cheesy varnish from Latin) is a white looking waxy substances that covers some newborns’ skin.
Fun fact : Vernix has only be found in humans!
In the womb, babies are surrounded by amniotic fluid. In the later stages of pregnancy, they develop vernix in preparation of their transition from being surrounded by fluid to being surrounded by air.
Vernix has several benefits including:
- Speeding up healing of damaged skin (I found this out when some of Bubba’s vernix got on a paper cut of mine).
- Protecting a baby’s fragile skin from during the process of adjusting to the outside world.
- Helping regulated a baby’s temperature (baby’s bathed within 12 hours after birth can suffer from an increased risk of hypothermia)!
- Regulating PH balance.
- Helping maintain internal fluid.
- Protects against infection.
- Provides antioxidants.
- Has a composition that is uniquely designed based on the gender of your baby (it is not known why this is the case).
There are so many benefits to delayed baths, I am glad we decided to delay Bubba’s first bath!
When was your baby’s first bath? 🙂
New Crunchy Mom