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Expert advice

11th May 2023

Midwife warns of daily routine myth that can be bad for babies

Ellen Fitzpatrick

A midwife has issued a warning to new parents over a daily routine myth that could be harmful to babies.

As a newborn’s skin is 30% thinner than an adult’s, midwives are now recommending against bathing them frequently.

They have claimed that skin flora and the baby’s microbiome need to develop during the first number of weeks, and not bathing newborns as frequently can help this process.

This allows for a newborn’s skin to develop resistance when transitioning from growing inside the womb to living in the outside world.

Co-founder of My Expert Midwife Lesley Gilchrist told The Sun: “We are told that it helps build a routine, it will help achieve a good sleep pattern, it’s time for parents to bond with baby and we know they are all fresh and clean.

“What is less well known is that is that minimising the disruption to the microbiome will help baby fight off infections and build up a strong immune system in the long term.

The best way to protect your newborn’s skin is by practising skin-to-skin contact from birth. Within the first few weeks, use a bowl of water to clean your baby’s face and bottom.

In the first few weeks, it is advised to bathe your baby two to three times a week unless they are visibly dirty.

By using mild products and moisturisers, your baby’s skin will stay hydrated and healthy. After three months, you can then introduce essential oils to your daily routine.


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