When bathing a new born should you use soap? are there any benefits or harms to using soap vs just using water? This is on top of the question How often should I bathe my newborn?

Some time frames to consider

0-1   Weeks - Month 0 
1-4   Weeks - Month 1 
4-12  Weeks - Month 2-3 
12-36 Weeks - Month 3-6
  • 1
    How old is the newborn, like how many weeks old? I was told by my pediatrician that I can wipe my son with a cloth with no soap until the cord is off and dried, then after that he can have a real bath. So either I know you'll feel safe when you talk to the pediatrician, he/she will be in the best position to give directions. You also don't want to bath him when the code is not cured then the baby has issues. :) hope this helps.
    – user22314
    Jun 30, 2016 at 6:48
  • @SyombuaMuthoka suggestions are in the same ballpark as what we did. With a newborn, the biggest things to get clean are the mouth/neck, armpits, everything below the umbilical cord... Make sure to check under skin folds for dried milk. Definitely avoid the cord itself so it falls off in a timely manner. We were told only to wash their hair once or twice a week until they were a couple weeks old.
    – LampShade
    Jul 11, 2016 at 21:13

3 Answers 3


We used a baby formula soap on the first day of my daughter's life. The nurse brought soapy water into the receiving room to give the first bath. Like others had mentioned, use a soft cloth until the chord falls off and avid getting that wet or soapy. Just like any person, the important parts are self evident. And be sure to rinse thoroughly, especially below the waist.

Many people choose not to wash their hair every day, I am sure that either way is fine.


Soap for newborn babies should be gentle and mild as a newborn baby’s skin is very delicate. Most of the time washing with lukewarm water would be enough, and when using soap, use soap from reputed brand, which contains natural oils and with little chems and is gentle on skin.


If you want to be on the prudent side, to wash your children, you should use as little that is not water as possible to get them clean. Thus if they are not really dirty, just water suffices. If they get excrement all over themselves, then soap may be the only way to get them clean. Soap will clear the natural oils off of your skin, potentially getting your skin to produce more to replenish what was lost, so using soap may mess up the amount of oil your skin naturally produces.

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