Implementing Evidence-Based Neonatal Skin Care With Parent-Performed, Delayed Immersion Baths

Nurs Womens Health. 2017 Dec;21(6):442-450. doi: 10.1016/j.nwh.2017.10.009.


There has been a recent trend toward delaying newborn baths because of mounting evidence that delayed bathing promotes breastfeeding, decreases hypothermia, and allows for more parental involvement with newborn care. A multidisciplinary team from a maternal-new-born unit at a military medical center designed and implemented an evidence-based practice change from infant sponge baths shortly after birth to delayed immersion baths. An analysis of newborn temperature data showed that newborns who received delayed immersion baths were less likely to be hypothermic than those who received a sponge bath shortly after birth. Furthermore, parents reported that they liked participating in bathing their newborns and that they felt prepared to bathe them at home.

Keywords: immersion bath; neonatal skin care; newborn skin care; parent-performed; sponge bath.

MeSH terms

  • Baths / methods*
  • Breast Feeding / methods
  • Breast Feeding / trends
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia / prevention & control
  • Immersion
  • Infant Care / methods
  • Infant Care / trends
  • Infant Health / standards*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Parents / education*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Care / methods*
  • Skin Care / trends
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors*
  • United States