Delaying babies' first bath may help newborns breastfeed easier

When is the best time to give a newborn their very first bath?

Traditionally, it's done within the first two hours of life, but recently some mothers have been asking to wait, saying it's better for the baby.

The Cleveland Clinic put the theory to the test and found waiting for at least 12 hours does have benefits.

They found it helps babies better control their temperature. It may also make breastfeeding easier for the baby, due to a familiar smell.

It also increases the likelihood a mother continues to breastfeed once mom and baby go home. The researchers say the findings support what we know about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact.

"You need to have that human touch and I think by not washing the baby and encouraging that skin to skin contact and encouraging breastfeeding, you're improving that human touch, so now you're looking at a long term health benefit," said Heather DiCioccio, of the Cleveland Clinic.

Research has shown exclusively breastfeeding has benefits that continue for many years.
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