Your Newborn’s Vernix: To Rub in or to Wash?

When your baby is first born, they may be coated in vernix – the creamy, white substance that protected their skin while they were in the womb.

Thought of like a natural skin cream, vernix offers heat regulation and research suggests it may provide antibacterial properties as well. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the bathing of your baby is delayed until after 24 hours following birth, but if this is not possible due to cultural reasons, bathing the baby should be delayed for at least six hours.

To maximise the benefits of vernix, some parents choose to wait a number of days or weeks before bathing their baby for the first time and massage it into the skin during that time instead.