Delayed bathing of the newborn infant for twenty-four hours after birth can decrease potential newborn complications such as hypoglycemia, hypothermia, and improve the infants skin integrity and breastfeeding rates. The primary purpose of this literature review was to examine the health benefits of delaying initial bathing in newborns for twenty-four hours. A comprehensive review of the literature was performed using peer-reviewed, research articles from multiple databases focusing on delayed infant bathing after birth and health benefits. 15 articles met the inclusion criteria and answered the research questions. Two studies showed the effects of vernix caseosa on improved skin integrity and moisture in infants. Two additional studies revealed longer skin-to-skin contact with increased maternal satisfaction and comfort, allowing time for breastfeeding and sucking competence. Delayed bathing prevented hypothermia and decreased the incidence of hypoglycemia. All articles focused on infants’ health outcomes within hours of birth and physiologic findings of how delayed bathing can improve the infant’s adjustment to extrauterine environment. Delayed bathing in the neonate decreases the risk of hypoglycemia and hypothermia. Prolonging the time an infant remains covered in their mother’s vernix caseosa following birth is a viable measure for improving newborn health outcomes.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

D'Amato-Kubiet, Leslee


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)


College of Nursing



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date