I have found in the short 6 months I have been a mom (crazy how fast it goes by) that this is a very controversial topic. Whether or not to bathe your child every day.
Lets get down to it.
A lot of mothers have heard that you should not bathe babies every day because it washes away the protective coating on their skin. This is only true within the first 6 weeks of life. As I’m sure you’ve already realized, babies are born with a thick layer of white on their skin which has protected their skin in the womb. Some mothers keep this on until it either gets soaked into the baby’s skin or rubs off naturally, while others bathe them right away (generally the hospital does this). Which ever you prefer is your deal, however, after 6 weeks this is usually gone and the baby’s skin is then normal (while still very delicate).
So after my son’s umbilical cord stub fell off and his skin was to its normal state, we started bathing him every night as part of our evening routine to get him ready for bed. Not only does it help him realize it is now bed time (more on our nightly routine here) there are numerous other advantages to the nightly bath.
There are so many reasons why I bathe my son ever night.
First, it prevents cradle cap. Cradle cap is not pleasant, I cannot imagine that it feels nice for a baby to have, and it looks gross. When O was about 6 weeks I noticed he was starting to get it because he had such long hair. His hair, as any person, was getting greasy throughout the day and causing cradle cap, we introduced some calendula shampoo and within two days any sign of it had vanished and we haven’t seen it again.
It’s pleasant for their bottoms. Of course, we wipe them down at each diaper change, but could you imagine not showering, we don’t sit in our by product as a baby does yet we still want to shower daily (regularly) to get our parts clean, wouldn’t you want that for your baby?
Diaper rash-it gives them time each day without a diaper on, which means less chance of diaper rash. Any time they don’t have a diaper on helps prevent diaper rash so having a bath every night ensures that there is at least a bit of time each day without a diaper.
Skin check, this year in particular there have been so many cases of ticks come up. Bathing every night gives me a chance to really inspect his skin and see if there are any scratches, rashes (he has really sensitive skin) or perhaps any bites from insects or bugs, more or less any changes on his little body.
Germs -need I say more? There is an old wives tale that exposing your child to germs early on helps their immune system, this is not completely true. They have determined that while a small amount of germs, which your baby gets in contact with themselves (meaning they are able to touch things themselves to get the germs, and for a 6 month old, that isn’t much) is okay. However, the million other germs they’re exposed to from people touching them is not okay. This is not a natural way of them being exposed to germs and can be extremely harmful for babies. Therefore, a nightly bath ensures that these germs are washed away, regardless of where the person, animal, door, etc. has touched them.
It’s enjoyable. I have not met a baby who didn’t enjoy the bath. While it can take time out of our schedules and sometimes we may not have the energy for it, but they enjoy it, and what’s nicer than the thought of finishing off your child’s day with a smile on their face.
Of course, bathing can dry out their skin, so I am always sure to lotion him up with coconut oil after each bath. I also take this time to massage him because I’m sure their little muscles get sore from all that playing throughout the day. Extra bonus, coconut oil is anti-fungal, read more about how I used coconut oil during pregnancy here.
So what’s your take? To bathe or not to bathe?
Thanks for reading! xo