Time was when the cleaner and more powdered Baby was, the healthier and more germ-free his vulnerable little bod was thought to be. Hence, every self-respecting parent bathed their infant once every day without fail. Current wisdom has updated those old standards, and dictates that just three, or preferably only two times a week is more than fine: it is advisable. So how often should I bathe my infant? None of us would wish skin irritation, rashes, dermatitis and scaly red patches on a little one; sadly, in some cases, that is what daily bathing can lead to. Baby oils and powders are also unnecessary.
How Often Should I Bathe my Infant?
As a child, I endured a flaky yellow scaly rash on my scalp. With my sensitive skin, I had to learn the hard way that water and even the mildest of soaps and shampoos are not my friends. Luckily, I was a baby back in the days when whole-body washing was not a regular ritual, and I was spared the worst of the skin conditions that I might have easily succumbed to. My own children had few baths, but grew up to be hygienic adults who shower daily!
Care of Newborns
Most medical sources will tell you not to immerse Baby in water until the umbilical cord stump has fallen off. Sponge-bath your newborn until this point. Until your baby can sit up, you will, of course, hold him securely in a towel, bathing only small areas at a time and avoiding him being entirely bare, and hence getting cold. Bathing baby when you are in the bath yourself is another safe and reassuring approach once the baby is a few months old; of course, you will need to endure rather more cooling water than you might generally enjoy and will need someone else on hand to help with lifting Baby in and out of the tub.
Doing What Comes Naturally
No matter what type of commercially available soap, gel or bath wash you use, it will strip the skin of moisture to some extent. Although it may seem hard work, preparing your own bath product is really the only way to avoid bringing your baby’s skin into contact with harsh chemicals. The recipes that appear again and again on baby-care websites consist primarily of unscented Liquid Castile Soap, vegetable glycerin, coconut oil or almond oil, lavender oil and distilled water. This is almost certainly the least harmful – and indeed gently moisturizing – a formula that you could devise. Combined with a routine of a maximum of three baths per week up until the baby is at least one year old, this type of natural preparation should help to ensure cleanliness combined with happy skin, hair, and nails.
It may seem a shame to miss out on some of the fun times spent bathing a water baby who loves bubbles, but sparing your infant the ravages of too much soap and water is a price worth paying. Indeed, many experts reckon that three baths per week are still one too many. And if your baby or toddler has sensitive skin, keeping bath time down to once a week is a kindness that you can bestow, even if it does feel weird and attracts comments from grandparents!
Banishing Chemicals from your Baby Cleansing Routine
Besides soap, you can also make your own baby wipe solution. Especially since now you are going to bath baby less often, there will be a little more need for clean-up cloths. There are many tried and tested recipes, some of which once again recommend liquid castile soap, pure aloe vera, almond oil, vitamin E oil (which helps to conserve your solution naturally) and chamomile essential oil. All of the above need a generous amount of cooled boiled water to make a suitably diluted solution. You can soak strong, good quality paper towels in this fluid, but beware saturating the paper and rendering it useless. Alternatively, go down the more environmentally-friendly route, and opt for reusable cloth wipes.
Above all, make bath time a treat, one to be looked forward to. A great way to make your baby a happy bather is to follow the process with a gentle massage; this will help your bundle of joy to relax before bed-time and will soon become a pleasure associated in his or her mind with the prospect of being washed.
About the Author of How Often Should I Bathe my Infant?
We are introducing the newest member of our writer family -> Heather Flood-McCaw. A retired school teacher born in Glasgow, Scotland. She is a freelance writer and blogger who also teaches English online. Languages are her passion. She also devote time to crafting and making art.
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