Bath time can range from delightful and fun to dreadful and a challenge. We know just how often children need to bathe and when they can do it on their own.
Remember when Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis shared they don’t bathe their children everyday? A lot of parents didn’t agree with their bathing timeline, while other parents supported it. You as a parent have an opinion as to when you want to bathe your child! How often to bath your child is something we all try to get right – if there’s even a right answer. One could argue that babies don’t get dirty when they’re newborns, but once they start eating solid foods, it’s hard to keep them clean. By the time your child is one, you may find it a challenge to get your child to take a bath.
Eventually, your child won’t need you to sit by their side at bath time and can do it by themself. So the question is – when can children bathe themselves safely and effectively?
Baby Bath Time
Let’s start with looking at the issue of how often a newborn baby needs to be bathed. As you know, your baby’s first bath typically happens in the hospital, which is a controlled setting. Bathing your baby for the first time at home can be intimidating and worrisome. It’s important to note that sponge baths are best for newborns, especially to keep the umbilical cord dry until it falls off and heals. After that milestone, you’ll want to use a baby bath and be sure to read reviews and keep safety at the top of your mind. Be sure you check your water temperature and that it’s not too hot.
As far as how often to bathe a baby, the American Academy of Pediatrics says three times a week should suffice. Of course, there will be the occasional diaper blowout that requires an extra bath. Splashing in the tub may be what you and your child need to kill some time! However, over-bathing can dry out your baby’s skin. Too many baths can disrupt the community of healthy organisms living on the skin. Use a mild soap and moisturize your baby after their bath. After one month, you can begin to do baths in the evening as part of their bedtime routine. If your baby’s skin is becoming too dry, ditch the baby shampoo and just use warm water and continue to moisturize.
Toddler Bath Time
By the time your child can sit up on their own, it’s okay to switch to a bathtub. Stay right by the tub to be sure your adventurous toddler doesn’t stand up in the bath or try to make it into a slip ‘n slide. Never leave your child alone in the bath because it only takes a few seconds for a child to slip and potentially drown, even in a small amount of water.
If your toddler is throwing a tantrum when it’s time to get clean, toddler bath toys can sweeten the tub, so be sure to keep duckies and float boats on hand! Remember that children this age do not need to bathe every day, so you’ll get a few days off from their protests.