Are You Bathing Your Baby More Than You Should?
I love being clean just as much as the next guy, which is why I'm on the verge of death (and bringing death about to others) because I have not showered since last Saturday.
No, I'm not a recluse that just writes and writes and writes and neglects food and basic hygiene. I am actually living in China without any Chinese-language skills whatsoever, so when you lose access to running water in your apartment (which I did last Friday) and you have no way of telling anyone to fix it, things get a little … pungent.
Bathing once in five days is, I'll admit, pretty gross for a full-grown male, but for a baby? It actually might be the best way to go.
Eric Simpson, who is an associate professor of dermatology at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, said this about bathing babies: “People are bathing their babies too much.”
Wait, they're bathing them too much?
In an article published by The Wall Street Journal, researchers said that you should probably just be bathing your baby two to three times a week. (Which, at this point, is something that I would consider a blessing.) And why is it that you should only be bathing your little one about every other day? Well, as Dr. Simpson put it, “If you expose skin to water and let it air dry, that leads to dryness — like the bottom of a river bed that cracks open when it dries.”
This dried and cracked skin is called eczema. Typically, the dry and cracked skin will find itself on the scalps and faces of babies “and in the crooks of elbows and backs of knees in older children.”
For a while, people were convinced that eczema was a skin condition related to allergies. But nowadays, doctors have attributed most issues with the condition to the use of the wrong kinds of moisturizers and way-too-frequent baths.
But babies that come right out of the bath smell so nice and soft! (Yes, baby softness is a smell.) They do, they do, but you've got to keep baby's skin in mind. And in order to do that, researchers have given this list of things to keep in mind when caring for baby's skin:
- Keep the baths to (at most) three times a week
- Lather your freshly bathed baby in fragrance-free moisturizer that is a little on the oilier/thicker side
- Use non-soap cleansers to wash your baby
- Avoid cleansers that have added fragrances
If we want to keep our baby's soft skin as soft as their bum, we need to be really careful with how we take care of it.
So tell us — how often do you bathe your baby? Has he or she had any skin issues?