Washing Baby’s Face

Hi Naomi, This is a simple question that has me stumped. My 8-month old daughter hates to have her face wiped off in the mornings and after eating. She cries when I am wiping her face but stops the moment I stop doing it. She is afraid of water, so she doesn’t take baths, and sometimes I think I “should” at least wipe her face, especially since it gets baby food all over it. Is it better to let her have a dirty face? I feel sad when she cries because I want her to have a clean face. Thank you for your help. Lauren


Dear Parent,

You don’t say in your question if you breastfeed your baby. One solution is to drop the feeding of baby food. At eight months your baby does not need food if she breastfeeds and she may not enjoy the whole process.

My guidance about feeding babies is to breastfeed exclusively with no time limit. Many mothers report that until age two, babies consume very little food and are well, growing and healthy with breastfeeding alone, provided that mother is well nourished and healthy. This is also my personal experience. As for introducing foods, it is fine to follow the baby’s interest in food, but let her feed herself and let it be real food. Baby food is a substitute and far from ideal and the baby is unable to feed herself. 

If, for some reason, you do not breastfeed, I still would like to recommend that your baby feeds herself by hand. Put safe small chunks of banana, avocado, or other soft safe foods, and let her mess with it. She will end up messy, but happy and developing self-reliance. Then clean her with a dry napkin, or you can even use your own tongue and fingers but let go of perfection. I assumed when you used water it was warm. If not, you may want to try it, but don’t insist. Listen to your baby; her emotional “cleanliness” is by far more important than the physical. The food on her face doesn’t bother her. You are doing it for you, while she is learning to submit her body against her own wish. She tells you so with her crying. Your daughter is lucky to have a mother who cares to learn. So, go ahead and let your loving heart lead the way.

As for her fear of water, again, I don’t have enough information. How did she develop a fear of water? There are ways to free her of this fear.It would be very helpful for you to book a phone session with me to sort this out and prevent other body related issues: http://naomialdort.com/guidance.html

Warmly,  Naomi Aldort, www.AuthenticParent.com


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