Bathing babe: how often? - Mothering Forums
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Life With a Baby > Bathing babe: how often?
darwinphish's Avatar darwinphish 04:18 PM 02-20-2005
DD has gotten 2 baths in her 6 weeks on this planet! I also periodically wipe under her little chubby rolls if they seem to be collecting lint or other goobies. She doesn't smell, and her skin looks great. I'm thinking of giving her her 3rd bath today.

I've noticed on other more traditional-mom forums that many women bathe their babies once every day or every other day! I waver between thinking this is excessive and wondering if I'm letting my DD get filthy!

What do you all think of bathing your little ones? How much is too much, and how much is two little?

LEAW's Avatar LEAW 04:24 PM 02-20-2005
We're averaging about a bath a week, with a soapless face, hands, neck wash every day or so, and a good cleaning of the bottom as needed (poo, pee, etc). I don't have other kids to get sticky hands all over babe, it's just me and dh and the dog, so as far as I'm concerned if she doesn't smell and doesn't look gross, she isn't dirty. Now when she starts putting things in her mouth and rolling on the floor, we'll talk about more frequent baths, but really, in winter, how dirty can she get wrapped in clothes and a blanket all day?

As for water/winter, it's dry here, so the more water the drier her skin gets, and a smooth baby butt and body are sooo nice, why dry them out?

Yes, the more mainstream mamas seem to bathe every other day or so, but even the hospital/pedi said no more frequently than every 3 days with soap, and to wash her face with water every day.
homemademomma 04:33 PM 02-20-2005
well, now that ds is mobile, we wash him AT LEAST twice a day, lol! even when he was a tiny baby, we took a bath together every day, but it was for fun, not for cleanliness. we never ever use soap on our little one. i find that letting him splash around for a while in the plain water gets him plenty clean. i will use a wet waschloth on his face and ears to get any stuck on dirt off.
dianna11's Avatar dianna11 05:15 PM 02-20-2005
We wondered the same thing when DD was under 2 months. We usually give her a full ath once a week nd every couple of days or so, I will take a wash cloth and remove the 'cheese' from her neck rolls and armpits - as well as her diaper area. Until they get more mobile, washing them every day isn't necessary. Hell, most weeks, I don't get to bath more than once a weeK!
bendmom's Avatar bendmom 05:51 PM 02-20-2005
Bryn only gets a true bath once a month. I spray butt wash (can get on WAHM thread, Wild Oats, local nat. baby store) on a wet cloth and do the head, neck, behind ears, rolls, butt, etc.. It just dries him out to do any more than that.
beth568's Avatar beth568 06:10 PM 02-20-2005
I wipe DD's bottom with a wet cloth every evening, same with her neck. Baths every 3 days or so, mostly just because she LOVES it (lots of giggles). Baths are followed by light baby massage, which she also loves. I don't use much, if any, soap unless she has had a big blowout poop and it's all over her back.
Bellaluna's Avatar Bellaluna 06:56 PM 02-20-2005
Bathing is dh's responsibility (it's been nice for him to be "in charge" of at least one part of dd's care). He bathes her twice a week these days and I also wipe under her neck rolls with warm water each day.
sg784's Avatar sg784 07:05 PM 02-20-2005
DD gets a bath every night. I found that our "routine" (bath, massage etc) helps her relax and she sleeps longer and her quality of sleep is better.
Just us though...I know a lot of ppl that only give baths once a week or more.
crunchy_mama's Avatar crunchy_mama 09:19 PM 02-20-2005
I often wonder why momas who seemed often stressed out by baby care to begin with give daily baths. I give my lil' guy a bath about once a week if I think about it, although his hands get washed all the time. When he was younger I would have to clean out his neck a lot, but not so much any more. Often I will pull him in the tub with me just for fun though, he loves the water, I also put him in the tub when I clean the bathroom- which is very small. He can sit up in his tub and I just leave the water runninng and he puts his hand in the water, he just giggles and giggles. If he's not dirty I don't think there is much sense. I figure this summer he will need them much more often.
bikruca's Avatar bikruca 09:29 PM 02-20-2005
we tend to bathe ds when he starts to smell or sometimes if we are having a bath we take him in.. sometimes it happens every day.. sometimes once a week

he loves baths though.. se we try to do it more often now
thismama's Avatar thismama 09:32 PM 02-20-2005
Originally Posted by bikruca
we tend to bathe ds when he starts to smell or sometimes if we are having a bath we take him in.. sometimes it happens every day.. sometimes once a week

he loves baths though.. se we try to do it more often now
Exact same story here, except that my dd never gets a bath every day. :
bikruca's Avatar bikruca 09:41 PM 02-20-2005
Originally Posted by thismama
Exact same story here, except that my dd never gets a bath every day. :
we did it every day when he was just starting to teethe and it helped him to clam down/ get to sleep..

sometimes we give him a bath when he has a big poop and we are upstairs lol...
Eli's_mom's Avatar Eli's_mom 10:30 PM 02-20-2005
I used to bathe my son once every day or once every 2nd day. Then winter set in and his skin got dry, so I cut back to twice a week, but today I realize it has been 6 days since his last bath. He is 10 months old and never seems to get dirty. We wash his hands and face with a damp facecloth after he eats solids (usually twice a day). He really doesn't have any rolls - he's a skinny baby so nothing seems to collect in what little baby fat he has. I usually also wash his bottom with a damp facecloth each morning before re-diapering him. I think he smells better since I stopped bathing him so frequently! hehe.
julielenore's Avatar julielenore 11:03 PM 02-20-2005
I am so happy to know that I am not the only one who only gives baths once a week or so. To me, my babies smell wonderful. Why would I want to wash all that good baby smell off? We do get the occasional cradle cap, but it doesn't seem to bother them, so it doesn't bother me.
mandalamama's Avatar mandalamama 02:48 AM 02-21-2005
we do a bath every night as part of Willow's bedtime ritual, but that's for play and relaxation, not cleanliness she gets stressed out because of her acid reflux, the best cure for it is a tubful of warm water, toys and a lot of silly playing since she's bathed every day, i use just a drop of soap for her hair, she loves a nice shampoo just for the scalp massage. (i also massage her with lavender lotion after the bath, that relaxes her quite a bit.) with GERD babies it's really important to keep them relaxed and comfy, when they fuss or cry the acid kicks up, can get to be a vicious cycle. we're thinking of going to two baths a day, one for in the afternoon when she's really feeling awful, she can get in the tub with me and just play to her heart's content we're unable to breastfeed, so i think the skin-to-skin contact is good for both of us

anyway, if you do baths just for fun or to relax a fussy baby, just don't use any soap, it's very drying! Dr. Bronner's unscented baby soap is good if you need it, and a drop goes a long way. Willow spits up a lot so i do clean under her chin with a soft washcloth, plain water is usually enough to clean her up. a little bit of Burt's Bees apricot baby oil or PureLan is great for chapped skin (like Willow's chin, it gets a little red from all the spitting up).
NullSet's Avatar NullSet 05:11 AM 02-21-2005
It's really dry out in WY so I try to limit my girl's bath. She's 5 months and gets a wipe with a washcloth if she smells in the neck area and cleaned during diaper changes on the bum area. However, the last real bath was at Christmas!
shishkeberry's Avatar shishkeberry 05:20 AM 02-21-2005
Oh man, this thread makes me feel so much better
My mom has been giving me such crap about not bathing ds very often. Usually I bathe him either once a week, or every two weeks. He doesn't really get dirty yet
5-of-us's Avatar 5-of-us 06:36 AM 02-21-2005
My daughter is 2.5 months and I bathe her probably every 2 - 3 days. She REALLY likes it and her cradle cap/ scaly eyebrows seem to do much better if I bathe her about that often.

p.s. new here, having fun lurking so far.
mama729's Avatar mama729 07:00 AM 02-21-2005
Jessviola's Avatar Jessviola 02:03 PM 02-21-2005
Max is 11 weeks today and has had 2 full baths in his entire life. He's not dirty or smelly at all. We spot clean his hair if he's gotten spit up in it and dip his hands and toes regularly when they get fuzzies and splash his popi after a messy poo. It's very dry here too. He still has that 'new baby smell' and his skin is so soft and is doing a great job of retaining moisture. I don't want to mess with it! Plus it's very cold here, even inside so I don't like to get him naked and wet because I'm freezing when I take showers, I can't imagine how cold he would feel in his little tub.

Dd on the other hand is totally unbothered by it and will spend all day in there if we let her :LOL
SomedayMom's Avatar SomedayMom 02:19 PM 02-21-2005
We do a bath almost every day I admit He loves to kick and play and look at himself in the bathroom mirror...I have a nakey lovin boy and the warm water seems to help with his gas (which is awful!!!!!)
darwinphish's Avatar darwinphish 02:56 PM 02-21-2005
Glad to see so many other infrequent baby-bathers here! I imagine if DD starts actually enjoying bathtime, then we'll do it more often - but right now it is an ordeal I'd just rather not put her through.

Yesterday I tried taking her in the shower with me, with the heater blasting. She seemed to enjoy that (amazing!), but I didn't really clean up her nooks and crannies since I was focused on keeping a good grip on her slippery body! However, it was nice to have her have a little time in the water without being upset. I'm personally a big water person so I hope she comes to enjoy it someday!

In the meantime, she doesn't really seem to get dirty except under her chin, which is easy enough to take care of with a warm washcloth. She never seems to suffer skin probs like dryness or cradle cap - maybe we're just lucky but I do wonder if babies' skin (especially at first) just wasn't meant to be bathed much...
KariM's Avatar KariM 04:26 PM 02-21-2005
It's dry and cold here in the winter so Molly Anne had been getting a bath about every week to week and a half or so. We use plain water on her face and baby shampoo on her body and hair.

The last couple of weeks we moved it up to twice a week because now she sits up in our bathtub for baths and it's a combination of playtime and bathing.

I also frequent a mainstream baby oriented BB and most moms there bathe the babies daily and almost all have questions about dry skin and how to combat it.

The only dry skin issues we've had are DD's cheeks once she started teething and drooling. A bit of Burt's Bees lotion seems to keep that in check.

tribalmax's Avatar tribalmax 02:06 AM 02-22-2005

Well, I am somewhat embarrassed to say that we have taken as many as 8 baths in a day! But NEVER because she was dirty. She went through a VERY fussy period from about 2 months to 6 months old. It turned out to be related to my diet and we have resolved all of that now. But for a while, a bath was the only time she was not screaming. So we took lots and lots (and yes, we used lots of good natural oils to protect her skin).

These days we take about 1 bath a day -- unless she is sick or just having a fussy day. "bath" was one of her first signs she recognized and used. So we pretty much take one whenever she asks. But we rarely use soap -- probably once every few weeks.

She is a water baby! Am I totally crazy with the number of baths? When we are having a bad day, dh just asks the # of baths we took that day to assess her level of fussiness. The water really seems to make her happy...

Tell me I am not the only one out there who does this many baths?? It is probably one of the most relaxing things we do together (we always bathe together).
catnip's Avatar catnip 03:22 AM 02-22-2005
Kaia and I have been taking a bath together every other day or so. I am usually wearing her in a sling at mealtimes, and have a special talent for dropping food in her hair! So we wash it. She also manages to make an astonishing mess out of her face for a breast only baby, I shudder to imagine what she's going to do with solid foods.

As to the 8 baths a day... that's not bathing, it's swimming! If I could "swim" in a tub, I'd be in there 8 times a day! lol! If it works for you them go for it!!!

I can't use soap on my own skin, but I sometimes use a handful of oat flour as a cleanser. Cheaper than Aveeno and no animal testing!
rileysmommy's Avatar rileysmommy 01:08 PM 02-22-2005
i don't think i am what you call traditional, but i do bathe benjamin daily. it just establishes a nice routine for us, he has his bath then he nurses and feels drowsey, we read a story with brother then brother goes to bed, then ben dozes off. its the only part of the night he goes to his crib. i think he likes it. if we don't go through all of that the same way every night, he has a very fitful sleep with me. i like it because i can get some chores around the house done in the evening, then shower scopp up ben, change him and bring him to bed with me. i use watered down castille soap. we have never had a dry skin issue.
KrisM's Avatar KrisM 05:30 PM 02-22-2005
Originally Posted by Bellaluna
Bathing is dh's responsibility (it's been nice for him to be "in charge" of at least one part of dd's care). He bathes her twice a week these days and I also wipe under her neck rolls with warm water each day.
Here, too. I also like that I get a little "alone time" during the evening while DS and DH are doing the bath thing. DS usually gets a bath 2 times/week. Well, if we have swim class, he gets a bonus bath from me to get the chlorine off, but it doesn't count as a real bath . If he has a super messy dinner, he might get an extra one, too.
tribalmax's Avatar tribalmax 06:41 PM 02-22-2005
While we are talking about baths, does anyone else nurse in the bathtub? Cora LOVES it. She probably gets a few mouthfulls of bath water (but she seems to like that part). We do lots of nursing in the tub.

Swimming? Ha ha! Yep -- that is a better description.
Kate'smommy's Avatar Kate'smommy 01:01 AM 02-23-2005
We nurse in the tub sometimes, but dd is usually more interested in splashing. Baths never calm her. Her big brother would often nurse to sleep, but they have very different personalities.
In the first few months, I had to wipe her many chubby folds at least every day and I washed her hair about once a week. We tried tub baths together but she had a tendency to poop. Now at 8 mths we usually bathe together every four days.
sahmama's Avatar sahmama 12:58 PM 02-23-2005
Well, DS gets a bath generally at least once a day, not always with washing up, just b/c he LOVES the water, and if we go into the bathroom and he sees the tub, it's all over for me. :LOL He gets a good scrubbing every couple of days now that he eats solids and occasionally makes a mess.
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