How often should you bathe your baby? My husband and I never talked about baths. Apparently, how often our baby needs a bath is now a matter of contention. I said she only needed a three baths a week – after all, she doesn’t really get dirty. Her Dad said she needed a bath every day, but he couldn’t put his finger on the reason. So, who was right? We set up the ground rules for our battle: Five links, best three out of five wins.
“Bet you ten bucks I’m right!” I told my husband. “You’re on,” he said and threw $10 on the desk. “But you’re wrong!” I responded in turn, then went to consult the Almighty Google.
This was shortly after M was born and we thought we had talked about everything. We talked about religion, politics and gender roles. We talked about discipline and food. We talked about sex. We even talked about how we would handle it if she was gay or transgender.
The first link supported his one-per-day theory for how often to bathe your baby: Babble.com says daily baths can help develop a ritual and calm the baby before bed, helping with a more secure sleep.
Point 1, Dad.
Knowing that I was behind, I consulted the American Academy of Pediatrics website, HealthyChildren.org, which supported my theory on the subject of how of ten to bathe your baby. Baths are only needed three times a week.
We were tied.
Unfortunately, it didn’t get better for my husband. Huffington Post offered that some pediatricians feel over-bathing is the cause of cradle cap – a nasty yellow rash that some babies get. This happens because the skin on their scalp becomes too dry and they overproduce oils, causing the rash. Dr. Sears added to this by stating that many of the soaps – even the gentle ones used on infants – can dry out their skin and increase the risk of rashes and allergies.
My husband was clearly bitter at his loss about how often to bathe a baby. He questioned whether my sources were reliable. So, I pulled up a study in Scotland that showed a correlation between the number of baths per week and the rate of allergies. It’s not surprising that an increasing number of doctors are advising parents to bathe their children without soaps or lotions – just warm water.
My $10 is on the desk. I asked if M needs a bath and he conceded she had one yesterday. “Maybe she doesn’t need one every day,” he offered generously. But in the end everyone won: I won the debate, my husband didn’t have to bathe our baby every day and M has had no adverse effects.
If only Google could solve all our problems in marriage so amicably.