Bathing Frequency

I don’t bathe my kids very often and I get a lot of flack for it. Infants certainly don’t get that dirty and can easily be spot-cleaned with wipes (neck/hands/behind the ears are the main culprits). The groin is tended to multiple times a day. Bathing too often dries out the skin and I just don’t see the need for it. Honestly, barring a diaper blowout I usually bathe the infant once a week.

V is two and gets bathed a bit more, but still not daily. It depends completely on how dirty she gets. This summer she probably got daily baths, but that’s because she was running around in shorts/sandals getting crap all over her legs and feet.

My husband gripes constantly about this. He thinks I should be bathing them daily, or at least V. My stepmother concurs, as do most other family members. After all, they argue, I shower daily. So it was particularly gratifying to hear my pediatrician agree with me today.

Out of the blue: “He has such great skin! How do you keep his skin so healthy?”

“What do you mean?”
“There’s no baby acne or eczema.”

I explained my bathing philosophy and he agreed that bathing too often strips the skin of its natural oils. He said 1-2 times a week plus spot-cleaning was fine. I told him my husband thought I should bathe them more, and that he was particularly worried because they sweat so much.

“It’s not like they’re dating yet.”

Thank you, Dr. K!



  1. Peaches

    I like your doc.

    Hell, I don’t even bathe every day and my skin and hair have been getting healthier (with the exception of crazy hormone acne in a few spots, but I spot wash those more regularly). Humans need to bathe more than once every month or two (as we did in the middle ages) but most of us don’t need to bathe everyday.

    I used to babysit and nanny for a few different girls and I think all their mothers bathed them, at most, every other day, unless they were really dirty. You really aren’t alone and MOST people don’t think much about it.

  2. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who counts hosing the kids off in the yard during the summer as a “bath.” Or going to the pool.

    My hair needs daily washing or it gets super oily and nasty. Some friends of mine have the opposite problem though. My hands, which I wash fanatically, get very dry and I have to lotion them up after every wash. Potty training has made things even worse, and now my knuckles are so dry they’re actually splitting.

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