Tips for Bathing Toddlers
- February 20, 2014
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hi, everyone! So now that we’ve covered bathing babies in the previous video, today I’m going to dive into bathing toddlers. A WONDERFUL YouTube viewer asked me recently how often you should bathe a toddler, and that’s a great question. Generally speaking, you don’t need to bath your toddler every day. In fact, there are a couple of reasons why bathing daily can actually be harmful—but we’ll dig into that later. Personally, I found that a daily bath was perfect for my children because, well, kids will be kids—and they get messy!
So really, how often should you bathe a toddler?
First of all, I live in the heart of NYC. Summer afternoons can be sticky and hot, and after an afternoon of playing in the park, my kids were usually dirty, sweaty, and had all sorts of muckiness on them. After a little time in the sandbox, all I know is that I want to get my children clean immediately (who knows what’s in there, ya know?!). I really love to give them a bath at the end of the day, before dinner. Sometimes it’s so early that it would hardly be considered an “evening” shower, but more of a “late afternoon” routine at around 4:30 p.m. Some people may find this silly, mostly because they could get their PJs dirty at dinner and not be entirely squeaky clean before bed. That may work better for you, but it really just depends; personally, I found that by the end of the day I was exhausted and needed that extra time to start the bathing process (and yes, it’s quite a process—I actually cover that in another video!) If you find yourself only having the energy to wash your toddler’s hands and face, and you want to spend the rest of that time reading to them or doing some other fun activity, that’s completely fine. As long as your toddler isn’t totally filthy, then that isn’t time wasted!
I did ask my doctor about this topic, because I have a couple of kids who have eczema. He didn’t think that it was the best idea to bathe them daily, but if it was necessary, then I should use a very moisturizing cream. I use a really great, organic, paraben-free shea cream, and a hydrocortisone cream for those tricky areas where eczema tends to flare up. They’re lifesavers!
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggested that giving a nighttime bath might help toddlers with sleep problems, because it can help them unwind and relax. I’ve actually noticed this with my own children, so if you have a fussy sleeper, it might be worthwhile to try giving them a bath before they go to bed!
I mentioned earlier that there are also cons to bathing your toddler daily, which includes drying out their skin and not being the best method for preventing lice. Check out my video to hear more on my thoughts about these!
Tell me, moms and dads, how often do you bathe your little one? What tips and lessons have you learned to be most helpful? Share with all of us in a comment below!