Here is an overview of how often should you bathe a toddler. I have experienced many different situations with my children and have some tips to share! Toddlers can be very independent, but they still need help with bathing. I’ve gathered all the information I could get from personal experience and research. Here’s what you need to know about the bathing time for toddlers.
How Often Should You Bathe A Toddler?
The decision of how often to bathe your baby or toddler is yours and yours alone. Many children sleep soundly after a bath, so it’s no wonder many parents make bathing part of the bedtime routine. Although, if you bathe too frequently, it can do more harm than good.
During the first year of their life, tiny babies do not require daily baths three times a week. The timing for the initial bath has varied throughout history. Delaying this wash until 24 hours after birth was more beneficial. This delay improves breastfeeding chances and lowers the risk of hypothermia. A thorough wipe-down following spit-ups and diaper changes is sufficient for now. You may increase bath duration if you wish once your kid begins to crawl.
Although you may fret about bacteria, don’t forget that not all germs are harmful. If you’re ever concerned, simply wipe your baby’s hands off. When your child becomes a toddler and enters the “exploration phase,” this is around the time when they will start to self-feed and play with their food more. And yes, sometimes they’ll even go into the garbage can for fun! Try not to stress too much during this age as it’s normal for them to be curious and explore their surroundings with their hands.
However, if you choose not to bathe your little one, there are several measures you should take. These practices need good sanitation, but you should keep baths bare minimum.
Bath time guidelines
- It’s OK for babies, toddlers, and little kids to spend two to three times per week in the tub.
- Children aged 6-11 should take a minimum of two to three baths per week. They will need more showers if they get dirty, sweaty, or smelly.
- Bathing daily is recommended for tweens and teens.
Why Aren’t Everyday Baths Always Ideal?
Germs Are Good
Your baby’s immune system is still developing, so exposure to germs can be beneficial. Germs can help your youngster build immunity to viruses and ailments like asthma or allergies.
A study illustrated that the youngest child in a family was less likely to have asthma or allergies. The young ones constantly around other siblings gave them exposure to germs and bacteria from earlier on, which helped their bodies learn how to fight these infections. Not every infection will be beneficial for your baby, but being exposed is the only way they can develop immunity against such things.
If you want to bathe your toddler daily, ensure the shampoo is held. Shampoos remove oils from hair; these are what give hair a lush and healthy appearance. On the contrary, frequent washing may lead to hair drying out.
Toddlers are always accidentally getting stuff in their hair, which can be difficult to manage. The best action is to wash their hair as it gets dirty. Use a mild baby shampoo that won’t strip the natural oils from their scalp by washing too often.
Bathing in water isn’t the most harmful aspect of our routine, it’s the cleansers and soaps we use. Leaving your infant in a bath with soap will cause their skin to become dry and exposed.
The water should be warm, and you should use only cleansers or soap at the end to reduce the risk.
Safety At Toddler Bath Time
Now that you know how often you should bathe a toddler, here are some safety precautions to keep your toddler safe during bath time:
- Always keep the bathroom in sight.
- Towels, washcloths, cotton wool, clean nappy, and clean clothes should all be prepared in advance.
- When your toddler is sitting down, fill the bath to the level of their belly button.
- Run a little bit of cold water through the tap when the bath is ready to prevent anyone from getting burned by the hot water in the tap.
- Before putting your child in the water, test the temperature between 37°C and 38°C.
- When the bath isn’t in use, remove the bath plugs.
- When you’re not in the bathroom, keep the bathroom door shut.
- Place a non-slip mat in the shower if your youngster is bathing with you to prevent them from slipping.
When your child is in the bath, it’s critical to always remain with them. They cannot detect and respond to an emergency scenario. In a few seconds, young people can drown in very shallow water.
How Often Should You Bathe A Toddler Who Is Afraid Of The Bath?
Some toddlers are scared of the bath. If your youngster is afraid of the bath, take it seriously since it’s very real to them. You’ll need patience as your kid learns to enjoy bath time.
Below are some tips to help your child conquer their fear of the bath:
- Get into the tub and take a bath together.
- Allowing your child to choose toys for the bath.
- You can let your child sit or play in the bathtub without water, then gradually add water until they are ready to get wet.
- Allow your youngster to put their bathers on.
- Getting your toddler to leave the bathroom before you take the plug out can be difficult- some children are even afraid of being sucked down along with the water.
- Bathing with your child.
- If your child is still small enough, letting them sit in the baby bathtub inside the regular-sized tub can be a successful strategy.
Do I Need To Wash My Child’s Hair Everyday?
Parents frequently ask themselves if they must wash their child’s hair daily. The shorter answer is no, but it will also depend on other conditions; if your child gets dirty more easily or is around someone with head lice (for example, at school), then you should be more cautious about their hair-washing routine.
Some children feel unclean unless their entire body is washed at once; if your child falls into this category, don’t hesitate to wash their hair daily.
What Is The Ideal Temperature For A Kid-Friendly Bath?
Infants are extremely vulnerable to heating-related damage, therefore, keep the temperature at a range of 96F (36C) and 100F (38C). As children get older, the temperature range expands and can reach up to 120F (48C), which is more than enough.
How Often Should You Bathe A Toddler With Eczema?
Parents with kids who have sensitive skin or eczema should only bathe them every few days.
While constant contact with water will not cause these conditions, it can certainly worsen existing flare-ups.
If you choose to bathe your toddler daily, use lukewarm water with gentle soap.
How Long Should Each Bath Last?
Bathes should last 10 minutes for everyone, even our children. So if your little one wishes to stay in the tub for a long time, ensure you get them out quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Should toddlers bathe daily?
Ans: While no medical evidence supports the need for daily baths, some toddlers feel unclean unless their entire body is washed at once.
Q2: How often should you bathe a 4-year-old?
Ans: Children aged four can be bathed every day if necessary. However, it’s generally recommended that you stick to experts’ original recommendations twice a week.
Q3: How often should I give my 3-year-old a bath?
Ans: Toddlers only need a few baths each week to stay clean, but they usually enjoy bathing more frequently.
Q4: How often should I bathe my 18-month-old child?
Ans: In practice, babies don’t have to be washed daily. If they have dry, sensitive skin, reduce the number to once per week.
Q5: At what age should you stop bathing your child?
Ans: After children reach school age, generally around 5 years old, they should not shower with their parents.
What To Do Next?
Be sure to follow all the safety precautions while bathing your toddler. If your child is too young, you can shower with your baby to help them feel more comfortable. Be sure to have all the necessary supplies on hand before you start bathing your toddler. Once you have gathered all of your supplies, you are ready to begin bathing. Check out our guide on “How to shower with baby?” for more information.