If you google “how to bathe my kids”, you will see a never-ending number of pages explaining everything about bathing babies. Of course, giving a baby a bath is a lot more complex than bathing toddlers and older children. Nevertheless, we also want to know what to do and not to do while bathing our children 3 years and up. So, I went out and researched all about it to put it together in this, my first, tubbubble blog post. Hope you enjoy it and learn something new!
- Children do not have to bathe each day (!?!)
We’ve heard and read so often about bathing kids every day and making it a part of their sleep routine that is it strange to learn that specialists recommend not bathing small children more often than 3 times a week. The American Academy of Pediatrics says children between 6 and 11 should take 1 or 2 baths a week only.
But please do give them an extra bath, if:
- they are dirty, e.g. after playing in the mud
- they went to a pool, sea, river or lake
- they did sweat a lot or smell bad
- a dermatologist has recommended other bath frequencies within the treatment of any skin disease.
- Keep the “acid mantle”
The sebaceous glands in our skin produce a light yellow, oily substance called sebum. That, combined with sweat, creates a thin film on top of the skin called the acid mantle. The acid mantle protects the skin against contamination by bacteria or pollutants and against drying out. It is important to maintain it, especially for our children whose skin is much thinner and delicate.
This is one of the reasons we need to pay attention to what we use to wash them. We always think, only if there is lots of lather, there is cleaning. While lather, with most products, is produced by strong surfactants like SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) that penetrate the skin (and hair), destroying the acid mantle and creating dryness.
The length of the bath can also be an influence. It is recommended to bathe between 10-20 minutes so kids can enjoy it, get clean, but their skin not over-dried.
- With an eye on the water
There are many points we need to pay attention to regarding bath water:
- Quantity: It seems like super little, but we should only fill the bath tub up to the children’s belly button. This is mostly for safety reasons but also because that quantity of water is more than enough, we don’t need to waste more.
- Temperature: bath water shouldn’t be too cold or too hot. The recommendation is 98 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The older, the hotter it could be. But if grown-ups should normally not go higher than 104 degrees to avoid circulatory problems, imagine that we need to really keep it lower than that for kids.
The highest risk here is really burning their skin. So, try to use a thermometer, but do not trust water thermometers 100% because they are not very precise – try the water out before letting them in. Elbows are recommended for that. So please take a picture of you trying to measure the water of a half-filled tub with your elbow and share it with us. Pure contortion!
- Safety: you should stay near your kids while in the bathtub until they are 8 years old, experts recommend. So, get all that is needed like towels and your tubbubble before bath time begins. Don’t forget you can enjoy that little time while they are bathing for yourself – read a book, surf the internet, write that last work email – but stay near the tub.
Also, the water should be let out as soon as bath time is over.
- How to avoid the hair washing problem
One of the main reasons for stress while bathing – for child and care giver – is washing their hair. First, hair does not need to be washed every time they take a bath (thank goodness!). Every two times or when the hair is dirty/greasy is more than enough. Second, here are some tips to avoid crying, screaming and “suffering” during your kid’s hair wash:
If the problem is shampoo getting in their eyes
- Always use tear free shampoos (don’t forget to choose SLS free products).
- Make funny hair styles and have a small mirror next to the tub to show them.
- For older children, ask them to look at the ceiling and use a cup to rinse their hair. You can even put a sticker on the ceiling over the tub for them to look at.
- Try making them wear swim goggles – it sounds extreme, but it is super fun. If washing the back of the head is too difficult, ask them to wear the goggles without the strap and make them “stick” with suction.
If the problem is water getting in their ears (yes, this can be a “thing”)
- Ask them to cover their ears with their fingers while rinsing.
- Use ear plugs. They may even float on their back making it super easy to rinse the shampoo off.
Don’t forget that, depending on what you put in the bath water, you need to rinse the hair and body with fresh water.
- Making it impossible for them to say “no”
Some children go through phases where they don’t want to take baths (or showers). Either they are so happy playing or they really don’t see the use of “losing time” getting clean.
To avoid having this problem, make bath time so appealing that they will want to directly jump into the water using one, or better, a combination of the following:
- Bath toys that can be rotated to avoid them getting bored. Include things that are not bath toys like plastic pots, spoons, old shampoo bottles…
- Invite a friend or sibling to up the fun. In the tub, especially for small children, the premise applies that the more, the merrier.
- Add tubbubble to make bathing an experience while cleaning and moisturizing.
Hope you enjoyed reading! Next time I will write about natural cosmetics, what they are and why it is important for us to use them, especially for our children.
Let us know if you have questions or topics you would like to read about!
All tubbubble products are SLS-free and especially created to be gentle to children’s skin and care for it naturally.
tubbubble does not contain dyes. All colors come from gardenia fruit extracts. It does not stain skin, tub or towels.
If your children are bathing with tubbubble, you don’t need to use extra soap, rinse them or apply lotion after bathing. Not only good for them, but so much less work for you!