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How Often Do You Bathe Your Baby?

How Often Do You Bathe Your Baby?

How often do you bathe your baby? I saw this headline recently come across my news feed and immediately thought, “Oh boy, who opened this can of worms?” It did not take me long to discover. Claire Goss recently wrote a blog post on Babble asking, “Do you actually need to bathe your baby?” Well, apparently a lot of people had the answer as it unleashed an online firestorm according to Good Morning America.

Baby in the bath

Bathing & Babies: Hot Topic for Parenting Discussions

It’s not surprising to me the response and attention this topic garnered from the online parenting community. It doesn’t quite rank up there with the “when do you feed babies their first food?” question but it is one that tends to pit moms against each other resulting in lots of unnecessary judgment from both sides. I try to steer clear of message boards and communities when such topics are being “discussed.” But I was curious to why this one post garnered so much attention. It’s not as if it was a new product or parenting trend – it’s a bath.

After reading the original post, I understood. It was Goss’ main reason for skipping the bath:

“He is my third baby so I probably don’t have to tell you that I have a lot going on in the evenings. I can barely get the older two bathed, and they don’t require their own special tub and shampoo. Some nights I do remember that the baby needs a bath but then inevitably one of the older kids needs a story read or help with a craft project.”

Her reason – she’s a busy mom. And this is what makes me upset about the negative responses. If she had led the post with her supporting reason, that her pediatrician recommended less baths to prevent drying out her baby’s skin, then it probably would not have moved the buzz meter a notch. But her honesty about being a busy mom with her hands full sparked judgment, some going so far as calling her lazy.

When you’re a busy mom or dad, things need to be negotiated and prioritized. Isn’t it our privilege and rights as parents to choose what works best for our families. For those women who are actively trying NOT to do it all, it’s disheartening that the negative comments brought the post to the public stage. That once again the spotlight is on moms to be perfect, to do more, to bathe our children every day.

What seems to be buried in the firestorm was the support for Goss’ decision to bathe her baby less often and for her honest portrayal of life as a busy mom. The GMA interviewer even gives Goss a “bath” care package at the end of the segment asking her to “promise to put it to good use.”

I have to stand with our blogger Lisa – it would be nice if women would embrace and support each other rather than passing judgment – especially on something as simple as a bath. I would love to hear what you think as long as it’s not about your child’s bathing routine – let’s keep that in the bathroom where it belongs.

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3 comments

  1. MediaMom October 17, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I couldn’t agree more. I also can’t believe how high and mighty people can be to feel that they need to insult others based on their children’s bathing schedules. Give me a break!
    Some people have dedicated bath nights for their kids. That’s awesome for them.For some people, every night is bath night. Terrific. For me, when my kids look visibly dirty, I give them a shower, unless they have a soccer game the next morning, in which case I wait.
    I have yet to see the kid at school or child care whose personal hygiene is seriously questionable, and I’m sure not all of them are getting daily spa treatment. So for Pete’s sake ladies, let’s not harass each other over this. After all, I’m lucky if I get to shower myself on a regular basis.

  2. Keri @ Reluctantly Suburban October 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Yes, a thousand times yes! Well-stated. Let’s be a bit less quick to go on the attack when fellow parents are honest about being less-than-perfect.

  3. Lisa October 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Right on! I wore my pajamas to the grocery store today AND never made it to the shower. I considered swimming lessons yesterday my daughters “bath”. Last I checked, we were still healthy and thriving, and hadn’t died of a germ infestation!

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