When Jasper was about 6 months old, our pediatritian reprimanded me for giving him too many baths. His soft baby skin was riddled with eczema spots, and part of the reason was that I was washing him almost every day with soap.
“Babies are clean!” she patiently explained. “Water will take off most of the stuff that they encounter. A wash cloth and some water should usually do the job.”
At first, I resisted. But then Jasper’s spots faded, and I saw that she was right. (Imagine that!)
Before Sawyer was born, I read a compelling article about the imp
ortance of letting “good bacteria” hang around, and noting that “babies aren’t born dirty” (unless there are complications). So, when Sawyer was born, I asked them just to towel him off before giving him back to us.
In the last five months, I have washed him regularly with water. He had loads of sponge baths- but I never put any soap on my tiny baby’s skin. If he was covered in poo (that happens with babies) I would add some coconut oil to the tub, and coat him in the stuff afterwards. (Coconut oil is antifungal and antibacterial.)
At his last appointment, I asked our pediatritian when I should use soap on my kid.
“Well, when he has a poop that is sticky, or if he is covered in realy yucky food. You’ll know!” she promised.
Last week, when we were walking through the woods, Jasper stepped through some poison ivy. (I’m HIGHLY allergic.) Paniked, I stripped all of our clothes and tossed them in the washer before we came in the house.
I tossed the boys in the tub and got out Dawn Dish Soap, a soap that is strong enough to break down the oils of the plant. I washed all three of us down, and proceeded to scrub the car and our shoes, just for good measure.
When Sawyer’s a teenager, you can let him know that the first time his mom gave him a full bath was when he was just shy of five months old. He’ll either be proud of me or totally disgusted.