Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is There Something in the Water?

A couple weeks ago two of my best friends gave birth to a little boy, my sister delivered her second a few months back, a few other close friends are expecting and it seems every age appropriate Hollywood celebrity is sporting a baby bump.

As a newlywed, I can't deny that I've had baby on the brain at least a little bit as well. But what really has my attention is the massive amount of bath products aimed towards our little ones. The plethora of bubbling, foaming, highly scented and colored bottles offered up are tempting buys as there are few things cuter than the sight of a baby splashing around in a super sudsy bath. But is it healthy?

The answer is no.

Small children do not produce body odor the way that teenagers and adults do. While it is important to keep your baby clean and fresh for both of your comfort, sponge baths are the ideal choice especially in the infant stage. Sink and tub baths can also be great and water alone is the perfect way to rinse away nearly any smell creating mess.

If your baby has dry skin, add a drop or two of apricot, olive or another pure and gentle oil to the water. Soap is largely unnecessary if you are washing away food, milk and spit up with a soft cloth or sponge. Babies love splashing in clear water that doesn't irritate eyes too!

Soaps and shampoos in bathwater can irritate sensitive skin and aggravate baby eczema and psoriasis. Bubble baths have been linked to urinary tract infections so some experts recommend avoiding them until your child is at least 3 years old. Bubble bath formulas, as well as strong soaps that contain deodorants or potent scents, can irritate the opening of your baby's urethra if the soap is not rinsed off completely. "This makes it painful to urinate so the child ends up holding the urine and voiding incompletely, which can lead to UTIs," says Shelly J. King, a pediatric urology nurse practitioner at the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

If you can't resist the bubbles or have one of those super dirty days where water alone just won't cut it, Dr. Bronner and California Baby both offer fantastic options for bathtime:

Happy bathing!

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