The Stir by CafeMom: Mom gets real about why she only bathes her baby twice a week


LAUREN LEVYThursday at 5:21 PM

Every family's bedtime routine is different, and there are countless opinions on when, how, and where you should put your baby to bed. But despite these varying schools of thought, many have a few things in common: food, bath, book, and lights out. However, one mom has a strict yet "unconventional" evening ritual with her baby girl. Instead of being afraid of what judgmental commenters might think about her parenting, she got real about what she actually does -- or doesn't do -- each night before her infant goes to bed.

British reality star Amy Childs posted a video on her Instagram account sharing details about her 7-month-old baby girl's bedtime process, and although she discussed what her favorite products are, it's what she doesn't do with Polly that caught many parents' attention: She doesn't bathe Polly daily. Amy explained that although she loves bath time with her baby girl, she's worried that it will cause her to develop eczema, so she only suds her up twice a week.

"So I only bathe Polly twice a week because the midwife he said to me if you keep bathing them every day, they get eczema. I suffer from bad eczema, I don't want obviously Polly to have that," she said. "Like I love getting her out of the bath and smothering her with loads of cream. I'm strict with routines, she has her food, she has her bath, she has a little bit of bottle, and then she goes to sleep so it's a good routine for her."

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Instagram/ amychilds1990

Since sharing that she puts Polly down for the night on most days without bathing her first, Amy has received mixed responses from those who either appreciate or are confused by her honesty.

Although there has been mixed advice floating around in regards to whether bath time actually helps or harms eczema in babies, researchers have found that it's not the time or frequency that a baby spends in the water -- it's what the parents do after that has a major impact on the dry and itchy skin. This condition is most common in babies, and despite common belief that bathing too frequently will remove important oils, irritate the skin, or dry it out further, researchers have found that if parents "soak and smear" daily, it will actually help keep the child's skin hydrated.

"The smear part is really the most important element, because unless moisturizer is applied immediately, then the skin is likely to dry out even more," Dr. Neal Jain, an allergist-immunologist from Arizona, wrote in a paper published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. "The weight of the evidence in the literature we reviewed and our experience in caring for these patients suggests daily bathing with 'soak and smear' is more effective for soothing dry skin from eczema."

According to the National Eczema Association, bathing daily is actually incredibly important to help ease symptoms when irritation is present. "The most effective way to treat dry skin is to give it the moisture it needs. Proper bathing and moisturizing are important for this reason -- especially if you have eczema," the organization states on its website. "The best way to replace moisture in the skin is to soak in a bath or take a shower and then moisturize immediately afterward."