Our Guide to Bathing for Eczema Babies
Imagine being able to give your baby a bath that doesn’t cause discomfort or struggle.
As the parent of a baby with Eczema, you know that bath time can be quite challenging. It can be scary to bathe your baby when it makes them cry or causes further flare-ups. You want to clean them, but you are hesitant because there are so many unanswered questions.
These concerns are valid, luckily this guide offers a solution to your problem.
Our guide will help clarify all your questions. We’ve reviewed some of the most frequently asked questions parents with Eczema babies asked and give you practical steps to put them into action. Before giving your baby another bath, see how these suggestions can help your baby manage their Eczema.
How Often Should You Bathe a Baby with Eczema?
To many parents, bath frequency is a major concern. On one hand, bathing is necessary to clean your baby. On the other, how can you be sure you are bathing your baby the right amount?
It’s all about finding a happy medium.
You need to balance between too much and not enough. Too many baths will actually dry out your baby’s skin even further. Without enough baths, you will have a similar problem plus a smelly baby. For these reasons, the National Eczema Association recommends bathing your baby once per day.
Daily bathing has many benefits for babies with Eczema. One reason is because it rinses off and washes away allergens that find their way onto your baby’s skin. It does the same for other irritants as well. In doing so, you can remove possible triggers or at least limit Eczema flare-ups. Triggers for Eczema include:
- Fragrance: Found in personal hygiene or household products like soap, lotions, shampoo, detergent soap, perfume
- Environmental: Dry air, hot or cold weather, change in season, low or high humidity, pets, dust
- Allergies: food allergies, airborne allergies
- Food sensitivities
- Insect bites
- Existing skin infection
- Chemicals: found in glue, paint, carpet, plastic chairs
In addition to washing away allergens and irritants, bathing has another key role in combating Eczema: it helps retain moisture. As you know, Eczema babies have naturally dry skin which means that adding moisture is critical. To maximize moisture retention you should schedule bath time around your baby’s bedtime. This, plus adding moisturizer (more on this later) will help your baby avoid dry skin.
How Do You Bathe a Baby with Eczema?
The act of bathing a baby with Eczema can be intimidating. It’s pretty clear that it can cause discomfort to the baby and stress to parents if not properly done. Rest assured, there are ways to give your baby an improved experience.
1. Try Swaddle Bathing
To make sure your baby feels comfortable, try Swaddle Bathing. This is a technique that involves immersing your baby in a tub of water while loosely wrapped in a blanket. UC Health reports that 93 percent of babies show signs of stress and cry during a sponge bath. In contrast, swaddle bathing brought that number down significantly to 38 percent. Having a relaxed baby will limit one factor (stress) that is linked to Eczema flare-ups.
You might be wondering how this works. Here are a few tips for parents trying this method:
- Give them proper support. Holding your baby in the loose swaddle that opens in the front, support the head and underarm with one hand and use your other hand to support the baby’s bottom.
- Slow dip them into water. Gently dip your swaddled baby in the water feet first, using your other hand to support the baby’s bottom.
Swaddle Bathing and proper bathing techniques will help your baby stay comfortable and limit dry skin opportunities while in the tub. An added benefit is that over time, it will also help you build a bond with your baby and gain trust. Give it a try to see if this technique is right for you and your baby.
2. Limit Bath Times
In addition to using Swaddle Bathing, there are many other ways to limit Eczema flare-ups and discomfort while bathing. The length of a bath is one thing that parents can control that will have a major impact. Dermatologists recommend a 5-10 minute bath, not much longer.
This seems rather short, but be sure to trust the experts. Although a long bath may sound refreshing and rejuvenating, it is harmful to babies with Eczema. Long soak times can harm the natural oils on your baby’s skin that protect against harsh chemicals and other allergens.
3. Be Aware of the Bath Water’s Temperature
Another way to ensure that your baby avoids increased dry skin while bathing is to use lukewarm water. If the water is too hot, it can actually dry the skin further and last longer. As a rule of thumb, try to keep the water temperature at or slightly below body temperature. This will keep your baby comfortable while also maintaining the moisture necessary to combat Eczema.
With these three pieces of advice, your baby’s bathing experience will improve greatly. Along with the added comfort, these methods are proven to provide help against dry skin.
What Baby Wash is Best for Eczema?
We discussed how to give your baby with Eczema a bath in the previous section, but there was something missing. You are probably wondering what products to use when giving your baby with Eczema a bath. With so many options to choose from, this requires its own section.
Certain brand names may be better than others, but you need to know what to look for in your baby’s bathing supplies. Before making a purchase, you should be aware of each product’s description. As you are shopping, here are a few things to give special attention to.
Using naturally occurring ingredients can decrease the likelihood of a flare-up. With already sensitive skin, you want to avoid things that your baby might have a reaction to. Instead, look for natural ingredients with healing elements or that help retain moisture. Some examples include:
- Shea Butter. This is an anti-inflammatory that also softens skin with its high vitamin concentration.
- Glycerin. This is great for sensitive skin and retaining moisture.
- Lanolin. Using lanolin allows the skin to hold moisture. With dry skin, this is effective.
- Hyaluronic Acid. This is naturally produced in the body and has been used to treat various wounds and sores.
- Oatmeal. In addition to having healing benefits, oatmeal also helps to ease itching. When bathing a baby with Eczema, this can create a great sense of comfort.
A final note on this point is that soaps and shampoos without scent are less likely to have harmful irritants or non-natural ingredients. Be sure to keep your baby’s skin safe by choosing natural products.
You should also look for recommendations from the National Eczema Association (NEA) to help guide your search. When you see that a given product is recognized by the NEA, it means that it has been widely tested and used by people with Eczema. On this organization’s website, you can search by product to make sure that it is safe for your baby.
Along with choosing the right bathing products, it is also important to moisturize your baby. After bathing, pat your baby dry then add lotion. This will reinforce any efforts you made in the tub to help your baby’s skin. The NEA has recommendations for this and you can also check out some ideas we came up with.
Be sure to dedicate some time to researching your baby’s Eczema safe bathing products.
Key Takeaways for Parents
Managing your baby’s Eczema while bathing will help them live a better life. By following our guide to bathing babies with Eczema, your baby will be more comfortable and have less dryness.
All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.