The daily bath or shower is a routine for many of us — and for our children, too. But is it really necessary?
The short answer is no.
Obviously, there are days when washing up makes good sense — like if your child is grimy from a day in the dirt; covered in sweat, paint, or other visible dirt; or had an explosive poop. It’s also a good idea to wash up if your child has spent the day in a pool (the chlorine may be irritating to the skin), a body of water (there could be things in the water that are irritating or unhealthy), or well-covered in bug spray to ward off ticks and mosquitoes. And certainly, it’s best for everyone in the vicinity when a stinky teenager takes a soapy shower.
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Sometimes a doctor may recommend daily bathing for certain skin conditions. And we all need to wash our hands regularly to prevent infection. But full-body washing just for the sake of washing? Not so much.
Why not bathe a child daily?
Lots of bathing can lead to dry, irritated skin. But also, the skin has natural protective oils, and natural bacteria, that help to keep us healthy and safe — and that can get washed away with daily bathing.
If your baby or preteen looks pretty clean, isn’t stinky, isn’t covered in bug spray, and hasn’t been in a pool or other body of water, it’s fine to skip the bath or shower. Really, bathing two or three times a week is fine. In fact, for many kids, even just once or twice a week is fine. You can always do a quick wipe with a wet washcloth to the face, groin area, and any dirty spots.
Stinky teenagers might need more bathing or showering, depending on activity level and deodorant use. But even they may be able to get away with washing their face and using a soapy washcloth on their groin and underarms.
Tips for healthy bathing
When you do bathe children, here are some tips for healthy bathing.
- Don’t use hot water — use warm water instead.
- Keep it short — preferably just enough time to get the washing done.
- Avoid antibacterial soaps and bubble baths. Use mild, unscented soap and shampoo.
- Make sure bathing is supervised for all babies and young children.
- Pat dry rather than rubbing dry. If your child tends to have dry skin, using a mild, unscented greasy moisturizer after the bath can be helpful.
If your child has eczema or any other skin condition, check with your doctor to get tailored advice for bathing your child.
Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
“Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand;
I act and who can reverse it?”
More verses: Habakkuk 3:6 Matthew 19:26 Luke 1:37 Revelation 19:6
Power » Promised » Strength, moral and spiritual promised
Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
2 Samuel 22:40
“For You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. More verses: Isaiah 28:5-6 Daniel 11:32
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