The short answer is… NO!
The Harvard Medical School says 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 for a day or two (or even three!).
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.
The American Academy of Dermatology agree, we should only be bathing babies three times a week, under one year, and children age 6-11 at least once or twice a week. Stinky teens should wash daily!
Most maternity hospitals in Australia recommend delaying a baby’s first bath for at least a few days. Leaving the protective vernix on your baby’s skin to work its natural magic.
Celebrity parents, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have been in the spotlight before after admitting that their kids aren’t bathed every day.
“Here’s the thing: If you can see the dirt on them, clean them,” Kutcher said. “Otherwise, there’s no point.”
Blogger, Constance Hall copped flack in the past for admitting she doesn’t bathe her kids very often.
Constance shocked the internet when she revealed she doesn’t bathe the kids every day, explaining skipping a bath “won’t kill them”.
“They don’t have to bath or shower every day. They can quite often skip that part of the routine if it’s getting everyone down. I’m like, ‘Fine, stinky, go to school and gross everyone out’,” she added.
Tips for healthy bathing
When you do bathe children, here are some tips for healthy skin
- 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.