How often should we bathe our children?

MamaB - posted on 04/13/2011 ( 134 moms have responded )

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I have decided that it's enough for my 7yr old twins to have a shower every other day and sometimes we even leave it 2 days unless they have had sports or are particularly dirty. In the winter we washed hair every 3 days. Every night if they are not having a shower they have a wash of all the important bits then clean their teeth. What do you think, am I doing the right thing?

MamaB
www.liveloveconquer.com

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Daniela - posted on 04/17/2011

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There is no right or wrong answer. The right is what works for you. It is also very cultural dependent. Nowhere in the wold do people bath so often as in US so the standard what is "clean" is based on that. In other parts of the world where people do not wash their hair every day, it is perfectly aceptable to so so every second or third day. As to comments about bacteria on the skin that we cannnot see and therefore the need to bath every day. Sure, there are microorganism living on our skin and they should actually be there (the right one), everyday washing actully wash away the protective layer of oil on skin allowing the bad bacteria to got closer to our skin cells. That is whay pediatricians do reccommend ease on the soap and do not bath every single day. There is such a thing as too much washing, many women/girls that have persistent yeast vaginal infection would do better with washing with just water, no soap. However if your skin is healthy, you have no eczema or other issues and you like the every day bath, then it is all good. My children gets the every day bath since they really love it as a part of evening rutine, but if we are too late and kids are too tired, I skipe the bath.

Jessica - posted on 01/31/2013

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Deciding how often your kids should be bathed is a personal choice. My children are 6 and 3 and I bathe them twice a week. They do not smell, they do not look dirty, their hair is brushed and clean. For people who feel like they should shower their kids daily and then spend money on lotions, I find that somewhat silly. Why buy lotions when you can allow your child's natural oils to do the work? Children need to maintain the good bacteria on their bodies to fight off bad bacteria, if we wash that away daily we are setting them up to get sick. I do wash them more during the summer d/t being outside and sweating more. But to each her own I guess. I know I have been doing this for years and my kids are rarely sick and no one has commented on them smelling.

Shawnn - posted on 11/06/2012

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To all the parents who think that those of us who don't shower daily are either lazy or just plain stupid...JUDGEMENTAL, MUCH???



FYI, bathing daily (for ANYONE) is not generally recommended, as it takes away essential bacteria and oils from your skin. These bacteria and oils are necessary! I have NEVER bathed daily (sponge baths excluded, of course, for pits and genitals) except for this summer. It was so hot and nasty that I showered daily. I am now fighting a nasty skin infection that was caused by daily showers drying out my skin to the extent that the essential bacteria were gone. The bacteria then went into overload trying to replace the lost ones, and caused an infection.



Yes, I use moisturizers, lotions, and Vitamin E oils, but none of them have the essential bacteria that your skin need. I visited with my doctor, and she told me that I was basically killing my skin. Prescribed an antibiotic ointment for the affected area, and told me to shower twice a week, no more.



Its been proven that babies that are obsessively bathed daily (or even twice a day) have more problems with their immune systems, more ear/nose/throat problems, than those who's parents bathed them 3-4 times a week. In my personal experience, I bathed my kids every other day or so, and my SIL bathed hers twice a day. Mine made it thru childhood with very few medical problems. Hers were constantly on antibiotics. She even asked me once why mine were so healthy and hers weren't...I asked if she was following her doctor's recommendations about bathing, and she said "No, because he can't understand having 2 babies in the house, and how stressed that makes all of us...bathing is the only way to calm them"...Well, if you don't want to follow physician's orders, then start expecting to dish out for medications.



So how about this: You who religiously bathe your children once or twice a day, rain or shine, go ahead and do that! The rest of us will stick with OUR schedules, and I really bet the world won't end.

Alison - posted on 04/18/2011

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You're absolutely doing the right thing! Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about not showering your child every day. It's your decision to make. My eldest daughter suffered terribly as a baby with dry skin to the point that it was cracked and bleeding in some places. I tried putting olive oil and prescription oils in the bath but in the end the health visitor suggested to me that I was inadvertantly making the situation worse by bathing her every day. I started bathing her every other day and her skin is so much better. I now have 6 year old twins as well & do the same with them. They wash all over on the days they do not have a shower and are perfectly well aware of the importance of cleanliness. Each parent has to decide for themselves their own routine. Do what suits you & what you feel happy with & don't let anyone else influence you.

Kim - posted on 04/13/2011

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My kids have dry skin and sometimes excema so i was told to only bathe/shower them every other to every 3 days. I usually try to stick to every other mostly because I want them to be used to at least that habit. In the summer with sunscreen, sweating etc they definitely get a shower daily. I see nothing wrong with every other day.

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Kim - posted on 07/01/2014

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Depending on the age of the child? Infants, 1 or 2 day over a year old every day is my personal opinion!

Shawnn - posted on 07/01/2014

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Ok, 'marine', we get it. You don't like people.

Oh, btw, quit calling everyone who doesn't agree with you 'dirty, lazy people'. it's uncalled for and very immature.

Marine - posted on 06/20/2014

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Yes exactly not sure who would think this is funny very dirty lazy people around obviously as I said before disgusting

Marine - posted on 06/20/2014

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Well said I can't stand smelly people my children are bathed every night some times more depending hair washed every night clean teeth and nice fresh clean bedding that's called being a parent !!!

Marine - posted on 06/20/2014

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Def you are spot on lazy and dirty parents I hate bet there homes stink disgusting not to put you're children to bed at night all clean and fresh bet bed sheets etc in there homes are done hardly never god my skin is crawling thinking about it gross

Marine - posted on 06/20/2014

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Sorry dirty dirty yuck wonder how often these parents who don't bath there kids every day actually bath or shower themselves and how dirty and smelly there houses are no personal hygiene is disgusting poor children going to school and nursery smelling!!!

Shawnn - posted on 06/18/2014

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Beno, you obviously have no clue about raising kids, but thanks for the laugh anyway

Beno - posted on 06/18/2014

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Kids are germ magnets.Teach your kids good hygiene now otherwise they will be adults w bad hygiene.Sad, people are just too lazy to keep their children clean. there's no way u will let yr kids get into bed without showering. they definitely need to shower at least once a day!.some lazy parent use excuses like ..well the doctor told me not to shower the kids very often..or my kids have very dry hair..whatever ..dont wait when they begin to start puberty to teach them how to take shower daily.

Beno - posted on 06/18/2014

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well i guess we dont have the same definition of being clean.kids should take shower twice daily.i wonder why a lot of people doesnt shower often.they are just lazy. one a days is not enough.teach your kids not to be lazy when it come to take a shower

Julia - posted on 04/03/2014

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Carol, I agree kids should not be walking around itchy and smelly. It would say it is a slightly different issue. Kids don't have the dexterity to wipe well until about 5. Some baby wipes in the bathroom are a help. When she is with you you might want to teach her to look and wipe until the TP looks clean. Then use a wet wipe. Those bits should be wiped down by an adult daily on a potty traing child until they are fully capible to do it themselves.

Amy - posted on 03/06/2014

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My 12yr old daughter everynight! My 5yr old son everyother day. That will change in summer with the heat of course. It may be daily then. I dont think that what you are currently doing is anything different than what I do.

Carol - posted on 03/05/2014

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Just my 2 cents. I'm a nanny and I watch a 4 year old girl and a 2 year old boy. I don't think the boy needs daily showers or baths, given the fact he's still in diapers and gets wiped every time I chanfe him. But the older girl is potty trained, and she wipes herself every time she goes potty. Somedays, when I'm getting her dressed, I have to literally ask her to lay down so I can give her a good wipe. Their parents don't bathe or shower her everyday, and although I understand, I still think that once your child is potty trained, they need their privates to be cleaned every night before bed. I can SMELL her, and I always feel bad. She's always itching, always have her hands inside her pants, and parents are constantly yelling at her for that. So just my opinion, if you're not bathing them everyday, at least make sure they're clean before bed, so they don't get itchy in their privates.

Julia - posted on 01/25/2014

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Remember when ur baby was born and the doctor told you bathing them everyday wasn't good for their skin? That is still true as they get older (and for adults too). They are now showing with scientific studies that all the soaps and sanitizer a we use are not good for us. Prepubescent kids don't have all the active hormones that make adults and teens smell. Kids who smell at school have other issues, such as poor wiping habits or lack of bathing for more than ever other day. Everyotger day bathing is fine for prepubescent kids. And frankly no one should be soaping up daily, it isn't good for you on several levels including chemical exposure if you use most of the widely used body washes and shampoos and it dries out your skin. Once puberty hits kids should rinse off daily and clean the 3 essential parts daily. The entire body doesn't need to be soaped up daily on anyone and no one needs to wash tgier hair more than every other day. It actually isn't good for you.

Aimee - posted on 01/14/2014

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Do they wear dirty clothes as well? Seeing as they don't get dirty, do the clothes? What about bedding? Children have to learn a general idea of hygiene from somebody. And I do agree that they will get picked on.( I worked with children and saw it firsthand.)

Chet - posted on 01/14/2014

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Our kids have baths when they're dirty.

In the winter they have a bath about once a week. In the summer it really depends. We've had days where they get two baths in one day or three in 24 hours no problem.

Our girls have long hair and it's a pretty involved process to wash it and do it up. Once it's done though it doesn't have much chance to get dirty wound up in a bun or done up in braids.

Alejandra - posted on 01/14/2014

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I have an 11 year old and a 3 year and they take a shower every day before bed there's no way I will let them get into bed without showering I think is disgusting children get dirty they sweat and go to the bathroom so I think they definitely need to shower at least once a day!

Sarah - posted on 07/02/2013

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I think bathing is up to the parent because if you are hygienicly clean it will be very often that you bath the kids,

Gillian - posted on 02/25/2013

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Well, what a lot of differences of opinion!!

At the end of the day there is no right or wrong answer. We all live in different climates with different lifestyles, each parent should do what is right for their family. Young children don't tend to sweat in the same way that adults do so on that count require less bathing.

I don't have a hard and fast rule, my daughter swims 3 times a week and takes a shower afterwards, I don't worry about her showering the rest of the week as feel that she is clean enough. However she is beginning to start puberty so I am on the look out for greasy hair and smells developing, if I notice these then she is encouraged to take a shower. I am sure that as she get further into puberty she will want to shower more frequently as she would not want to smell or have greasy hair.

My son is 6 years old and tends to shower or bath 2/3 times a week, this is ample for him. Unless he has been exercising a great deal more and becomes sweaty then additional baths are encouraged.

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Shawnn - posted on 02/19/2013

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@ Susan. You point fingers, yet you fail to share your standard for cleanliness, nor do you bring any valid arguments to the table.

Shawnn - posted on 02/19/2013

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@ Michelle Passwaters: With a crappy attitude towards your students, I'm surprised you are still teaching. Oh, and BTW? You teachers can back off on your "fragrance layering" too...You don't have to bathe in your fragrance, you know, and some of us (and our "stinky" children) are sensitive to excessive perfume/cologne use.

My god, I'm so glad that you aren't a teacher in my area, with a piss poor attitude like yours. Sit on your high horse, Miss Passwaters, and judge all that you deem incompetent, stinky losers...you too shall be judged in your turn.

Susan - posted on 02/19/2013

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Kids will tease kids who smell, also dirty finger nails are gross.
Their hair will stink too.
Sad, people are just too lazy to keep their children clean

Brandy - posted on 02/17/2013

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I'm with you Mama B. I bathe my kids every other day in the winter due to skin issues (eczema). We live in Nebraska and when it gets cold the water gets very hard (on your skin) I have a 7 year old and a almost 2 year old (both girls). In the summer I do bathe them everyday because I do believe they get dirtier in the summer (due to sweating) than in the winter when their activities are limited. Now once my 7 year old (girl) starts needing deodorant she'll be getting a bathe daily! :)

Kim - posted on 02/17/2013

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It really depends on the child and how dirty/smelly they get. My kids, ages 9 and 4 get showers every night they have school. They get really dirty at school--markers, paint, playground dirt, food from lunch, etc. etc. On the weekends, we take a break. I think it's better for their skin and hair to not be washed every single day. If they do get dirty or sweaty on a weekend, we'll wash up. When children get to 5th grade and hormones start kicking in, then it's time for that daily shower, no matter what.

Michele - posted on 02/17/2013

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I work in a K-2 elementary school, I don't want to smell your dirty children or stinky hair! Nothing's worse than a parent and child w bad hygiene, sad to say I've gaged more than I can stamach! Teach your kids good hygiene now otherwise they will be adults w bad hygiene and not a good job. I have 4 kids all bathed every night except an occational skipped weekend night if they never left the house. Kids are germ magnets!

SheryL - posted on 02/17/2013

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My boys, age 10 & 12 are on an every other day rotation, so as not to use up too much water all on one night. My daughter is only 3 and a clean freak, so she showers every day. I don't really want to stop this habit, to have issues in the future. The shampooing however; I find only necessary every other shower or if they have been super active.

Wendy - posted on 02/17/2013

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i have 3 girls age 9, 8, and 2. i give them a shower every day. my middle one has got excema and i find it help as she will put her cream on more. i also find that it helps kids and adults to relax more and sleep better, when i have missed a shower then we have not slepted very well that night. i find aveeno cream every night after a shower helps with any skin problems i have dry skin myself. my wee one is a really good sleeper when i use the lavender baby lotion on her after a bath.

LaQuetta - posted on 02/17/2013

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My kids are older so I feel as if they should bathe every night they are too active for the two day thing.

Julia - posted on 02/15/2013

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First let me just say I'm not a crunchy earth chick (not that there is anything wring with that). I am a very well educated professional woman who works in a suits and ties kind of job, but have have learned a few things from some of my earthier friends. For most of my life I bathed and washed my hair daily. Now I wash my hair once sometimes twice a week and even then i just do the roots and only do to the tips on occasion and it has never been so healthy. I am using a cleansing conditioner and it is AMAZING! i also use an olive oil based french milled soap. Also AMAZING! Neither product suds like most soaps and i know people who have found that a turn off. some people are a little freaked out by the lack of suds. But my hair and skin have never been healthier. Others have commented about how good my hair looks and asks what i have been using. When i tell them i have basically stopped washing my hair they are SHOCKED! i convinced one of my super trendy glamazon girlfriends to try it and she was hooked once she got over the emotional factor of wanting to feel the suds. sweaky clean isn't good for you or your skin. My son bathes every other day. Why do you think the French make such beautiful perfumes? to camouflage the fact that they don't bath daily. I don't think i could get over at least rinsing off and doing a few essential parts daily. But my skin and hair are so much happier without the daily scrub. Sorry if this is error ridden. I can't see what I'm typing for some reason. days he only washes essential parts.

Stephanie - posted on 11/08/2012

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Of course! we all have to eat a bushelfull of dirt before we die. As long as their hands, face & hair are clean inbetween baths then its fine. If you don't let your child get a little bit exposed to germs then they will never build up an immunity.

Rebecca - posted on 11/07/2012

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If they are clean and don't smell, you are doing fine. Many people don't wash their hair every time they are in the shower anyway because it may get dried out from the shampoo removing natural oils. They probably don't have body odor yet. As long as they are clean and smell ok, no problem.

Angela - posted on 11/06/2012

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Our doctor told us not to bathe our son everyday that it was just drying his skin out and making his excema worse.

Vanessa - posted on 11/04/2012

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I think every other day is fine for kids who haven't developed body odor yet. That said, B.O. starts earlier than you might think, so you've got to stay on top of it and be ready to transition them to baths more often. For some reason, kids seem to start resisting baths and showers right when they need them most - my daughter LOVED bathing until she hit puberty and then she suddenly became allergic to water!

Stephanie - posted on 11/03/2012

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My daughter has psorisis so she has a bath on a sunday night and then when required mid week. She washes the bits that show every day. She doen't smell & her hair is clean. I don't see the problem. In fact, her skin doctor told her that she shouldn't even have a bath more than once a week because the essential oils her skin needs are washed away by having a bath more often than that.

Jen - posted on 11/02/2012

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To Denise A - First, kids (and adults) form new habits all the time. My kids did not do homework ages 0-5, but now they do. They didn't cook for themselves or do their own laundry, but someday they will. They took a daily nap, but now they don't. Children are not nearly so entrenched in one particular routine as you imply. Second, teenagers are not filthy, disgusting, sweaty beings. Yes, some of them may need to shower every day. Especially if they play sports. But most of them don't need to do it every day even as teenagers. And if they start to be smelly without a shower, they'll notice and adjust. The age they start to smell is the same age they really want to impress friends and potential dates, so they'll make sure they keep clean. Any pediatrician will tell you that you don't need to, and shouldn't, bathe small children every day. Certainly not multiple times a day!

Jen - posted on 11/02/2012

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I'm shocked at the number of people who are saying every other day is not enough for SEVEN year olds!! If you bathe your children every day because it's part of their nighttime routine or something, fine. But it takes a lot for a 7 year old to smell. Many adults don't even shower every day, and don't need to! I have 3 children, all over 7. One of them showers every day, because he plays sports for hours most days, and NEEDS a shower. Neither of the other 2 shower every day, and they do NOT smell. Personally, I take a shower every day because my hair needs it, but if my hair didn't get greasy so fast, I would skip days, because my body doesn't really need it and it dries out my skin. Do whatever you think is best for your kids and their specific situation. You are better off teaching them to recognize when they are NOT clean and need to shower, than to make them believe that they are constantly dirty and smelly.

Stacy - posted on 10/28/2012

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I think it depends on how dirty your child is, the time of year, and if your child has dry skin. Bathing you child more than once a day is just TOO MUCH. Your skin has bacteria on it, but a lot of that is beneficial bacteria. It's good for your immune system. There are so many more kids with allergies these days, and a lot of that comes from being TOO clean. Kids who grow up on farms have the fewest allergies. Some dirt is good. Bathing children too often can also lead to dry skin, which then cracks and bleeds, letting bacteria into the body, causing illness. So too much of a good thing is a bad this, at least in some cases.

Aquila - posted on 10/27/2012

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My children take a bath everyday, sometimes twice a day. My son would never go to school without taking a bath. I make sure I always tell them that they are taking a bath to get rid of germs and to smell pretty (my daughter seems to like that the most). I always compliment them in how clean and pretty/handsome they look, tell them to go look in the mirror and them tell them to go show daddy how great they look and how good they smell. They really enjoy all the positive attention. Bath time is always fun, they have toys and add bubbles almost every time! Sometimes I read to them while they're soaking in the tub. They particularly like that! By the time they get into their pjs and brushed their teeth they're tired and relaxed enought for a great night of sleep. About dry skin, there are countless lotions out there to help keep our little ones skin moisterized. Plus, my children love having a massage when I'm putting lotion on them. Please do your kids a favor and give them a bath everyday no matter how clean you think they are. They'll thank you once they have to use these skills on their own. It won't be such a big deal but rather a daily habit.

Dianne - posted on 10/27/2012

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I think that's absolutely enough , anymore than that and they get dry skin it's better for there hair to wash 2-3 times a week so your absolutely right

Sherry - posted on 10/26/2012

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in the summer my daughter gets a shower daily, or even twice if it's super hot out or she has sweat a lot.



in the winter, i cut it back to every second day because her hair and skin dries out too much otherwise. plus, the level of physical activity is not quite what it is in the summer, so she doesn't sweat like in summer.



as for spring/fall, the once a day vs once every second day is dependent on weather. if it's cold and dry, every second day. if it's warm and humid, every day.



when puberty hits, we'll be stepping it up to every day regardless of weather/season.

Amber - posted on 10/25/2012

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Both my boys had/have cradle cap. i usually only wash the babies hair about one a week, my toddler twice. your body produces natural oils that if always washed away can cause dry skin/acne and all sorts of other problem. I only wash my hair every other day and unless i smell i generally only rinse off in the shower.



In all honesty though if you think you are doing the right thing, then you are. Not all mothers will raise their children exactly the same, as long as they are happy healthy and relatively clean you are doing GREAT.

Valarie - posted on 10/24/2012

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Hygiene habits start NOW! In just 2 (maybe even one) year their hormones will begin to change, and they willl not be able to go a day without bathing. Children are so cruel, and if they become tart during school, their schoolmates will let them know....and without tact. Additionally, it is MUCH harder to change such habits during the age of puberty! I STRONGLY reocmmend bathing those children EVERY day!

Angie - posted on 10/08/2012

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Its ok to do every other day. My kids have extremely dry skin so I do that to all 5 of them.

Rita - posted on 10/08/2012

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I can't believe that there are so many moms that think it's ok not to bathe every day. And the excuses? Ridiculous. Don't bathe because it's too cold? Are you bathing your children outside? My god I can even think about the smell...

Lee - posted on 10/03/2012

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I bathe my grandson every other day unless he wants to take a warm bath then he can any evening.. I dont use soap on him every bath .iIn summer I scrub his feet and knees because they are dirty from play..in the winter a mild soap twice a week thats it.. As far

as the eczema that people seem to be complaining about .i know from my own experience, allergy to eggs can cause eczema. .some times eczema is the only symptom of an egg alergy.i had eczema very bad . within 3 weeks of not eating eggs it started to clear up ..i havent had it come back in 5 years .

Ambrosia - posted on 10/01/2012

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My daughter has a very bad cause of eczema and she still gets a shower every night. Bathing does indeed dry out your skin but there are many ways to put moisture back into the skin. I never use lotion on her it has alcohol and that is also drying. She uses EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and her skin stash moist. So using eczema is not an excuse to not bathe everyday. At about to kids begin sinking so a bath every other day is unexceptable.

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