Want to help your baby have soft, supple, and nourished skin? A breast milk bath for a baby is a nurturing and natural experience that harnesses the remarkable benefits of breast milk to soothe and protect your little one’s skin from head to toe.
Not only does a breast milk bath soothe your baby’s sensitive skin, but it removes rashes and bumps, moisturizes, and promotes the softest, healthiest skin imaginable!
You might be wondering, how exactly does it work? The very first time I tried it I had some questions, too. How much breast milk should I add? Should I rinse it off before drying? Can I use it on hair? Will it leave a sticky or tacky residue?
Today, we’re going to dive into the how-to and uncover the science behind the amazing benefits of a breast milk bath. Get ready to embrace the natural power of breast milk to heal, pamper, and soothe.
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What is a breast milk bath?
A breast milk bath is a soothing and nourishing bath where you infuse your baby’s bathwater with the incredible benefits of breast milk. This gentle and natural approach nourishes, protects, and heals your baby’s delicate skin.
While adults can reap all the benefits of breast milk in their baths too, it’s usually done for babies for photoshoots or to heal and protect their skin.
Adding breast milk to the bath enriches the water with essential nutrients, healthy fats, vitamins, and antibodies that work wonders for your baby’s skin. As your baby splashes and plays in the warm water infused with breast milk their skin absorbs all of the goodness it offers.
It’s a simple yet powerful way to care for your baby’s delicate skin using the unique benefits that breast milk offers. It’s especially helpful for a variety of skin conditions:
- Diaper rash
- Acne and baby bumps
- Minor cuts
- Bug bites
- Skin infections
- Blocked tear ducts
- Cracked and sore skin
- Cradle cap
Breast milk bath benefits for a baby
We all know about the immunity-boosting qualities of breast milk, but did you know that it can also work wonders for your baby’s skin? Let’s dive into the many benefits:
Nourishes and moisturizes
The essential nutrients, healthy fats, and vitamins found in breast milk provide deep nourishment to your baby’s skin. It acts as a natural moisturizer, leaving their skin soft, smooth, and well-hydrated.
Soothes skin conditions
A breast milk bath can be especially helpful for babies with skin conditions like eczema or diaper rash. Breast milk’s healing properties soothe irritation, reduce inflammation, and alleviate discomfort. In fact, breast milk has been shown to be just as effective as hydrocortisone 1% in treating mild to moderate eczema, as well as diaper rash. You win, mama!
Protects and strengthens
The antibodies in breast milk help strengthen your baby’s skin defenses, providing a natural barrier against harmful bacteria and infections. It supports their developing immune system and promotes overall skin health, too.
Combats baby acne
Breast milk has antibacterial properties that can actually help tackle baby acne. Whether you apply breast milk directly to the affected areas or add it to their bathwater, it can reduce the appearance of those pesky bumps. Lauric acid goes to battle against the bacteria causing baby acne, giving your little one smoother and clearer skin. It’s a simple and natural way to help your baby say goodbye to those tiny bumps.
Breast milk contains growth factors and antimicrobial substances that work wonders for minor cuts, scratches, or insect bites on your baby’s skin. Breast milk speeds up the healing process and provides some relief from discomfort. Plus, the antibacterial antibodies found in breast milk soothe those cuts and bug bites while also safeguarding against potential infections.
Gentle and natural
Unlike commercial skin care products that often contain chemicals or fragrances, a breast milk bath offers a gentle and natural alternative. It’s perfect for a baby’s sensitive skin, reducing the risk of irritation or allergic reactions.
Bonding and calming experience
Getting cozy in a breast milk bath with your baby is more than just a bath—it’s a chance to bond in a unique way. The warm water and familiar scent of breast milk can be calming, promoting relaxation and a sense of security.
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How to draw a breast milk bath for a baby
Step 1: Fill the bath with water
Start by filling your baby’s bath with warm water, making sure it’s not too hot or cold. The ideal temperature is comfortably warm, similar to your baby’s natural body temperature.
Step 2: Add the liquid gold
Now it’s time to infuse the bathwater with the incredible benefits of breast milk. You can use fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried breast milk for a bath. Frozen breast milk should be thawed before adding it to the warm bath water, while freeze-dried breast milk should be properly reconstituted.
Pour 1-2 oz of breast milk at a time into the bath until the water looks slightly cloudy. The goal is to incorporate enough breast milk into the bathwater to provide benefits to your baby’s skin without overpowering the water so they can still get clean.
Feel free to adjust the quantity of breast milk based on your baby’s sensitivity and your personal preference. Some parents find that a smaller amount of breast milk works well for their baby, while others prefer to use a bit more.
Step 3: Wash and soak in the breast milk bath
Gently place your little one into the breast milk-infused bathwater and let their skin absorb all the natural nutrients, healthy fats, and protective antibodies found in breast milk. Allow your baby to soak in the breast milk bath for a total of 10-15 minutes. Much longer can cause some irritation for extra sensitive skin.
During this time, you can gently splash the milky water over their body and gently dab some onto their face and behind their ears. Gently cleanse their body using just the milky water. Choosing to use soap in a breast milk bath is a personal preference, but it may interfere with the benefits of breast milk.
While breast milk baths for a baby are most typically focused on the baby’s body rather than their head and hair, it can help with certain scalp conditions or promote healthy hair growth. You can gently pour a small amount of breast milk water onto your baby’s scalp, massage it in, and then rinse it out. To reduce the greasiness that may come from breast milk in hair, you may prefer to rinse your baby’s hair out with plain warm water.
Step 5: Pat dry
When it’s time to wrap up the bath, lift your baby out of the water and pat them dry with a soft, warm towel. As you gently dry their skin, you’ll immediately notice how soft and supple it feels. After drying, you can massage them with a gentle moisturizer to lock in the hydrating properties of the breast milk.
Step 6: Drain the water
Drain the water as usual and that’s it!
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Do’s and don’ts of making a breast milk bath for babies
Use fresh breast milk if you canIt’s generally best to use fresh breast milk for a breast milk bath for maximum nutritional and antimicrobial properties. However, frozen or freeze-dried breast milk still works wonders and provides similar benefits, too.
Test the temperatureBefore placing your baby in the breast milk bath, check the temperature by testing the water against your inner wrist or forearm. It should be comfortably warm, similar to your baby’s body temperature.
Start with a small amountBegin with a small amount of breast milk, like 1-2 ounces, in the bathwater. You can gradually increase the quantity if you’d like, but the goal is a slightly cloudy appearance for a good water-to-milk ratio that still helps cleanse your baby’s skin.
Keep an eye on your baby’s signalsWatch how your little one responds during the bath. If they seem relaxed and happy, that’s a good sign to keep going with the breast milk baths. But if you notice any signs of discomfort or irritation, it’s best to stop and talk to your healthcare provider for guidance.
Use spoiled breast milkSpoiled breast milk may have harmful bacteria or other pathogens that could potentially cause infections or skin irritations when applied to your baby’s skin.
Use soaps or other additivesKeep the breast milk bath simple and free of additional additives like soap, oils, or lotions. These can interfere with the natural benefits of breast milk.
Leave your baby unattendedAlways supervise your baby closely during the breast milk bath. Never leave them alone in the water, even for a moment.
Use too much milkUsing an excessive amount of breastmilk is not only wasteful but won’t offer any added benefits. Plus, it can make the water overly sticky and harder to use for proper cleaning.
Reuse breast milk bathwaterOnce the bath is complete, don’t reuse the breast milk-infused water for future baths. The water may contain bacteria or contaminants from the baby’s body.
Differences in breast milk baths for photos
When it comes to a breast milk bath for a baby photoshoot, things get a little different compared to your regular bath routine.
During a milk bath photoshoot, the focus shifts from the functional benefits of breast milk to the sheer aesthetic delight. The milk isn’t there to clean or nourish the baby’s skin this time around. It’s all about creating a visually captivating backdrop that adds that extra oomph to your photos.
Here are the key differences when drawing a milk bath for photos:
Increased milk quantity
To create those jaw-dropping photos, you’ll need to use a larger quantity of breast milk than usual. It’s all about making the bath look dreamy and opaque. The exact amount depends on the desired effect and the size of your tub or basin. The goal? Achieving a milky wonderland that adds a touch of magic to your photos.
No cleaning this time
Unlike a regular breast milk bath where the focus is on cleansing and nourishing the baby’s skin, a milk bath photoshoot is all about the visuals. The milk becomes a prop, creating an enchanting and ethereal atmosphere that adds a luxurious and beautiful touch to the photographs.
If you want to take your photos to the next level, don’t be afraid to get creative! You can spice things up by adding embellishments and decorations to the bath. Think flower petals, fresh or dried flowers, greenery, or anything that matches the theme or style of your photoshoot. These additions make for a visually stunning and artistic composition.
What makes breast milk so great for skin health?
Here are some of the key players that make breastmilk a powerhouse of skin health goodness:
- Immunoglobulin A (IgA): Your baby’s ultimate defender, this remarkable blood protein tackles infection-causing bacteria, ensuring their skin stays healthy and protected.
- Palmitic acid: A super-moisturizer that leaves your baby’s skin soft and supple.
- Lauric acid: Say goodbye to baby acne! Lauric acid’s antibacterial properties can help combat those pesky little bumps. It’s also found in coconut oil, a beauty staple.
- Oleic acid: A moisturizer that not only hydrates but also fights signs of aging.
- Vaccenic acid: Protection and nourishment for the skin? Yes, please! This acid keeps your baby’s skin healthy and radiant.
- Linoleic acid: Does your baby have spots or inflammation? Linoleic acid lightens those spots and reduces any redness or irritation.