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More and more, moms are giving their babies (and themselves) a milk bath using breastmilk. Which is awesome!! Breastmilk is incredibly nourishing, and a lot of moms are saying that it’s helped their heal baby rashes like diaper rash, as well as baby eczema. So it’s definitely worth a try.
Now when it comes to taking fancy baths, I have a terrible track record. My list of screw-ups is longer than the line for the women’s bathroom at a rock concert. Let me be perfectly clear: I have messed up. Repeatedly.
But you’ve lucked out because I now know exactly how to not do it wrong! (Or should it be “how not to do it wrong” or “how to do it not wrong”? Whatever. You get the idea.)
I think I’ve made just about every bathtub mistake you can make. And if I can prevent you from making a few
And since the most nourishing thing you can do for your baby’s skin is to give her a milk bath, I’m going to tell you how to do that safely. I’ll give you the best tips to make your baby’s milk bath experience awesome! But first, let me share some of my own bathtub mishaps.
My own bathtub mishaps
Here are a few bath mistakes I’ve made (milk bath and otherwise):
• The first time I used a jacuzzi tub, I added some bubble bath then started the jets at the same time I started the water running. So bubbly arcs of water sprayed everywhere. The room flooded with bubbles.
• One time I added peppermint essential oil directly to my bathwater. If you’ve never experienced the hellish burn of lava on your girl parts, you can’t possibly understand the trauma. It seems like water would have soothed the burn. Not so, my friend. Not so.
• And now for some bathtub math: 1 slippery tub + 1 wrong move + 1 bath knob disturbingly shaped like a dagger = lifetime scar. It was my child who got injured, not me. First on the list of things to change is that dagger-shaped bath knob. Seriously, who thought that was a good idea?!?
• Finally, there was a milk bath with lemon slices. Fun fact: lemon curdles milk. Disgusting!!
What is a milk bath?
Just like it sounds, a milk bath is simply taking a bath in milk. Not straight milk, of course. Watered-down milk. All you have to do is add milk to bathwater, and voila! You have a milk bath.
For centuries, milk baths have been considered a luxurious beauty treatment. I heard that Cleopatra took one every day to protect her young-looking skin and retain her beauty.
A milk bath with regular cow’s milk is said to moisturize, gently exfoliate, and nourish the skin. But breastfeeding moms like to add breastmilk, and with good reason. The stuff is like liquid gold. I’m convinced that there’s nothing breastmilk can’t do. So if cow’s milk is beneficial, can you imagine how much more beneficial breastmilk is?
Related Post: 6 Incredible reasons to give your baby breastmilk
A note: you don’t have to use breastmilk. Or breastmilk only. You can also add in regular cow’s milk, soy milk, goat milk, powdered milk, coconut milk… just whatever milk makes you happy.
How do you keep your baby from slipping in the bath?
Is there anything more slippery than a squirming baby in a bathtub? I don’t think so. Maybe if they had baby oil on them…
The purpose of a milk bath is to soothe and help your baby. So you don’t want her to get hurt while taking it. Keep your wiggly little baby safe and upright by putting a folded towel in the bottom of the tub for her to sit on during her bath.
Pro tip: a white towel will blend right in, which is a good thing if you plan to take milk bath pictures.
How long should a milk bath last?
To get the most benefit from a milk bath, it should last 15-20 minutes. This will give your baby’s skin a chance to soak up all the healthy ingredients your milk has to offer.
So get your little one involved in a fun game of splish-splash, play peek-a-boo, snap some pictures, and add some bath toys to keep her entertained. That should give her as much bath time as possible.
How to make the milk bath look milky?
Add a little milk to water, and you get…wait for it…cloudy water. It’s not as easy as you might think to make it look like milk.
If the sole purpose of your baby’s milk bath is to soak up nutrients and nourish her skin, then just add your breastmilk and let her soak in the cloudy water. To create a beneficial milk bath, you really only need 1/2 cup to 2 cups of breastmilk in the bath.
Related Post: 3 Terrific reasons to give your baby a milk bath
But if you’re wanting to take gorgeous milk bath pictures, you need to whiten that water up!
- Add a ton more breastmilk (a totally viable option, but maybe a tad wasteful)
- Pour in regular milk
- Stir in some powdered milk
The powdered milk is your best bet for getting milky-white water. Since regular milk is already liquid, it takes a LOT of milk to achieve a milky-looking bath. But powdered milk gets the job done easily.
And don’t worry about it causing a problem with the breastmilk. Different kinds of milk don’t take away any of the benefits of having breastmilk in the bath.
Throw in some milk bath accessories
Bath pictures are lovely, but they’re so much cuter if you float some colorful extras in the water with your baby. You can go the playful route with toys. Add some health-boosting herbs. Make it beautiful with flowers. Or make a hungry baby happy with cereal. Really, the sky is the limit for what you can add to the bath.
Here are some add-in ideas for what to put in your baby’s milk bath:
- fresh-cut flowers
- rubber duckies
- green herbs
- cereal (Froot Loops and Cheerios are favorites)
- balls – especially if they’re glittery or colorful
- Oreos (It’s not a great idea. For obvious reasons. But I gotta admit, it makes a cute picture.)
- toy boats
- A blend of any of the above. Fruit and flowers look especially nice together.
Don’t curdle the milk
There’s a current trend (that’s potentially dangerous) where citrus fruit is being put into the milk bath. Not a good idea. At all.
First, citrus will curdle milk. Ew.
Second, it can burn baby skin that’s sensitive or already irritated.
Third, the acid in citrus fruits changes the properties of milk – thereby ruining the effectiveness of the milk bath.
Fourth, if you’re doing a milk bath photoshoot outside, the oils in citrus fruits magnify sun exposure and can cause severe sunburns.
I totally get that the slices of lemon, lime, and orange are beautiful
Make it a photoshoot
Of course, while your little one is soaking up the milky goodness, it’s the perfect time to get some pics. Having the bath in a bright room or outside will give you the perfect amount of light to make your photos turn out beautiful.
Don’t just take a few pictures though. Ever notice how photographers snap like a bazillion shots? That’s because sometimes it takes a bazillion shots to get that one perfect one.
So take lots and lots of pictures from lots and lots of angles.
Your milk bath
What does a successful milk bath look like to you? One that heals a rash? Nourishes the skin? Provides gorgeous photo ops?
Whatever it is you’re looking for from a milk bath, these tips will help you achieve just that.
Did you give your baby a milk bath – or take one for yourself? What tips would you add to the list? Please share them in the comments below!