your baby needs a milk bath. Here's why

3 Terrific reasons to give your baby a milk bath

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I gotta confess, I’ll get caught up in a good fad in a heartbeat. And sometimes in a not-so-good fad. (looking at you, e-cigs.) Well, the latest mommy fad is giving babies a milk bath. And getting adorable pictures of it. Since you know I love fads – and since milk baths are all the rage these days – you probably think I just jumped right on board with them. Right?

Oh, you betcha!

your baby needs a milk bath. Here's why

But how could I not, when milk baths are nourishing, enjoyable, AND provide an excellent photo op? They’re so much fun and so darn cute! And there a few really terrific reasons you should make a milk bath for your baby.

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. It’s even said that Cleopatra took a milk bath 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.

It’s incredibly hydrating

The proteins and fats in milk hydrate and soften skin. Milk contains lactic acid, which can slough off dead skin cells for a super gentle exfoliation that allows the skin to drink up even more moisture.

Soaking in a milk bath creates softer, more supple skin. And it also gives skin a beautiful, healthy glow. So if you’re looking a bit ragged lately (perhaps not getting enough sleep?) you might want to get in the milk bath with your baby.

Related Post: How breastfeeding benefits YOU

Seriously. It can’t hurt, and it will probably do you a world of good. Your baby isn’t the only one who needs moisturized skin. 🙂

It strengthens the immune system

The single biggest difference between the milk you drink and breastmilk is that store-bought milk is dead. It’s not going to change until it goes bad. It is what it is – be that whole, skim, or soy. The fat content and the nutrients will stay the same.

Also, due to the pasteurization process, it has very little bacteria. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, considering the source.

Breastmilk, on the other hand, is dynamic and alive.

It never stays the same! It changes in several ways. All in response to cues that the mom’s body notices! So when a baby is sick, his mom’s milk changes to be just what he needs. When a baby hits a growth spurt, his mom’s milk adjusts for his body’s new needs.

And it’s a disease-fighting machine with antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. One serving of breastmilk is brimming with good bacteria and also contains millions of white blood cells. These white blood cells are essentially soldiers whose only goal is to slaughter pathogens.

Related Post: Colostrum: Baby’s first superfood

A mother’s milk also contains her DNA, complete with her immunological imprint, which is the sum of her body’s learned disease-fighting processes. So everything her body knows about fight illnesses is put into her breastmilk to teach her baby!

should you give a baby a milk bath?

With all that going on in breastmilk, you can see why it’s a good idea to not only feed it to little ones but also to let them soak in it.

It heals rashes, acne, and boo-boos

Did you know that if your little one has any kind of wound, rash, or even baby acne, then breastmilk is the single best medicine to use on it? Breastmilk has been shown to stimulate healing for all kinds of skin lesions.

In fact, some hospital burn units use human breastmilk to help heal their patients!

How is breastmilk so powerful? Well, according to Milk Genomics,

Milk contains biologically active ingredients, including white blood cells, antimicrobial proteins, and cell-signaling molecules, that influence immune function.

www.milkgenomics.com

Skin conditions that a milk bath will help heal

  • cradle cap
  • diaper rash
  • baby acne
  • eczema
  • burns
  • bug bites
  • cuts and scrapes
  • allergic reactions such as contact dermatitis and hives

I’m absolutely sure that this list isn’t all-inclusive. If your baby has a skin condition that’s not on the list – or you don’t know what it is – give them a milk bath and see how much it helps.

Bonus: milk bath pics are adorable

Who doesn’t smile when they see a cute picture of a baby, sitting in a milk bath surrounded by fruit? It’s just adorable!

While photo ops aren’t part of my official 3 Terrific Reasons, it’s still an awesome reason to give your baby a milk bath!

It doesn’t have to be complicated. The best tips for getting the perfect picture are:

  • put a folded towel in the bottom of the water so your baby doesn’t slip
  • add powdered milk to the breastmilk and water if you want it to look “milkier”
  • get as much light as you can (like in front of a window or outside)
  • Take gobs and gobs of pictures. It may take 50 shots to get that perfect one.

In conclusion

Milk is probably the healthiest, most nourishing, and most beneficial substance on earth. With all its immune fighting, wound healing, growth inducing goodness, it’s the perfect additive to a bath.

Giving your baby a milk bath will give him soft and supple skin, will boost his immune system, heal skin conditions, and will be great fun for him. Not to mention, you’ll have the chance to take some breathtaking pictures!

Have you given your baby a milk bath? What was your experience? Please comment below and share any other tips you might have.

Resources

DeForbes, D. (2014). 6 Amazing Uses for Breast Milk (Besides Feeding the Baby). Retrieved from https://earth911.com/living-well-being/health/6-amazing-uses-for-breast-milk-besides-feeding-baby/

Frost, S. (n.d.). Are There Benefits to Taking a Milk Bath? Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/144679-what-are-the-benefits-of-a-milk-bath/

Kasrae, H. , Amiri Farahani, L. and Yousefi, P. (2015), Efficacy of topical application of human breast milk on atopic eczema healing among infants: a randomized clinical trial. Int J Dermatol, 54: 966-971. doi:10.1111/ijd.12764

Medela. (2018). Unexptected Uses for Breast Milk. Retrieved from https://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/article/134/unexpected-uses-for-breast-milk

Newmark, L.M. (2017). Milk’s Bioactive Ingredients Help Wounds Heal Faster. Retrieved from https://milkgenomics.org/article/milks-bioactive-ingredients-help-wounds-heal-faster/

Palmer, A. (2018). Milk Baths for Your Skin. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/milk-bath-benefits-and-tips-4171716

Seifi, B., Jalali, S., & Heidari, M. (2017). Assessment Effect of Breast Milk on Diaper Dermatitis. Dermatology reports, 9(1), 7044. doi:10.4081/dr.2017.7044

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