What is a baby milk bath? And how do you give one? Everything you need to know about baby milk baths (using breast milk, cow milk, and more).
You may have heard of having a baby milk bath, as the pictures seem to be all over social media.
Milk bath photography is on trend! But besides being all the rage, what actually is a milk bath, and what is the purpose of one?
Besides giving you the chance to grab adorable Insta-worthy pictures of your bundle of joy, milk baths come with real health benefits!
In fact, milk baths are great for baby’s skin.
Both cows milk and human breast milk have tried and tested nourishing benefits to help with diaper rash, eczema, cradle cap and baby acne. Plus, it’s a great way to use up excess breast milk that’s past its expiration date.
If it’s good enough for Cleopatra, then it’s worth seeing the benefits of a milk bath for your little one too!
What is a Baby Milk Bath?
A baby milk bath is a regular bath, with added milk.
You don’t need to fill the tub entirely with milk. Just with enough milk to make the water cloudy.
How much milk you need depends on whether you’re using a baby bath tub or using a larger tub. Count on using between 1/2 cup to 2 cups of milk.
Allow your little one to soak for around 15 minutes to absorb the lovely nutrients the milk contains.
What are the Benefits of a Breast Milk Bath?
There are a heap of health benefits related to giving your baby a milk bath, and also to using breast milk, which is chock full of nutrients, fatty acids, and vitamins.
Breast milk is not only good for your baby from the inside, but protects and nourishes your baby’s skin on the outside too, and helps manage babies’ skin issues.
Human breast milk includes:
- oleic acid and palmitic acid, which are both natural moisturizers
- linoleic acid, which lightens spots and reduces inflammation
- immunoglobulin A, a blood protein that contains infection-fighting bacteria
Mother Nature has dealt us a win with our breast milk!
And these days, it’s no longer just for drinking, but lets you nourish your kiddo’s skin, breast milk style, too!
What Skin Issues Can a Milk Bath Help With?
Breast milk can help prevent and heal skin soreness caused by eczema. One study even found breast milk is as effective as prescribed steroid cream containing 1% hydrocortisone in mild atopic eczema.
Breast milk is a good option for soothing soreness related to diaper rash. No baby wants a sore butt, and this common baby complaint can be easily soothed and eased by soaking in a milk bath or oatmeal bath.
Breast milk can help fight neonatal acne, the small little red or white pimples which affect around 20% of newborns. The antibacterial properties in breast milk are the magic ingredient for this skin issue. Use a few drops topically or as part of a milk bath.
Blocked Tear Ducts
A few drops of breast milk can help with infections and blocked tear ducts.
Put a few drops of breast milk on your little one’s skin as a topical treatment for bug bites. Getting it right on the site of the irritation will help soothe the skin.
If you decide to enjoy a milk bath with your baby, know that you’ll get some benefits, too.
Besides some snuggling and skin on skin contact, the healing powers of the breast milk in the warm water can help sore or cracked nipples you may get from breastfeeding.
FAQs About Baby Milk Baths
Which Type of Milk Can I Use for a Baby Milk Bath?
You can use cow or goat milk, store bought milk bath powder, or give your baby a breast milk bath.
However, if your baby has a milk allergen, don’t bathe them in any type of milk they’re unable to drink.
Can I use Frozen or Expired Breast Milk?
Bathing baby in breast milk is a great way to use up breast milk that has expired.
Many parents occasionally pump too much and the milk needs using up. Or maybe you find an older expressed pouch at the back of the freezer.
As long as the milk hasn’t begun to smell, it should be fine to use even a week or so after the expiration date. Just allow it to defrost first to not disrupt the bath water temperature too much.
It can also be a good way to use up breast milk you’ve expressed after drinking alcohol, which your baby won’t consume.
How do you Give Babies a Breast Milk Bath?
Prepare the warm water for your baby’s breast milk bath as you usually would, and follow the standard safety precautions to ensure it’s not too hot. Once you’ve got the water, add your cow’s milk/breast milk/milk of choice to the water – use enough to make the liquid cloudy. Y
Allow your baby to rest in the warm water and absorb the milky goodness. There’s no need to rinse.
Take baby out and gently pat them dry. You can also rub in a natural moisturizer to help lock in the goodness and keep further dry skin at bay.
You can give baby a milk bath once or twice a week, along side your usual bath time schedule.
Can Kids Use Toys During a Breast Milk Bath?
Bath toys are fine during a milk bath, especially if it means baby will happily sit in the bath a bit longer, to soak up the breast milk nutrients. However, you’ll want to give the toys a really good clean afterwards to prevent mold.
If you’re giving a milk bath to a toddler, avoid other accoutrements, such as bubble bath, bath paints, bath bubble dough, etc. that you may use during a normal bath.
How to Prepare a Baby for Milk Bath Photography
As well as combatting dry skin, bathing in milk baths also provides an adorable cute photography moment for your little one too.
Compared with regular photography, the cloudy white liquid of a milk bath helps to cover up your little one’s nether regions, giving a modest picture that won’t embarrass them when they get older.
Make the image extra insta-fabulous by adding petals and cute foliage to the milk bath water for an extra special photography shoot!
Final Thoughts on Breast Milk Baths for Babies
Thanks for taking the time to read this article on the benefits of milk baths, and how to prepare a milk bath for infants and older kids.
I hope it inspires you to create a breast milk bath with the leftover supply of breast milk you have in your freezer, and enjoy the nourishing skin goodness for yourself!
If you know another parent who might benefit from reading this milk bath article, feel free to share it with them too.