Q: How often do toddlers need baths? We don’t want our kid’s skin to dry out!
A: Bathing a couple times a week may be sufficient for toddlers if they have days where they manage to stay relatively clean.
But it really depends on how active toddlers are and how dirty they become each day.
One factor may be if they’re still in diapers or toilet trained. And then, if they’re toilet trained, it may depend how actively a parent helps them wipe after they use the toilet.
During the summer, toddlers may warrant more frequent bathing as they’re likely to be outside and playing in dirt and sand or swimming in lakes and/or chlorinated pools.
Another factor in determining bathing frequency is likely how clean or messy of an eater your toddler is. Some toddlers are very meticulous and tidy eaters, whereas others seem to often get more food on them than in them!
Also: For some families bath time can be part of a calming, winding-down bedtime routine. It can send a signal to your child that the body should start getting ready for sleep.
If this is the case, there’s no reason to drop this part of the routine in the winter for fear of over-drying the skin.
To counter the potential drying effects of bathing, you could limit the time in the water and make sure the water isn’t overly warm/hot. You could also add in a step of applying lotion following the bath, which can help retain the skin’s moisture; the massage can further help your toddler relax at the end of the day, too.
It’s common for toddlers to have sensitive skin, so try to use bathing and moisturizing products that have minimal ingredients and/or are made for sensitive skin.