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You probably have heard of all of the amazing benefits that breastmilk has to offer. Breastmilk has the term “liquid gold” for a reason. It can offer so many valuable advantages that you don’t want your baby to miss out on. Have you ever thought about giving your baby a milk bath with some of your breastmilk?
If the answer is no, then you might want to keep any spoiled, out of date milk or any extra next time, because you may just want to add a little to their bath.
If you have thought about giving a milk bath to your baby but were unsure of how to do it, whether you can use expired milk or simply aren’t aware of all of the things a milk bath can help with, you’re in the right place too!
Breastmilk baths can help with your baby’s eczema, diaper rash, cradle cap, dry skin, and the list goes on.
The milk your body produces for your baby, not only offers food for your little one but can provide so many other benefits to your baby externally.
What is a milk bath?
A milk bath is exactly what it sounds like! It is basically where you bathe your baby in breastmilk.
Not from concentrate, obviously. Because that would take a lot of breastmilk!
But you just add some breastmilk to their bath and Voila!
You have a watered down, milky bath that can heal your baby both inside and out!
Why is breast milk so good for my baby?
Breast milk is chock o’ full of so many good nutrients and is actually much more than just food for your baby. Dr. Sears shares this about breast milk,
“It’s a complex living substance, like blood, with a long list of active germ-fighting and health-promoting ingredients. These benefits of breastmilk help protect babies against all kinds of infections, common and not-so-common.”
If possible, breastmilk is definitely the best option for your baby as it contains millions of white blood cells and is also packed with immunoglobin.
Breastmilk protects against infection, can help reduce and prevent ear infections, is gentle for tiny tummies and is overall healthier for your baby.
Why should I give my baby a milk bath?
Well, now you understand a little bit more about the wonders of breastmilk, you can see why bathing your baby in it might benefit them, right?
Breastmilk can benefit your baby hugely on the inside, but it also can help your baby with many other ailments they may be dealing with on the outside.
Any skin irritations, diaper rashes, eczema, minor wounds, dry skin and to be honest the list just keeps on going.
A milk bath can help soothe, alleviate and heal a wide variety of external issues found on the skin and also can give a good immune boost too.
Your baby’s skin absorbs all that we put on it. We know how powerful breastmilk is for our babies when they drink it, so bathing them in it can also offer those anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and fight off infection.
How do I give my baby a milk bath?
There is no rhyme or reason on how to actually give a milk bath. There isn’t some special concoction of milk to water ratio, honestly, you can just kind of use what you have and go from there.
Obviously, the more breastmilk you add to the bath, the more concentrated it will be. And vice versa.
Ideally, you want as much of your baby’s skin in the water (well that would normally be in the water) and even those big over suppliers probably don’t have enough spare breastmilk to fill an entire bath, so you are going to still need to add quite a bit of bathwater.
I would start by running the bath like you normally do and then add the breast milk in after. This way you can kind of gauge and experiment with how much you need to add.
You want the water to appear cloudy and milky. I would suggest adding at least 6 oz to the bath and go up from there.
Don’t get too crazy, unless you don’t mind having a very milky baby by the end. If you add too much breast milk your nose might end up noticing it when you are snuggling your babe after.
What are the benefits of a milk bath?
I have already briefly touched on the benefits of giving your baby a milk bath but I am going to go into a little more detail and cover a few more benefits.
1. Diaper rash:
I think it is pretty inevitable to say that all babies experience some kind of diaper rash at some point. Some babies tend to get them quite frequently while other babies are lucky to mostly steer clear of them.
No matter how bad the diaper rash is, giving your baby a milk bath will work WONDERS!
As mentioned earlier breastmilk contains so many white blood cells. One drop of breastmilk alone contains one million white blood cells. White blood cells create antibodies which then quickly attack and fight off the bacteria that is causing the diaper rash.
A milk bath will also soothe your baby’s little raw bum, offering relief the rash.
Plus, it’s something that is free and right on tap. You don’t even have to go to the store to buy diaper cream. You can just add some milk into the bath and also apply topically after as well.
Unfortunately, many babies get affected by eczema and it can be one of those skin conditions that isn’t fun for either of you. Eczema can present itself in a few different ways, but usually it appears as red, red, bumpy patches of skin that often look sore and are itchy.
Sometimes lotions, laundry detergent, soap and other external factors can affect eczema and even make it worse. Breastmilk can be a great solution for helping treat areas of eczema and offer a soothing solution.
Breastmilk might not necessarily cure the problem, because your baby’s eczema might have a different root cause, BUT it can most definitely help soothe, promote healing and prevent infection.
If your baby has any areas of eczema on their body, try giving them a milk bath once or twice a week. I betcha’ it will help tremendously.
3. Cradle cap:
Cradle cap is most commonly found in newborn babies. Though usually pretty harmless, a milk bath could help with its symptoms.
Although cradle cap can be quite unsightly as your baby sports brown and yellows, scab-like patches on their head, cradle cap does usually resolve on its own.
But why not speed up the process and have a little breastmilk lend a hand or two?
While your baby is taking a milk bath, use some breast milk to gently brush their hair a little. Seriously though, be as soft and gentle as you can. You don’t want to scrub all of their skin off.
Just use breastmilk as a little scalp treatment while your baby is in the bath and then carefully rinse it as usual.
4. Skin irritations, acne, and minor wounds:
Breastmilk can be the perfect at home go-to for treating baby acne, minor wounds or any skin irritations.
Due to the antibody, immunoglobulin A (IgA), that is found in breastmilk, IgA offers the ability to fight infection and destroy bacteria.
It can promote fast and effective healing, along with preventing any infection or bacteria causing the problem to be worse. Making it the best at home remedy treatment for skin irritations, baby acne, and minor cuts and scrapes.
5. Dry skin:
Breastmilk contains multiple acids that are actually surprisingly very hydrating for your baby’s skin and could even be added to your own skincare routine if you wanted 😉
Here are the acids found in breastmilk:
- Linoleic acid
- Palmitic acid
- Vaccenic acid
- Oleic acid
A couple of these acids are fatty acids that are essential for moisturization and the other two acids can help soothe, hydrate and protect the skin.
If your baby is experiencing any type of dry, flaky skin, give your baby a breastmilk bath as I think you then might start to really understand the term “soft as a babies bottom”.
Your baby’s skin will be so much healthier, hydrated and moisturized.
You are probably a breastmilk expert now! Breastmilk really is something we take for granted or underestimate.
Just how breastmilk can act as a protection to your baby internally when they consume your breastmilk, breastmilk can also offer an outward protection too!
Think about it!
All those properties are arming your baby with so much defense so why not keep them even more protected with a few milk baths here and there.
Having your baby soak in a milk bath may look kind of gross, be a little stinky or just simply not be your thing but give it a chance!
Giving your baby a milk bath occasionally can help strengthen and improve their immune body and health!
Can I use expired milk for my baby’s milk bath?
Yes!! Of course!
Well within reason anyway.
I probably wouldn’t suggest using super expired milk or milk that is moldy or really smelly but if it has sat out on the counter a little too long, or it is a bit past its expiry date, thaw it and throw it in the bath.
That is so much more rewarding for you and beneficial for your baby than dumping it down the drain.
Breastmilk is packed FULL of so many great and amazing properties, giving your baby a milk bath every now and again is going to be so beneficial.
You don’t need to do a milk bath every night but once a week, every other week or even once every couple of months will be better than nothing.
If your baby is dealing with any skin issues, a milk bath just might be the answer. Give it a try and let your baby do some milky bathing.
How often can I give a breastmilk bath?
There really isn’t any hard and fast rule about how frequently you can give your baby a bath. It can all depend on how much extra breastmilk you have on hand and also whether or not your baby has skin issues or not.
A bath once or twice a week would be plenty for your baby to benefit from all of the great properties your breastmilk has to offer.
You could always do more or less baths depending on whether you’re an oversupplier or not.
What are some other uses of breastmilk?
Breastmilk doesn’t only benefit your baby when used in a bath, but breastmilk also has many other uses. This “liquid gold” has that name for a reason. It has many other uses and can benefit your whole family.
Below are some other uses of breastmilk:
- Ear infections
- Blocked tear ducts
- Sore nipples
- Pink eye
- Insect bites
- Natural skin moisturizer
- Immune system booster