Should we wash our kids daily?

My experience with kids is bathing them is either a joy or just a total pain.

Some kids love the way the water feels and appreciate the feeling of clean hair, others simply don’t.  Bathing in our house can sometimes be a literal battle of wills – especially if hair washing is involved.

Chances are after a long day sometimes you yourself just can’t face the act of bathing your kids.  That is when you may wonder…do our kids really need a bath every day?  Or is this just the way we ‘do things’ in our culture?


Expert Recommendations

The expert advice worldwide on this subject is surprisingly comprehensive.  Many countries have guidelines surrounding the recommendations for bathing children.

The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) for example, states for instance, that babies don’t need daily baths. In fact, studies have shown that bathing your baby more than three times a week can result in actually drying out their skin and inflaming any skin issues that already exist.  

Keeping the nappy area clean and the use of intermittent sponge baths can help families keep their little ones skin feeling great, without causing painful skin flare ups.

Perhaps your kids are older, say between 6 and 11? You may be surprised that The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends bathing once or twice a week for this age group.  The premise behind these recommendations is that if children are on the whole spending time indoors, they can live without the daily bath.

“Exposure to a little grime may protect kids,” Michael Welch, MD, chair of the American Academy of Paediatrics’ section on allergy and immunology, told Parenting magazine. “Because their immune systems are still maturing, they seem to benefit from being around viruses, bacteria, and dirt.”

Once the little darlings hit their tween years and beyond, the AAD increases its recommendation to daily baths or showers with face-washing twice each day to remove oil and dirt.


An overwhelming amount of research has shown world-wide that children’s skin is more delicate than adults’ and as such more vulnerable to irritants, allergens, rashes and general reactions.

The AAP states that the simple act of washing with soap and water can cause chronic Eczema, itching or other reactions in children, where in most adults in general this would not occur.

The skin condition Eczema, usually starts within the first five years of life, and the past few decades has seen an increase eczema among children living in industrialized nations.

If a child’s skin becomes too dry, which can occur from daily bathing, eczema and other skin conditions can flare up.  The use of a dedicated bath oil and moisturiser is recommended to assist with managing children’s skin conditions.


So what do you think?  Don’t leave it to the experts this time!  

Give us your opinion based on your real life experience!  

Do our kids really need baths every day?


Image source: Getty Images


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  • My son loves his water play time. So we have water play time every day in summer not sure how it’ll be now that winter is going to start.


  • I bathe my baby everyday but don’t wash him everyday, it is a part of his routine and he loves it!!


  • I used to think babies needed a bath every day but have since read and heard a lot more info suggesting otherwise. I also thought they required some kind of product whether a body wash or shampoo etc but have again been told otherwise. I may occasionally use a product but not for every bath once my baby is born


  • Yes. Kids need to be bathed every day. If they are out and about playing, they will get dirty. This is fine, but letting them sleep like that? Eww. Go outside and roll in the dirt. Now ask yourself if you would like to sleep overnight and wake up still filthy… why would you do that to your kids???


  • As part of their routines as babies my children got bathed everyday but I always made sure that they were moisturised afterwards and they never had any skin allerges. As they got older they were bathed twice a away and as teenagers I nagged they constantly to please have a shower, luckily they found the opposite sex preferred not smelly boys so that sorted that out.


  • I give my kids baths every second day.


  • Glad to read I was already doing the “right” thing, phew! Haha.


  • Oh hooray! This reduces my guilt.


  • An interesting read – I always included a bath as part of the daily routine with my foster children. Perhaps that may have contributed to one of them having excema


  • I bathed my daughter every day because thats just what was done but since talking to my GP and CHN about my daughters skin issues, they have recommended not bathing her every day. She’s 3.5 now but she only has an actual her once a week and a quick shower every other day. She’s a sweaty little monster and with this heat…its just gross not to be clean! Private parts must still be cleaned of course but I don’t see the harm in missing some baths for little babies. It’s not like they’re getting totally grubby or anything. Each to their own though :)


  • A daily bath is good for many reasons; being clean, relaxing and soaking little muscles and play time too.


  • for me it was more about the fun time water play, and relax and unwind time for my busy son


  • We weren’t bathed every day as kids. We had our “private parts” washed once a day unless we needed more for some reason, our faces washed after every meal or at least once a day. That’s all kids got in the country too. A bath every few days especially if they were totally reliant on rainwater. One day a week the bath would be filled, and from the cleanest down they all went through the bath. The water was bucketed out onto the lawn/garden afterwards. I know of a little boy who had such bad eczema that some days he just didn’t want to walk. As a last resort after they had tried just about every treatment imaginable, they only bathed him when deemed necessary and gave him sponge washes as needed in between. His skin cleared up quite well after a few weeks compared to what it had been. They tried several soap free products before they finally found one that really helped him. They had been transferred to Adelaide with the Dad’s job and realised his skin had actually flared up after they moved from Melbourne, so he applied for a transfer back to Melbourne. A few months later his eczema was well under control and had lost its nasty firey appearance completely after it healed.


  • Lke fd


  • We don’t bath my toddler every day. Generally every second day. Of course if she is dirty then it could be every day


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