A milk bath can be a soothing and nourishing way to care for your baby’s skin. Not only is it a gentle and natural way to cleanse your little one, but the milk also contains moisturizing properties that can help keep their delicate skin soft and supple. Read on for tips on how to create a DIY milk bath for your baby.
What You’ll Need For Your Baby’s Milk Bath
Doing a milk bath is actually quite easy, you don’t even really need a milk bath recipe to make it happen! All you need is…
- A baby bath or some container that is on the smaller side for your baby to bathe in
- 1 cup of breast milk (you can get away with using less milk, but you can also use more if you have it! It really doesn’t take much milk if you are just doing it for baby’s skin.)
- Use plant milk if you are not a breastfeeding mom. Oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk are all good options.
- A face cloth to wash your baby with
- A dry towel ready for when your baby is done. I personally don’t even bother with baby towels, and instead use a regular hand towel on my baby. One less thing to store at home!
How Do You make a Homemade Baby Milk Bath
- Prepare the room: Have the bathroom be at a comfortable room temperature, so the baby won’t get too cold when coming out of the bath.
- Prepare the bath: Fill your baby’s bathtub with warm water, making sure the water temperature is comfortable for your baby. Aim for 98.6–100.4°F (37–38°C) so the baby can be nice and comfortable. If you don’t have a thermostat to put into the water, then use your elbow to see if the water feels comfortable to you.
- Add the milk: Once the tub is filled with water, add your breastmilk. If you’re not a breastfeeding mom, you can use oat milk or some other type of plant milk instead. Stir the milk into the bath, so the water is nicely mixed with the milk. Don’t worry if your breast milk comes out clumpy. That often happens, especially if it’s cold. Just mix it with the warm water and the clumps will dissolve.
- Place your baby in the bath: Gently place your baby into the milk bath, making sure to support their head and neck. Keep a close eye on your baby at all times during the bath. Don’t run off to go get something, no matter how quick you think you’ll be!
- Enjoy the bath: Let your baby soak in the milk bath for as long as they’d like to. Though you should probably cap it after 8 or so minutes, as that is when the water tends to get cooler from my experience. Gently massage your baby’s skin with the wash cloth or even just with your hands.
- Dry off: Once the bath is complete, gently lift your baby out of the tub. I personally don’t rinse my baby after a breastmilk bath, but some people choose to do a rinse. Use a soft towel to pat them dry. Be sure to get all their rolls and skin folds nice and dry, but don’t rub too hard.
- Moisturize: A baby’s skin doesn’t actually need much help with moisturizers. But I like to put some coconut oil on my baby’s body after a bath, just to be sure the warm water doesn’t dry them out.
What Kind of Milk Do You Use For a Milk Bath?
The gold standard for baby milk baths is breastmilk. This is my favorite way to use up breastmilk that was left over in a bottle after a feeding. When people don’t have breastmilk on hand, they often reach for cow’s milk. However, as vegans, that’s not really an option for us. Instead, coconut milk, almond milk, and oat milk are all wonderful options! Use what you already have in your fridge, or test out different milks to see if your baby’s skin happens to like one more than the other.
Can I Use Expired Breastmilk For a Milk Bath?
Yes, you can use leftover breastmilk for a milk bath, as long as it hasn’t actually spoiled. The rule is that leftover breastmilk should be tossed after 2 hours from when the baby finished their feeding, but didn’t finish their bottle. This kind of “expired” milk is wonderful to use in a milk bath instead of spilling it straight down the drain. However, if your milk has been sitting on the counter or in the refrigerator for too long and looks or smells off, then no! Do not use the latter kind of expired milk in a milk bath. This kind of stale milk should be discarded.
Best Tips For Breast Milk Baths
If you have access to breast milk, I think this is the most effective milk of all. Breast milk baths can do wonders on your baby’s skin irritation, diaper rash, cradle cap, dry skin, and even baby acne. Don’t worry, though, you don’t have to put in an extra pumping session just so you can bathe your little one! A bath is a great way to use leftover breastmilk! Check out this blog post on other ways to use leftover breast milk. As long as the milk isn’t stale, you can use it to make the milky water solution your baby’s irritated skin is longing for!
Don’t use any soap in this. The soap will only dry your baby’s skin out. The water level doesn’t need to be very high. Lower is actually even better since you won’t have to worry as much about your baby slipping and having their face go under. (But do stay attentive and right by your baby the entire time they’re in the water.) Depending on your type of bath, you may want to put a towel at the bottom of the tub to help prevent your wet baby slipping. Many infant baths have a type of anti-slip layer built into the bottom of the tub, so you don’t necessarily have to add a towel. (Save yourself the hassle if you can!)
Benefits of Baby Milk Baths
As mentioned above, a milk bath is a good option for your baby. Human breast milk is often referred to as liquid gold because it’s full of great nutrients and can help your baby with various skin conditions. Whether your baby (or you!) has got itchy skin, insect bites, or eczema, a little bit of breast milk will help you heal. The benefits of milk baths don’t end with your baby, it can be useful for you too!
How Often Should I Give My Baby a Milk Bath?
It depends on your baby as to how often you should give them a milk bath. With my first daughter, I never, not once, gave her a milk bath. I just didn’t have it in me to pump, and we had a lot going on in our lives. So, I also never opted to do a milk bath with other types of milk. She was perfectly fine and had beautiful, soft skin! But if your baby has some sort of skin situation that would benefit from a milk bath, 1-2 times per week should do the trick. However, if you are someone who bathes their baby every day (or more often than 1-2 per week) and likes adding some milk to the bath, then you can absolutely do the milk bath more often.
Do You Wash With Soap After a Milk Bath?
Nope, you do not and should not wash with soap after a milk bath! Using soap would strip away the oils and goodness that breastmilk added to the bath and your baby’s skin. I personally don’t even rinse my baby after a milk bath, but if you feel uncomfortable with that, then rinse them with water, but leave the soap aside. Remember, there isn’t that much milk in the water to leave huge amounts of residue on your baby’s skin.
Milk Bath Photoshoot
Whether or not you plan to do some milk bath photography, you will likely find yourself wanting to capture the sweet moment. After all, your little one grows so quickly! A milk bath shoot is essentially set up the same way as any regular milk bath. However, you might want to add some props in. And you will DEFINITELY want at least one other person present. Don’t try and juggle the camera as well as the baby in water.
For best results, I suggest you stage your photoshoot before you even put the water into the tub. This way, you can figure out if you have enough natural light. It’s also a good idea to place your props and play around with it. Do this before your baby needs attention and runs out of patience. Do you have enough space to get around your baby’s bath for a nice shot? A pro tip, therefore, is to play around with your camera settings and actually do some test shots. Even go so far as to transfer your photos to your laptop and see them on the larger screen. After all, you’re doing this to get the best photos you can! By testing all of this, you will have the best chance of creating a wonderful baby milk bath photo shoot without anyone breaking into tears.
Some props you might consider: rose petals, fresh flowers or fake flowers, fresh fruit.
In conclusion, a DIY milk bath can be a simple and natural way to care for your baby’s delicate skin. By following the above steps and tips, you can create a soothing and moisturizing bath that your little one is sure to love.
Comment below to let me know how your baby milk bath went!
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