A milk bath is a bath which has milk added to the water, this could be cows or another milk or it could be breastmilk, or is often a combination of these. Milk baths are not a modern invention, this soothing and nurturing practice had been around for centuries but the idea is making a comeback. Using milk in a bath can leave skin feeling extra soft and the milk creates a mild exfoliating action and the fats within the milk are great moisturisers. Many women have used their breastmilk in baths for their babies to provide these benefits and more due to the incredible qualities of breast milk! We love how beautiful babies look enjoying their milk baths. Apart from being able to create some amazing photos, breast milk baths could have many health benefits for your baby.
The Benefits of a milk bath
- Easy help treat eczema and other skin ailments
Evidence reports improvements in eczema and dermatitis from bathing in breastmilk. One research study did find that topical application of breastmilk had slightly higher rates of improvement than hydrocortisone cream. These are complicated conditions but as dryness is often a significant factor than the moisturising qualities of breastmilk could place it as a strong contender for a natural treatment.
- Aid healing in minor cuts or nappy rash
There's evidence that breastmilk can speed up healing in minor cuts and grazes. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence on this so it can’t hurt to give it a try. In fact, the same study looking into breastmilk usage for eczema found that it was equally effective for aiding healing of nappy rash as the usual creams. This is great news for many parents and babies as nappy rash seems to rear its ugly head whenever we are least prepared for it!
- Calming and relaxing
A milk bath can be a soothing experience and of course we’ll do anything to calm a fractious baby. You could add some flowers, leaves or slices of fruit (great for photos) and an essential oil that is safe for babies such as lavender, although care should always be taken with any essential oils and do double check which oils are deemed safe for younger babies before you add them. Plastic flowers, as in these photos can be a great option as they're safe if your baby chews them and they can be reused.
How to Give Your Baby a Milk Bath
- Add enough to make the water cloudy.
Run a shallow bath if your baby will be lying back and then add enough milk to make the milk cloudy. Around 7ozs works well. Add too little milk and you won’t necessarily reap the benefits, add too much and your baby may come out smelly a little more milky than you’d like. Most parents use some dairy or dairy free milk and some breastmilk as it can be hard to have enough surplus breastmilk to use pure breastmilk.
- What to put under your baby
Many parents use their own bath and run a shallow, warm bath. Some also use a stylish kitchen sink, a metal bucket or a vintage baby bath with beautiful results.
- No need to rinse
Pat your baby dry after their milk bath and you should be ready to go. Of course you can use any lotions you normally use if you wish but it’s great to keep it simple if you want to see if any improvements are from the milk.
- Repeat as often as you wish
As milk baths are safe and contain no harsh chemicals it is safe to do it as often as you like or are able to but once a week will probably enough to see the benefits.