Have you heard about Oatmeal baths for babies with eczema?
Then this article should be perfect for you to read.
Oatmeal and other natural wonders: The ultimate bath guide for babies with eczema!
Oatmeal baths are cheap and easy to make and have proven to be an excellent natural treatment for babies with eczema.
What do Oatmeal baths do for eczema and dry skin?
Oatmeal works gently to lock in and restore the skin’s moisture, protect the skin and soothe any irritation at the same time leaving your skin feeling soft and less dry.
Although it sounds strange the first time you hear about it, oatmeal baths for your little ones are actually quite lovely, and super good for them. The milky softness from the oatmeal is wonderful for eczema but can make any kind of skin feel gorgeous and moisturized.
There are millions of manmade products designed for your skin, and somewhere along the way it all got a bit complicated. So many products are full of ingredients that we can’t pronounce and have no idea what they are anyway.
Sometimes it is better to try the simple things in life and never was this truer than for exhausted parents of little eczema babies. Some simple, natural ingredients are all it takes to soothe your tiny itchy baby and give the whole family a little relief.
What are the health benefits of an oatmeal bath?
An oatmeal bath for babies can help clear up all sorts of pediatric skin conditions, not just eczema.
It also excellent for sore little red bottoms from nappy rash and works to easily hydrate the skin without parents having to hold a squirmy toddler still for cream after the bath. It is also great for baby acne, chicken pox, insect bites, sunburn or windburn and shingles.
The special properties in oatmeal are why it is so soothing and nourishing for the skin. It is high in essential vitamins and minerals, helps to fight infection, encourage your immune system to work better, and is strong is skin healthy ingredients like vitamin E and zinc.
The proteins in oats help protect the skin and the natural fats in it actually can provide some UV protection too!
Gently rubbing some oatmeal flakes onto eczema skin is also a kind and easy way to remove dead skin cells and flakes, or conditions like cradle cap.
But it is for babies with eczema that we really love its strengths.
Not just a superfood and great for your insides, oatmeal kind of has magic powers too. It is a beautiful natural way to lock in and restore the skin’s moisture, protect the skin and soothe any irritation, as well as reduce inflammation.
Wonderfully, it also works as a natural skin cleanser. A bath before bed is also a great way to wind your baby down for in preparation for sleep.
Eczema: What do you have to watch out for when bathing?
Soap is an absolute no-no for babies, children, and adults suffering from eczema and should be avoided. Most soaps are made with ingredients which strip the skin of natural oils and have a drying out effect (which is the last thing eczema sufferers need!)
Little babies really don’t need soap anyway as they are hardly rolling around in mud and germs. The worst they are exposed to is their own poop which can be easily cleaned away without soap oddly enough!
Many common ingredients in soap should be avoided by people with eczema, including:
- Sulfates like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate (SLS)
- Parabens – listed as methylparaben (E218), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben (E216), butylparaben or heptylparaben (E209) and any other chemical name ending in -paraben
- Petroleum Oils
That being said, there are soaps on the market specifically created for people with sensitive skin and are fine to use on babies with eczema. One such example is goat’s milk soap which we talk a little bit more about below.
Ingredients to watch out for in any product for eczema skin include:
- Salicylic acid
- Glycolic acid
- Preservatives like methylparaben and butylparaben
- Benzophenones – also known as oxybenzone, Eusolex 4360, methanone, Uvinal M40, diphenylketone and any other chemical name ending with ‘-benzophenone’
- MCI/MI (methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone)
Avoid products that are scented (and even those that say ‘unscented’ on the label) and instead look for ‘fragrance-free’ products, as usually chemical fragrances or perfumes are not good.
Even products designed and marketed specifically for babies, such as the Jonhson’s range can still be too harsh on the skin of babies with eczema. With eczema skin, and especially with irritated baby skin, it is better to be as safe as possible.
You also need to make sure that the bath temperature isn’t too hot. Tiny babies don’t need a hot bath anyway and babies with eczema should have their bath temperature cooler again. Eczema makes them feel hot already and a bath that is too hot will aggravate that.
Test your baby’s water temperature with your wrist rather than your hand (which can tolerate hotter temperatures than you think). Or if you prefer to be more accurate about these things, bathe your baby at no hotter than 35 degrees Celcius.
Oatmeal baths for babies with eczema: How to do it
Finding out that a skin treatment is ridiculously cheap is not a common bonus for eczema parents, but we have good news for you here. You can buy commercial oatmeal products designed for the bath, but you can very easily and cheaply make your own from any basic rolled oats.
Ground oats are often called colloidal oatmeal when listed on ingredients in products, but all this is ground rolled oats.
Using rolled oats, you grind them as fine as possible with a food processor. If you can get them to a fine enough powder the oats will dissolve in a bath on their own, and should turn the water into a milky silky consistency (sounds divine – right?)
However, if you can’t get them ground to powder you can easily fasten the oats in a muslin or cheesecloth bag (or pantyhose works beautifully too) and just soak this in the bath.
Add around 1/3 cups of ground oats to your baby’s bath. If the oats are fine enough they should dissolve virtually immediately and you can bathe your baby straight away.
If you are using a muslin bag to soak, make the water very hot and then leave the oats to soak in the water for at least 20 minutes. Wait also until the water is the right temperature for your little one.
Soak your baby in the oatmeal bath for at least 15-20 minutes. There is no need to rinse them off, just pat dry with a soft towel afterward. Be careful though; oatmeal does make your baby and the bath surface both a lot more slippery!
You can bathe them in oatmeal as often as you like.
How to make an Oatmeal bath in easy steps:
- Grind rolled oats using a coffee grinder or food processor.
- Run a bath for your baby
- Put 1/3 cup of the oats into the bath. If they are not very finely ground you can tie them up in a pantyhose
- Let the oats mix in (this can take up to 20 minutes if they are more coarse)
- Put your baby into to soak for as long as 20 minutes
- No need to rinse, just pat dry with a towel
Oatmeal baths for babies with eczema are very easy to do and they are a cost-effective way to treat eczema.
Some other top ideas for eczema baths
A bleach bath is a bath that has a very diluted amount of bleach in it.
You can use regular household bleach, such as White King, and dilute it in a bath for people suffering from eczema. Bleach baths have apparently been recommended by doctors and skin specialists for years and are quite effective at treating the condition.
Primarily the bleach kills the bacteria on the inflamed skin and reduces the chances of infection. In doing so it reduces the severity of the condition and helps any flare-up to pass sooner.
The dilution that you use makes the water no stronger than that in a chlorinated swimming pool, so while dousing your baby with bleach seems weird, it is no weirder than putting them in a pool.
For every 10 litres of water use 12ml of liquid bleach.
If you want more information about bleach baths check out our article on the topic here.
Another superfood getting all the praises of home cooks lately, coconut oil also goes beautifully in a bath for little ones. It is a nut though, so if your child or family has a nut allergy then steer clear of this treatment.
Coconut oil has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties which help to soothe itch and inflammation. It helps to fight against bacteria and can stop open eczema wounds from getting infected. The natural acids in the oil repair broken skin and provide lovely nourishment.
It also works as an excellent moisturizer or natural topical cream to put on dry or angry patches of skin throughout the day – kind of like putting lip balm on cracked lips. It is wonderfully absorbed into the skin and smells pretty nice too!
Try putting 1/8 cup warmed coconut oil and 1/8 cup Epsom salts in your baby’s bath.
Again we have a full detailed review of Coconut oil Click Here.
A number of different kinds of salt work well in your baby’s bath, including Epsom salts, Himalayan pink salt, Dead Sea salts, or even just regular salt. Salt is high in lots of trace elements and minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. It can also improve your body’s immunity, help heal, remove infections and battle with bacteria.
And the bonus for eczema sufferers; salt also relieves inflammation and soften and moisturizes the skin. Add about 1/8 cup of your chosen salt to your baby’s bath.
We reviewed Dead Sea Salt baths in full. Read our results here.
You can channel famed Egyptian queen Cleopatra with this bath; apparently, goat’s milk was all that she would soak in and she swore by it for her skin.
Goat milk contains natural fatty acids which mimic those occurring in the skin, so it is easily absorbed and feeds the dry or inflamed skin and helps it to heal. The milk is high in vitamins C, B1, B6, B12 and E.
This is another product that provides moisturizing properties, so if your toddler wants to run through the house naked than let you put cream on him after the bath, your job is already done!
You can also purchase goat’s milk soap which many parents have found to be incredibly helpful for their eczema babies; grating or shaving some flakes of this soap in the bath will also create the soak. You can obviously also use the soap as a cleaning product if you wish.
Goat’s milk soap is usually made with gentle ingredients for sensitive skin which may include, as well as the goat milk, nourishing oils like coconut, palm or olive oil, and possibly essential oil for scent or health benefits. They really shouldn’t contain much more than that.
We have tried some handmade goat milk soap from Amazon and we loved it. Here’s a link for the one we tried.
You could also mix and match a few of these bath ideas and combine them. Try oats, Epsom salts and even some honey for instance – your hands will love it too!
We hope you found this article helpful. Taking a bath should be a pleasure and if it has the added benefit of helping your eczema then it’s a bonus.
Oatmeal baths for babies with eczema is a natural way to take a bath and at the same time help your skin.
Give your baby an Oatmeal bath and see if it helps them. What have you got to lose?
It’s natural and Organic and it won’t hurt to try.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.