When you’re a parent to a newborn, you’ll do anything to try to soothe your little one’s discomfort. Diaper rash and itchy baby eczema are common causes of distress, and while you might have explored conventional treatments with the help of your child’s pediatrician, there are some calming, natural remedies worth checking out as well. Oatmeal baths are one of the most popular, easy home remedies for treating skin discomfort.
Infant oatmeal baths may offer several benefits for your baby. Here’s a look at why you should consider reaching in the cabinet for your favorite breakfast food before your baby’s next bath time.
Oatmeal Baths Are Easy
If you have any type of oatmeal and a food processor, you are ready to make an oatmeal bath for your baby. Start by grinding or blending 1/3 cup of oats into a fine powder. Next, slowly pour your powder into an infant tub filled with warm (never hot!) water, stirring in any oatmeal that settles on the bottom with your arm. Babies can soak for 15 to 30 minutes before you pat them dry (if you can get them to sit still that long!).
Oats Are Soothing
Oatmeal has been used for centuries as a home remedy to reduce inflammation and heal damaged skin. For that reason, when your baby’s skin is irritated, red or itchy, an oatmeal bath may help soothe and calm it down. You can try oatmeal baths for common ailments like diaper rash and baby eczema. It may also be useful in cases of bug bites, rashes from allergies or sunburn. Any type of oats, including unflavored instant oats and slow cooking oats, will work for an oatmeal bath as long as you grind them up. You can also look for colloidal oatmeal at your pharmacy. This type of oatmeal is touted for its skin-soothing properties and has been pre-ground for your convenience. (Note: Colloidal oatmeal is different than breakfast oatmeal and is not meant for eating!) Simply fill your infant bathtub with warm water, add the colloidal oatmeal, and watch it disperse evenly in the water, forming a milky substance that is soothing to the skin.
It Softens Baby’s Skin
You probably never thought about bathing in oatmeal to moisturize your skin, but maybe you should: In addition to a number of healing health benefits, oatmeal is a highly effective way to keep skin soft and moisturized—yours and your baby’s. That’s because it forms a protective barrier on the skin and can prevent moisture loss. It’s also a natural ingredient, so you don’t have to worry about it being irritating or causing further harm. You may even notice the difference in your baby’s skin long after bath time is over. While oatmeal baths can be an easy, effective and natural treatment for ailments like diaper rash and eczema, it’s important to check-in with your child’s pediatrician before giving one to your baby. A doctor may recommend that you also try an over-the-counter or prescription medication that helps soothe your baby. If you choose to explore oatmeal baths, you’ll definitely want to check out these other tips for ways to make bathtime fun.