When I had Edith, the NICU nurses told me that I really wouldn’t need to bathe her all that often, as babies don’t get dirty, that once or twice a week is fine. The doula said the same thing, as did my pediatrician and all the baby books. And now Twitter has been discussing Ashton Kucher and Mila Kunis saying in an interview that they do not bathe their kids unless they are visibly dirty.
And look, I get that we’re a rather hygiene obsessed people and we don’t really need to be bathing daily for the most part (maybe? I mean, unless you work out. Or live in a hot climate. Or have an active job. Or, or, or…), but y’all, there is nothing more filthy than an infant! They don’t have control over their bodily functions yet!! They shit themselves voluminously at least once a day, for starters. They pee themselves basically constantly. Edith drools so much that I don’t bother to dress her because her entire front side becomes soaked in seconds, so she just has this slippery glaze of slobber from her chin to her waist at all times. If I park her somewhere, it cascades down her neck and pools up behind her head and I pick her up out of a puddle of it. She regularly spits up a decent amount of milk and she also just lets it pour out of her mouth when she’s done drinking. She often has boogers, as well. She wipes her hands in her hair.
This week kind of got away from me, and so Edith’s bath was a few days late, and by today, I didn’t actually need to hold her anymore because I could just stick her to the front of my body and carry her around like that.
So, I don’t know what people are talking about. When it comes to bathing frequency, I’d say the order is:
- coal miners;
- anyone who for any reason must wear a giant foam-rubber character suit outdoors as part of their employment (or I guess their personal life, I don’t know what people are into now);
- teenage boys; and
- everyone else.