How Often Should You Bathe a Toddler – Comprehensive Guide

How often you should bathe a toddler

Most parents bringing up babies will always wonder; how often should you bathe your toddler? As a parent, it can be very confusing as to how often your toddler should take a bathe, considering the diverse opinions you receive from friends, your mother, and perhaps your doctor.


The message you will most likely get from your doctor is to bathe your toddler every few days. However, if you are an avid reader of parenting magazines, they will advice you to have your toddler take a bathe each and every day.


Of course, the biggest worry for you as a parent is your kid contracting germs from dirt, but is dirt really that bad? We can all agree that a 2-3-year-old kids are overly active as they experiment on various activities including self-feeding, exploring your garbage can, or even digging outside in the dirt.


Since your toddler’s immune system is still developing and learning to fight off viruses and bacteria found in our environment, you should not worry too much about germs. So, it should not really concern you when your kid sleeps with a few germs after they have been busy exploring outside in the dirt.


What Parents Feel About Bathing Their Toddlers

When it comes to most parents, they really feel like their toddlers should have a bath every day. They feel like their kids should be washed from all the dirt they accumulate in the course of the day. 


Bathing at the end of the day


Well, most parents will argue that bathing their toddlers before bedtime improves their sleep. Since every parent is always looking out for their toddlers’ best interest, it is important to be informed on the pros and cons of taking daily baths.


How Often Should You Bathe A Toddler with Eczema

When your toddler has eczema, it can cause their skin to be irritable when dry. There are varied ways on how to approach bathing frequencies for such a toddler.


The real issue with a kid who has eczema is having a dry skin, and some researchers argue that you can bathe them daily so long as you moisturize their skins afterwards. Your toddler will be just fine when lots of special moisturizing ointment has been applied to them after every bath.


On the other hand, other experts’ advice that parents wash their toddlers infrequently as bathing too often dries out their skin. However, taking a bath will also remove irritants, surface dirt, and even allergens which could potentially cause skin irritation.


Certainly, it can be confusing to every parent as they wonder what is best for their baby. It is important to agree that there has not been exhaustive research on this question, and more studies would really help many parents. 


As much as there is a ton of advice online and at home, it is important for parents to follow their own judgement as well. Only a parent will be able to observe what is best for their toddlers who have eczema.


As a parent, you should follow what is working for your baby, and do not bathe them daily if it is not helping with their eczema. However, you should also escalate matters to your doctor if the eczema gets worse.

A child about to bathe

Tips for Bathing Kids with Eczema

• Ensure lukewarm temperature for their bath

• Keep bath time very brief, from 5 to 10 minutes.

• Use mild soaps that are fragrance free as this will help you avoid drying out their skin.

• Ensure that you use less soap in every bath.

• When your water is soapy, do not leave the toddler to play and sit there.

• Do not add soap at the beginning of the bath, rather add it at the end.

• Use warm fresh water to rinse soap from your toddlers’ body when you are done with the bath. You should then follow this up with moisturizing ointments, lotions, or even creams that are favorable for their fragile skin.

• Do not use creams that have preservatives, fragrances, strange chemicals, and coloring agents. Always ensure that you use mild products that are not irritable to your toddlers’ skin.

• Avoid alcohol-based products at all times. 

How often to bath

How Often to Give A 2-Year-Old A Bath?

As we have already established, your 2-year-old is probably in their most active development age. They love playing outside more and they will get as dirty as they can.


It is straightforward that every parent would want to keep their toddler clean and healthy. However, it can be argued that cleaning too often could have negative effects to the baby as they grow. 


Gut bacteria and certain microbes are necessary to keep our immune systems functioning properly. They keep our bodies healthy and protected from pathogens that are much more dangerous. 


It is for this reason that you should consider bathing your young one 2-3 times in a week. Such infrequent baths will keep them clean and at the same time keep their immune systems functioning properly.


However, you should always follow your instinct and not follow a routine cast on stone. You should wash your 2-year-old if they are overly dirty after a busy session with dirt outside.


It is advisable to use less soap when cleaning your toddler, or use a non-soap cleanser that is gentle. This will ensure that your baby’s skin does not dry out from the use of soap.


How Long Should Toddler Bath Time Be

Your toddler does not require long bath sessions as much as adults would love to. Instead, it is advisable that you keep their bathe time rather brief.


Since your toddlers’ skin is not fully developed, they are prone to irritation when bathing is overdone. A ten minutes bath is sufficient for your little one. 


If you want your toddler to have some more fun with their bath, then do not add any soap in their water initially. This will ensure that they do not get their skin irritated from the soap as they sit and relax in the water. 


After your kid is done bathing, ensure that you use plenty of appropriate lotion on their skin. This will keep their skin moisturized and healthy at all times. 


The key is to ensure minimal damage to their delicate skin, and at the same time ensuring that they have a sufficient bath. When they grow older and their skin becomes hardier, then they can withstand longer bathes. 


So, the shorter your kids bath time, the better for their fragile skin. As much as they enjoy being in that water, keep their bath time as brief as possible. 


How Often Should I Wash My Toddlers Hair

You may have noticed by now that your toddler may not necessarily love it when their hair is washed. They could really love being in water, but dread the moment their hair is washed.


Past experiences such as having shampoo in their eyes could cause your toddler to fear their hair being washed. However, this should not worry you as they will certainly outgrow such fears.


Well, it is not necessary to wash you toddler’s hair on a daily basis. It is unlikely that your kid’s hair gets that dirty as they get on with their daily activities.


Washing your 2-year-old’s hair once a week is sufficient. This will keep them clean and healthy, whereas it will also help avoid the discomfort that comes along with washing the hair.

Toy for toddler bath time

Safety Measures While Bathing Your toddler

You should always keep in mind that your toddler needs utmost care as normal daily activities could be dangerous to them, especially during bath time. As much as you are comfortable that your toddler can sit up by themselves during their bath, you should not keep your guard down. 


Highlighted below are important tips to observe during your toddler’s bath time:

• Never ever leave the child alone in the bathroom, and always ensure that the toddler is within your arm’s reach. This will ensure that you can protect them from slipping off into the water and drowning.

• Before you get started with the bath, ensure that you have prepared everything you might need for the bath. Make sure that you have cotton wool, towel, face washer, clean clothes and nappy. When you are this prepared, you do not have to leave the bathroom in the middle of the bath.

• When you are filling the bath with water, ensure that water is not exceeding the belly-button height of your toddler. This ensures enough water for the bath and at the same time not overwhelming your kid with loads of water.

• You should make sure that your hot water tap is firmly turned off to prevent burn accidents. Just to be sure, when the bath is ready, run cold water for a short while through your tap. This will ascertain that you do not burn your toddler with hot water.

• Always ensure that you check the temperature of your water before you put your toddler in, and it should be between 37oC – 38oC.

• As soon as you are done with the bath, do not forget to let the water out. This could be potentially hazardous for drowning later on. You shouldn’t also leave bath plugs in the bath when you are not using them.


Most importantly, do not entrust your toddler with their other siblings while in the bathroom. As much as they love their toddler, they will often lack the necessary skills to detect or react promptly to any emergency situation. 


Your shallow bath water could easily drown your toddler in seconds if you let your guard down. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your 2-year old’s bath time. 

How often to bathe a toddler

Your Toddler is Scared of the Bath

As much as you may tend to think that your toddler is overreacting with their bath time fears, such fears could be very real to them. It is, therefore, important that you take their fears much more seriously. 


Fortunately, there are various things you can try so as to ease your toddlers fears during their bath time. 


Highlighted below are the best ways in which you can assist your kid to overcome their bath time fears.

Take a bath with them – This will ensure that your toddler feels comfortable and safe seeing that they are not alone in the water.

Allow your toddler to choose their favorite toys for their bath – This could potentially distract them from the unfounded fears they have for the bath, and they will eventually grow out of such fears.

Have your toddler play or sit in the bath when there is no water in it – This will get them used to sitting there and they should get more comfortable even with water in it.

As much as it sounds far-fetched, some toddlers have a phobia of being sucked down into the plug hole – When you note that this is the case with your toddler, just ensure that you don’t take the plug out when they are still in the bathroom.

Having your toddler sit with you in your big tub could also help build their confidence. Though you should keep them in their baby bath if they can still fit. 


The key to making your toddler comfortable with their bathes is by building their confidence and assurance regarding water. Once they are confident, they will really enjoy their bath times. 



As much as you will get a lot of information regarding how often you should bathe your toddler, you will have to do what is best for your young one. A parent should follow their instinct and observe how their toddler is reacting to frequent or infrequent baths. 


Special precaution should be taken when dealing with toddlers whose skin are sensitive. For a 2-year-old who has eczema, infrequent bathes won’t be such a bad idea.


However, when proper and approved moisturizers are used generously, there shouldn’t be any problem. 


It is agreeable that further comprehensive studies need to be done in this field, such that parents can have more confidence in the decisions they take as regards to bathing their toddlers.


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