Learn how to make a milk bath for baby, what the benefits are, and why you should totally add breast milk from your freezer stash to your baby’s next bath!
Many new moms are surprised to find out that there are other uses for breast milk beyond simply feeding their baby. From lotions that help heal eczema and other skin irritations, to popsicles that ease teething pain, breast milk seems to be able to do it all!
They don’t call it liquid gold for nothing! There’s no denying that breast milk has healing properties and benefits that make all of the hard work more than worth it.
Possibly one of the simplest uses for breast milk is a milk bath for baby!
I gave my son a milk bath as often as I could when he was a baby, and I’m sure I’ll start giving them to him again when his little sister is born and my milk supply comes back. He had pretty bad baby eczema when he was little, and a 15-minute milk bath always helped! It’s much easier than making my breast milk lotion, with the same great healing benefits!
Before I get into the baby milk bath ‘recipe,’ let’s go over why you should try it out.
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Breast Milk Bath for Baby
Are you interested in giving your baby a breast milk bath, but you’re wondering if it’s worth using up some of your precious freezer stash? Let me start by saying that yes, it’s totally worth it! I was considered a “just-enougher” towards the end of my breastfeeding journey with my son, and I still made it a point to save up little amounts of milk here and there.
Quick Side Note – Here’s How I Easily Collected Extra Breast Milk That Otherwise Would Have Been Wasted
One of the best ways to create a freezer stash of breast milk is by using a Haakaa! If you haven’t heard of it, it’s seriously a godsend. No one told me about them until my son was a few months old, and I missed out on collecting so much wasted milk! I try to tell everyone I know with a baby on the way about it!
This is the one I have. Basically, you know how you leak from the side you’re not nursing on during feedings? Well, you can put the Haakaa on the side your baby isn’t feeding from, and it collects all of the milk you would have wasted! Even if you don’t usually leak much, you’d be surprised how much it collects. The suction is just enough to draw out extra breast milk. It’s amazing!
What is the Purpose of a Milk Bath?
Giving your baby a milk bath may sound strange, until you take a look at what exactly makes up breast milk! Lauric acid in particular, is a component of breast milk that has antibacterial properties. Breast milk also has antiseptic properties that soothe and nourish the skin. The antibody IgA helps speed up the healing process and prevents germs from forming!
Benefits of Breast Milk Bath for Baby
Cradle Cap and Eczema Relief
You can give your baby a milk bath for cradle cap or eczema! When I didn’t have enough breast milk stashed away to spare for a full on milk bath, I would simply rub a little bit onto his head while he was in the bath. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing it out. It was like magic, seriously!
Breast milk can ease the pain and help speed up the healing process of a diaper rash. Some moms rub breast milk directly onto their baby’s bottom in between diaper changes as well as bathing them in milk.
It should be noted that if your baby is suffering from a yeast diaper rash however, you might want to skip the breast milk and use the cream prescribed by a doctor.
Dry Skin & Skin Irritations
Here are some of the components of breast milk that make it so wonderful for treating dry and irritated skin:
- Vaccenic acid
- Linoleic acid
- Palmitic acid
- Oleic acid
These components moisturize and nourish damaged, itchy skin. You can’t beat it!
Acne, Bug Bites & Cuts
If your baby is suffering from acne or has a bug bite or a cut on their skin, a breast milk bath may be just what they need. It will promote faster healing and aid in keeping the area from becoming infected or growing bacteria.
How to make a Milk Bath for Baby
How do you Give a Milk Bath?
Giving your baby a milk bath is as easy as it sounds. Simply fill the tub or sink with warm water as you usually would, and add in some expressed breast milk! Depending on the amount of water in the tub, a few ounces should do it. The more you add, the better though.
There were times I only had 2 ounces of breast milk to spare, and other times I had 12+ ounces. You use what you can get. If you’re struggling to express or pump enough breast milk, consider checking this $19 course out. It’s full of great information. I wish I would have found it with my first son!
For the milk bath to be effective, you need to add enough to make the water look cloudy and milky.
- Run a baby bath as you normally would
- Wash the baby with soap if needed
- Rinse the baby clean
- Add enough breast milk to make the water cloudy
- Swish the water around to spread it out, and allow your baby to play or relax in the milk bath for at least a few minutes
- Pour the milk and water over your baby’s limbs and body, paying extra attention to any irritated areas
- Take the baby out of the bath and pat dry, without rinsing. This allows the breast milk to continue penetrating their skin and soaking in
Can you use Expired Breast Milk for a Milk Bath?
Absolutely! Within reason, of course. If it smells absolutely rancid or it’s become moldy, of course it’s not good for even a milk bath. But if it’s past the safe date to feed your baby, (or you’re like me and you suffer from high lipase, and you forgot to scald your milk), you can absolutely use expired or otherwise undrinkable milk.
Remember, breast milk is good for 6 months in a regular freezer. If you find some milk that’s over 6 months old, it’s perfectly good to use in a bath!
How Much Breast Milk To Use
It depends on the amount of water you have in the tub or sink. You want the water to be cloudy, and the more you’re able to add, the better. If you’re curious, I usually added between 6 and 12 ounces to a small bath in the tub.
Have you given your baby a breast milk bath? Did it help with cradle cap, eczema, or any other skin irritation? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to ask any questions as well!
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