One mom's journey through first time motherhood.
A journal to her son, Tucker, inscribing his birth into this world, the lessons and tricks they learned along way, and what they are not telling you in the prenatal books and classes.

Friday, July 3, 2009

the baby bidet, aka "the butt bath"

...and how to wash your baby's bum

My own mother will love this post. She has a general feeling that most of the baby handling tactics she employed as a mother are either outdated or atrocious. I'm here to tell her differently and soothe that slightly uncomfortable feeling she suppresses each time she Tucker sits. This particular tactic, which we like to call the "butt bath" (love the alliteration, or is that assonance?), was passed down from her own mother as well.

There comes a time in every mother's life where the inevitable sets in. Yes, I mean diaper rash. The red, swollen, puffy, rash that attacks the teeniest of the bums. Ointments help, but they only go so far. Conquering diaper rash begins with stopping the culprit...

We bring our delicate little babies home from the hospital and think diaper wipes (yes, butt wipes) are the key to a clean tushy. While they do help in the cleanliness arena and boy are they convenient, they one of several sure fire ways to all but give your babe "the rash" (in addition to just plain not changing your poor babies diaper or having a diaper that doesn't whisk away the soil well).

The baby bible, WhatToExpect, recommends using cotton balls and water. Yeah right, I thought, there was no way that water and a little cotton ball would sufficient clean off my baby's tushy (yes, I have high cleanliness standards). Surprisingly, I have become a cotton ball convert, yet there are times when no amount of cotton balls nor wipes are sufficient. I mean poo up the back or even worse, poo up the front. Gooey poo stuck in the baby fat folds and crevices where poo should not go. By the way, I'm not sure how this phenomenon happens, at times I think Tucker's pee and poo channels are switched. Nevertheless, this is when you must have a good enough heart to full on bath your baby and rinse the misfit poo away. Even better, or in a time crunch, give him the butt bath.

The pictures tell the story. Warm the water to the desired temperature and go. Initially, finding the correct hold may be tricky. Getting from the changing table to the sink without getting poopy on yourself or the changing table is key. The recommended approach is as follows:
  1. Undress the bottom half.
    (use a wipe or cloth to protect the changing table if necessary)
  2. Tuck the top half or onesie (if still clean) under the armpits.
  3. Carry your baby to the sink with two hands while holding up the shirt under under each armpit.
  4. As you approach the sink, roll the baby onto the inside of your forearm for support, such that you can hold the baby with one arm and use the other for washing.
  5. For added support, rest the arm holding the baby on the sink basin.
  6. Wash that baby bum!
You will need firm, precise one hand holding of the baby to master this technique. The butt bath works best if you can manipulate your kid directly under the water stream. Otherwise, some degree of water diversion and rubbing is in order. In a poo up the front situation or just to freshen up a bit, a front bath may be in order as well.

The result is a clean, happy baby, with zero wipe-detergent, cotton, pee or poo residue and you are on your way to preventing diaper rash or nipping in the, well, butt. Just make sure you have a good handle on your baby, the right water temperature, and a handy towel when attempting. Then just follow the sure fire techniques for air-drying (or hair-drying) you baby's bum.

As a baby testament, Tucker is all smiles after a good morning, or afternoon, poo and his subsequent butt bath. He enjoys the attention to detail on his bottom half, the closeness to mom, and that fresh out of the womb feeling. Butt bath time for Tucker is like a relaxing game, so relaxing that from time to time you will find him standing up during his front bath and casually relieving himself in the warm shower stream.


  1. You can do that for baby and yourself also with a bathroom bidet sprayer, it's the latest and greatest bathroom gadget. For those of us who really like to be clean it is the best invention since the toilet. You can use it to clean in and around the toilet too. It is so much better than a stand alone bidet and this is why: 1. It's less expensive (potentially allot less) 2. You can install in yourself = no plumber expense 3. It works better by providing more control of where the water spray goes and a greater volume of water flow. 4. It requires no electricity and there are few things that can go wrong with it. 5. It doesn't take up any more space, many bathrooms don't have room for a stand alone bidet. 6. You don’t have to get up and move from the toilet to the bidet which can be rather awkward at times to say the least. Available at

  2. Be kind to your behind, I love it! Thanks David for the comment. I have heard of these and will definitely have to look into it as Tucker outgrows the bathroom sink faucet.

  3. For those who is looking for how to how to wash kid's bum (6 months - 4 years) Boom Potty is the best