How to Make Your Own Oatmeal Bath

A Few Simple Ingredients Is All It Takes to Soothe Your Child's Skin


Giving your infant an oatmeal bath is a simple, effective, and inexpensive solution for a variety of pediatric skin conditions. It can be used for everything from soothing a sore bottom from diaper rash to hydrating dry skin and offering relief from eczema.

Your doctor or health provider may recommend you give your baby an oatmeal bath. There are commercial products available, but they typically cost $6 for eight single-use packets.

Instead, you can make your own at home for around a dollar, using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

Ingredients and Equipment You'll Need to Make an Oatmeal Bath

  • Blender, food processor, or coffee grinder
  • 1 cup of oatmeal or 1/3 cup for babies (unflavored instant oatmeal, quick oats, or slow cooking oats all work equally.)
  • Warm water

Steps for Making the Oatmeal Bath

  1. Simply blend or process the oats on the highest setting in your food processor, blender, or coffee grinder until you have a very fine, consistent powder.
  2. Test a tablespoon of the ground oats to see if they are ground fine enough to absorb water. Stir one tablespoon of the ground oats into a glass of warm water.
  3. If the oats readily absorb in the water, turning the liquid into a milky-looking substance with a silky feel, you've blended long enough.
  4. If the liquid doesn't turn milky, keep processing the oats to grind them even finer. Test again. Repeat until you get a milky solution with a silky feel.

    How to Give an Oatmeal Bath

    Pour your homemade oatmeal into a tub of running warm water and stir the water with your hand several times to ensure even distribution. Feel along the bottom of the tub for clumps and break up any you find. Allow your child to soak in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes. You may even want to gently rub some of the oatmeal directly on the skin.

    Be careful transporting your little one in and out the bath. Oatmeal will make the tub even more slippery than usual. Pat your child's skin dry with a soft towel. An oatmeal bath can be given once or twice a day, or more frequently if your pediatrician advises doing so.

    Skin Conditions That Crave Oatmeal

    Parents and doctors alike have been turning to the skin-soothing powers of oatmeal for centuries. It's not surprising, then, that you'll find finely powdered ("colloidal") oatmeal listed among the ingredients in a slew of body soaks, moisturizers and soaps (for kids and adults). Oatmeal is a natural way to lock in the body's moisture, protect the skin and soothe any irritation or itching.

    Here are just a few of common pediatric skin conditions that can be treated with an oatmeal bath.


    American Academy of Pediatrics. When diaper rash strikes.  

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