When it comes to washing your child's skin at bath time, we put a lot of thought into the skincare we use.
In more recent years, the number of naturally formulated skincare brands, free from parabens and allergen ingredients has grown hugely. We’ve been taught as parents to always read the label on the bottle. That's great news and has probably made us far more confident about what's going on with our kids skin.
Just look at this range of products we've had in our shower storage organiser at one time or another!
But how often do we think about what we’re putting that skincare on before washing kids’ skin? The accessories - the sponges, brushes, wash cloths, loofahs, hands etc?
Whatever you use for washing kids at bath time, it’s a key part of the process. Effective scrubbing relies on the wet skincare that comes out of the tube or tub, yes, but also mild exfoliation and gentle massage to remove dead skin cells and encourage cell rejuvenation.
While we might like to think of ‘baby skin’ as somehow above all that, removing dead and dry skin and thoroughly moisturising is key to keeping skin healthy and protecting the natural skin barrier as it repel everything the world around throws at it.
So here's the ultimate guide to choosing the most important bath time accessory - what you wash your kids with. Here's what we cover
- What matters when choosing how to wash your kids
- What are the different sponges and bath accessories to wash your kids
- Why we designed Pebbl bath time brush as the better way to wash infants
- Alternatives for washing your kids
1. Key questions when choosing the best bath sponge for your infant
i. Will my bath sponge store bacteria or go mouldy quickly?
Let’s face it, we’re not great at replacing stuff we should in the bathroom – when was the last time you replaced your electric toothbrush head?
So a good test of the right bath or shower sponge is whether it’s going to be easy to clean or whether you’ll leave it there so long that it starts growing its own bacteria culture.
ii. Will the bath sponge irritate my baby's skin?
There’s a fine line between exfoliation and irritation and if you’ve got sensitive skin (hello babies, we see you!) then you’re going to want to make sure you’re using something hypoallergenic and super soft to ensure you're not cause any skin damage.
iii. Will the bath sponge wash my child effectively?
There’s a lot of body parts to clean in the bath or shower and you need to make sure they’re all being washed effectively.
A sponge that cleans your hair needs to different things to the one that cleans under arms or in the tiny neck-folds of a tiny baby. Choose a sponge that wont miss anything.
iii. Is the bath sponge helping my kids learn how to wash themselves?
When you're teaching your kid to feed themselves, there is a big emphasis on them learning to do it for themselves. There are hundreds of types of baby spoons, cups, plates and trays that are all designed to help your baby learn to feed themselves in a practical way at a young age.
We don't just give our kids adult sized forks and tell them to get on with it either. Equally, there's every type of floor tray, mat and a million different bib varieties that recognise that there is a balance between teaching your kids to do things themselves, and the hard work and effort that comes with cleaning up afterwards.
In other words, we want to help our kids learn to feed themselves from meal 1, and we give them the tools to help them (and us!) feel confident doing that. But for some reason when it comes to bath time we forget all that. But surely how we look after our hygiene matters too? Choose a sponge or washing accessory that applies the same mentality as feeding - that kids can learn to be washing and looking after their skin health and hygiene from a young age.
2. What different bathtime sponges or washing accessories could I use to wash my kids?
So what are the different types of cloths, sponges or loofahs you can you use on baby and kids’ skin? Here are the options with their positives and negatives and maybe some you've just never thought of using.
- Pebbl silicone soap sponge-brush
- Natural sea sponge
- Reuseable wash cloths and flannels
- Konjac sponge
- Loofah or pouf
When we were first looking for the right way to wash our kids we started with a synthetic bath sponge - the sort you get gifted and then stick with for far too long. We had those sponges for months without realising the bacteria store they were - pretty nasty!
But when we really thought about what the right choice was, based on the criteria above, there wasn't a choice that ticked all the boxes. So we designed our own to make sure we had a tool that would really wash well, hygienically and teach our kids to do it themselves. This is how our Pebbl bath and shower brush matches up with other washing options:
3. Why Pebbl bath time soap dispensing and scrubbing brush is the best baby bath sponge.
When we started washing our first child, we were using a synthetic sponge that someone had gifted us as part of a bathtime set. We were still using it months later despite the bacteria that was likely making it's home there - pretty nasty.
We wanted to design a bath brush that did everything to wash better, waste less and look after our kids skin. But crucially, we wanted to design something that would also teach our kids to wash themselves.
Pebbl is made from super-soft, kind-to-skin, food-grade silicone that's perfect for infant's skin.
Made from super gentle silicone bristles, the GRASP brush massages the skin and scalp without irritation or over-exfoliation. You get the benefits of a very gentle sponge while also ensuring better hair washes and skin health.
Pebbl is easy for grown ups and for kids to use in the bath or shower
Pebbl is great for adult and baby hands. The bath brush is designed ergonomically to help kids learn how to take care of their own bodily hygiene. Plus, with a no-fuss refillable soap chamber it ensures you waste less soap and let kids really get involved in their own skin health routine.
Pebbl is the low-waste, sustainable solution to washing your kids.
This is the only sponge you’ll ever need for your kids. Good for babies, kids and even adults, it’s really made to last.
The simple Pebbl design makes it easy to take apart, clean and dry so you don’t have to worry about bacteria build up. It's dishwasher safe as well so you really don't have to fuss about getting a hygienic clean again and again!
4. What are other ways can I wash my kids?
Is natural sea sponge the answer for washing your kids?
Natural sea sponge has become a popular option for washing kids, as well as a more sustainable choice for the planet.
It’s plastic free unlike a lot of synthetic sponges, often biodegradable (just make sure you choose the right waste bin to put in!) and super soft so it’s not going to cause a problem on baby skin.
The downsides are that you’ll probably keep it too long and it might start holding onto all sorts of bacteria (bacteria love the moist warm climate of a bathroom anyway). Plus you don’t always find a lot in ‘baby-sizes’ so you’ll need to keep your eyes open for them and keep changing them frequently!
Have you tried reuseable flannels and washcloths for washing your kids
Another choice for baby and the planet are washcloths - ideally made from natural fibres like bamboo, but anything reuseable is a big plus!
Flannels are great and quite adaptable given you can fold and scrunch them, but they’re not great for all the nooks of the skin and are not brilliant exfoliators. They’re also not the best option for washing hair in particular. Maybe trying a flannel in combination with another sponge is the best option here.
Using a konjac sponge to wash your newborn baby
This a kind-to-planet sponge solution (there’s a theme here) that’s taken from the root of the konjac plant.
The plant-based sponge is more sustainable and biodegradable unlike synthetic alternatives. Plus it’s super soft which is great for kid’s skin. Watch out though. There’s a fine line between having them to dry and too wet. When they're too dry they can easily disintegrate. You’ll need to watch out for where you’re storing them and they might need replacing quite frequently.
Have you tried a loofah for washing your older kid's skin?
Loofahs are probably most familiar to adults. But while it's good to know how to use them and they’re generally pretty gently, they’re not super easy to use on kids’ skin or hair.
They can be pretty messy from a suds perspective and that’s not ideal when you’ve got a screaming child unhappy about having their hair washed. They can also be made out of all sorts of synthetic materials which doesn’t make them a very sustainable choice.