throw out the baby with the bath water

throw out the baby with the bathwater

To discard something valuable or important while disposing of something worthless. The phrase is often used in the negative as a warning against such thoughtless behavior. Why are we scrapping the entire project? Come on, don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.
See also: baby, bathwater, out, throw

throw out the baby with the bath water

Discard something valuable along with something not wanted. For example, I know you don't approve of that one item in the bill but we shouldn't throw out the baby with the bath water by voting the bill down . This expression, with its vivid image of a baby being tossed out with a stream of dirty water, is probably translated from a German proverb, Das Kind mit dem Bade ausschütten ("Pour the baby out with the bath"). It was first recorded in English in 1853 by Thomas Carlyle, who translated many works from German.
See also: baby, bath, out, throw, water
References in periodicals archive ?
The second basic principle is "don't throw out the baby with the bath water.
But to throw out the baby with the bath water, to replace traditional courses with integrated courses, in a rushed, sometimes poorly taught, manner may have resulted in dooming the very program they so deeply believe in.
The survey suggests that people accept instinctively the notion that we need to improve what works, and not throw out the baby with the bath water.
We have to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water simply because of some premature market hype," argued Sabharwal.
Given the collapse of political support for this innovative market-based approach, we must not act in haste to throw out the baby with the bath water - however polluted that water might be.