How to Turn Bath Time into Fun Time
by Kathryn M. D’Imperio
Some babies love bath time and others seem to hate it. Thankfully, things can improve over time, with older infants falling in love with the fun things they can do in the tub. From splashing around to learning fun new games with bath toys and bath time songs, babies and toddlers alike can enjoy bath time more and more each time.
Expecting newborns to enjoy their baths might be a bit too optimistic, but by the time your infant can sit unsupported, you can usually start to have a lot of fun during bath time. Each baby may have different levels of tolerance when it comes to water and bathing in general. Some babies do very well in the swimming pool from the time they are six months old, learning to splash their arms and kick their feet. Baby swim class can be a good way to introduce your infant to water; also helping to make bath time something they look forward to enjoying.
Newborn bath time may work best with a cushy baby bathtub or bath sling so you can keep your tiny one safe in the tub. Brightly colored baby washcloths and your favorite baby suds and shampoos are also important to the bath time ritual. Incorporate a little singing, especially songs like “Rubber Ducky” and “Splish, Splash.” Keep baby’s hooded towel (and a spare, just in case) right nearby, along with diapers, wipes and pajamas. Use caution to make sure your baby is safe and sound.
Before they can sit up, babies may be a bit restless in the tub. Give your little one special bath toys to play with, especially rubber duckies, turtles, frogs, and other pond and sea creatures. If you fear your baby might be getting chilly, keep an extra washcloth around to drape across your child’s back or chest, adding a layer of warmth.
From the time they can sit without help and throughout their toddler years, little kiddos can really get the most out of bath time. Sing, splash, play, sprinkle water with pails, and enjoy wash time as your child learns good habits of personal cleanliness. Look for fishing games with nets, toys that stick to the sides of the tub, and body paint soap to keep your kids interested in bath time.
Essential to any baby’s bath, a safety thermometer ensures the water doesn’t scald your child. Cute floating ducks and other critters make bath time fun as you check the temperature and let your little boy or girl enjoy their fun animal friend.
As far as how many baths to give your baby per week and the duration of bath time, it can vary. Some parents like to do bath time — or some form of it — every day. Others may do every other day, or less. Ask your child’s pediatrician to recommend your child’s specific needs. Babies with sensitive skin may need only a couple of baths per week, or their skin might become too dry. For this reason, with just about any baby, keep some rich baby creams and lotions available to massage into their delicate skin, locking in moisture following their bath.
No matter what age your little one might be, never leave your child unattended in the bathtub, or in or near any body of water, for that matter. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and even a few seconds can put your son or daughter in danger. Instead, make bath time and any swimming sessions a special time to share and enjoy together.