Bathtime with baby should be a fun, enjoyable time that gives you an opportunity to relax and connect with your little one. And yet many parents find it a daunting experience, with all that water, finding the right temperature, a wriggly (and sometimes crying) baby and not enough hands available to do all the necessary jobs!
But dont worry. Learning to enjoy bathtime takes a bit of experience and a small dose of imagination. Follow the 5 tips below to ensure both you and baby enjoy this special time together.
1. Have a Bath Together
Babies, particularly young ones, like nothing more than the closeness of one of their parents. If possible, fill the bath (not too deep) with water of a temperature suitable for them, and get in with them. Very young babies will enjoy lying on you with the water around them, which is a similar experience to that of being in the womb.
Slightly older babies will enjoy the company and playing with you. Babies that are frightened of the water may become more confident with you in there with them, as the bath can seem like a big and lonely place on their own.
2. Use Bubbles
Cheap and easy to get hold of, bubble bath can be a simple way for both parent and older babies to have a bit of fun while in the water. Bubbles can be used to create endless games and dont require any clearing up afterwards. Try creating bubble beards on both you and baby, or create your own bubbles with the water and your hands you might even make bubbles bigger than the ones in the bath!
Babies love the sound of lullabies and nursery rhymes and singing to them while giving them a bath can be a great way to get them to relax and unwind, particularly if you are giving them a bath before they go to bed. For older babies, having the radio on can encourage them to dance along and have a bit of fun in the bath.
You can even create your own songs to sing at bathtime, to a tune you made yourself or one that belongs to another song.
4. Play with Toys
There are countless toys on the market that are created especially for bathtime. Rubber toys that squirt water can create endless play, and are especially useful for little ones that do not enjoy having water poured on them. Bath mirrors can intrigue even the smallest of babies and distract them if they do not enjoy bathtime. Sieves and cups can be a great source of entertainment, and colourful numbers and letters that stick to the side of the bath can start their education early. For older babies, bathtime finger paints are fantastic fun with a ready filled bath to clean it all away with afterwards.
5. Tell a Story
Since talking to your baby is a vital way of bonding and teaching them language skills, try creating your own bathtime story, even if they are too little to understand it fully. Your baby could be anything a mermaid, a fish, or a sailor travelling on the open seas. Letting your imagination run wild can be fun for you too, and stories can be revisited with every bath.
Always remember that safety comes first with bathtime and never leave baby on their own in the bath. By thinking creatively and getting involved, both you and baby can relax and enjoy bathtime together at the end of a busy day. Bathtime will never look the same again!