I know for many babies and toddlers (and their parents!) bathtime can be a trauamtic experience. We have been really lucky so far – both Harrison and Alex are real water babies and love bathtime. In fact, we usually have temper tantrums when they have to get out of the bath, and quite often Harrison will ask if he can go and have a bath.
Harrison had his first bath at home, when he was three or four days old. We had one of those plastic baby baths and we bathed him in the lounge of our flat. The first few minutes weren’t much fun for any of us, with lots of screaming (him, not us!) but as soon as we started to gently tip the warm water over his head and body he relaxed. As soon as he was out of the bath and wrapped up in a snuggly towel, he went straight to sleep. At four weeks old he had his first shower. We were lucky enough to have a huge shower cubicle seperate to the bath. Daddy got in first and had his shower, then I passed Harrison over to him. He immediately snuggled up into his shoulder and the wam water went straight over him. When I went to take him off daddy, he had fallen asleep! He was quite a colicky baby, but showers always soothed him and calmed him down, so he had a lot of showers!
When he was a few months older, he had to go back to having baths as daddy got a job that meant working lots of nights. I was also pregnant with Alex at this point so didn’t feel safe getting in and out of the shower with a slippery baby, especially as we had moved and had to climb in and out of the bath. It didn’t bother him though, and became a much anticipated part of our evenings. He would sit in the big bath without any sorts of seat, and loved having it deep and bubbly. He had plenty of toys to play with in there. He began to fuss a little bit when it came to hair washing, but I didn’t pander to him and carried on with it, and after a couple of weeks it stoppped bothering him.
When Alex was born, he had his very first bath in the hospital as he was a bit gungy. Again, once he was actually being washed it didn’t seem to bother him. When he came home I think we gave him just one bath in the baby bath. After that, we simply used a support in the big bath. Daddy would bath Harrison first, and then when all the hair washing was done I would take Alex in and bathed him, and then they would stay in the bath together for a few minutes. Harrison would be splashing Alex who didn’t bat an eyelid.
They now both have a bath together every other night. The baths are deep and bubbly and they both sit and play in there for a good twenty minutes. They help to bath each other by rubbing in the shampoo, and I am sure they will love helping to bath baby Benjamin when he comes along! On the nights they don’t have a bath, they have a quick shower, and quite often have a shower if they’ve been painting or had something messy to eat. They stand in the bath together and love feeling the ‘rain’ as they call it.
I’m really hoping Benjamin loves baths and showers as much as these two. We won’t do anything different – we won’t mess about with a baby bath after the first one or two, letting him go straight into the big bath with his brothers, and giving him a gentle shower once in a while.
What are your tips for a stress-free bathtime?