Bathing with your child isn’t just a convenient way to get yourselves clean, but also a great bonding experience. You can get skin-to-skin contact, playtime, and bathtime all in one! It’s great to have fun during bathtime, but your number one focus is always going to be safety. Here are some rules and tips to make sure you get the most out of bathtime while staying safe.
- Plan it out
Taking a bath with your toddler can be both easier and harder than bathing your newborn. You can worry a little less about the perfect water temperature because you’ll be in the water yourself, and Baby will probably be a little less distressed because he isn’t a bath newbie anymore. However, Baby is now a lot more mobile and generally squirmy. Don’t hesitate to ask your partner to stay close in case you need help wrangling a slippery toddler to wash shampoo out of his hair.
- Babyproof the bath
Baths might seem inherently baby-safe – they’re just big basins, right? But it’s easy to overlook potentially hazardous items like razors, heavy bottles, candles, or sharp decorations like shells or fancy soaps. Baths get really slippery, and you wouldn’t want something to fall of the ledge and hurt either of you. If your bath has hard corners, think about laying a towel over them in case one of you slips going in or out of the bath.
- Bring some toys!
Think of this as your opportunity to create a foundation of good hygiene for the rest of Baby life. You want him to think of bathtime as a fun time, a special arena where he gets to play with his favorite boat or duck or dolphin. That way, he won’t learn to dread bathtime and create poor bathing habits as he grows older. You should also consider buying a bath mat for the inside of your tub or shower to prevent slips and falls.
- Stay in the bathroom
According to the National Institutes of Health, children under 6 years old should never be left alone in the bathtub, and they should also not be allowed in the bathroom if there is any water in the bathtub. When you’re draining the tub after bathtime, make sure it is completely empty before you leave the bathroom. Also, don’t put one child in charge of another during bathtime – always make sure there is an adult supervising.
- Make the transition easy
It might be hard to think about, but one day Baby is going to be older, wiser, and more private. Eventually he is going to want to start bathing and showering by themselves, and there are some things you can do to ease that transition. Keep an eye out for signs that he is becoming more private, like closing the door when he goes to the bathroom or asking to be left alone when changing clothes. Let Baby know that it’s okay if he likes to bathe with you, but that if he one day doesn’t want to, that’s okay too.
With that in mind, cherish bathtime with Baby while you have it! This is a time for you both to relax, unwind, and bond, soak it all in…literally.
“Bathroom safety – children.” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, November 20 2014. Web.