Is there anything better than that squeaky clean baby smell? They’re cuddly, they’re soft and they smell like pure bliss, but getting them to that point is not always a blissful process. Bath time for little kiddies can become stressful, slippery, and teary for both baby and parents – we know from experience. Here are a few of our favourite tips to make bath time a little less slippery, less stressful and a whole lot more fun.
Keep An Eye On The Temperature
Tiny kiddos are not a fan of two things, the cold… and just about everything else. No one likes to get undressed and feel chilly, especially the little ones who are extra sensitive to a change in climate. To help minimise temperature changes, when the weather becomes a bit cooler, run the shower for a minute or two to allow the bathroom to steam up and warm the air. Similarly, no bubby likes getting out of the bath into cold air either, so we suggest to pump up the heat before it’s time to get out and have a fluffy, warmed robe waiting for them. It sounds like you’re dealing with a pre-Madonna but isn’t that what the little humans are? Not yet versed in the realities of life? But, moving on…
Now, when it comes to the water, the ideal bath water temperature is the same as your child’s body temperature. They're yet to experience the joys of a hot tub. The best way to check the water temperature is with your elbow. It sounds a bit weird, but your hands are used to dealing with all kinds of environments (especially once you have kids), so if you have to pull your elbow away, even just slightly, then it’s too hot. And no one likes an ice bath other than Wim Hof (not sure who that is? Google him and find out why he loves the cold).
Get Resourceful, and Fun!
The house is full of fun innovative toys to make bath time more interesting. Specifically, the kitchen. You can make it rain using a strainer or colander, or even a water bottle with some holes poked through. What a crafty little bath-ty, and kids love this kind of stuff. Don’t you wish you were this easily entertained? This also helps your baby/toddler adjust to the idea of a shower or bath if there’s something interesting to play with or look at. Ladles, measuring cups, silicone basting brushes, and even a turkey baster are all good bath toy options too! No need to splash out on expensive bath toys. Get it? Splash out?...
Want something to spark their creative side? Try using shaving cream with a drop of food colouring makes for some very interesting bathroom tile Monets. They’re easy to clean up, they keep tiny hands busy while you do the washing, and it flexes their creative muscle! Extra tip! For a more comfortable bath experience for you, put a quarter piece of pool noodle cut down the middle over the rim of the bathtub to give yourself extra comfort while you’re bending and reaching over to clean your babies.
Learn, Rinse, Repeat
Using bath time as an opportunity to learn? Now that scrubs two birds with one sponge (is that the expression??). Try reading a waterproof book for some underwater storytime fun. Teach them self-care by explaining to them how to wash themselves, and only help if they ask for it as this helps give them a sense of accomplishment too! Or make bath time a learning experience and share some facts about animals, dinosaurs or the real estate market (okay maybe not that last one) with them. You’d be surprised how quickly kids soak things up, like a sponge…ok, we’ll stop now. Or will we?
Bath time can be fun for you too. So, grab some speakers and play some tunes you can all sing along to. Add different coloured glow sticks underneath the bubbles and turn the lights down low for a weeknight rave (without putting your white blood cells to work). If they’re not feeling their regular Beyoncé-selves, head to Spotify and look up bedtime stories or some relaxing tones to help wind them down for the evening. There are hundreds of options, and they’re a great way to entertain the wee ones, they won’t even notice you’ve picked mushed-up banana out of their hair.
Put the Duckie Down
So, you know we’re very big on health and protecting your family from the nasties of the world. Well, toys with holes in the bottom (to allow the water to come out) can harbour and breed a lot of bacteria and even mould. The bottom of those toys, more often than not (and just like everything else) end up in the little buddy’s mouth. We suggest to either purchase a hot glue gun and fill in the holes so no water can get in, or stop buying those types of toys altogether. Sorry rubber duckie, you’ve had a good run!
If you have older children, try using non-slip decals in different colours on either side to not only help add grip and safety for your children, but also give each child their own space to avoid fighting. For babies, using a square laundry basket in the tub gives them their tiny version of a tub where they can sit upright, and their toys are easier to reach. No one wants to hear the ear-piercing scream of a child that can’t reach their toy.
Watch Out for Ingredients
A lot of commercial baby washes or baby soaps are made with cheap, synthetic detergents that can strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it high and dry. The ones that make big bubbles can be particularly drying and harsh. Who would have thought there could be a downside to bubbles?! But babies need bubbles, and they DO NOT like it when they don't get them. So, we made our 2-in-1 Bubbly Wash natural and gentle on the skin without harsh detergents or the like of sulphates like SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate). We also made it fragrance-free for even the most sensitive bubs, just for good measure.
Routine, Routine, Routine
A daily ritual can be very powerful in your child’s early life experiences. By incorporating bath time into a ‘getting-ready-for-bed routine’, toddlers quickly develop positive associations with bathing. This can help give them a sense of warmth and security, which is essential to get them to settle down for the night.
Fresh newborns don’t need to be bathed half as often (2-3 times a week) as their grubbier toddler counterparts. Regardless, we recommend sticking to consistent days and times for bathing to help set an expectation and avoid tantrums and resistance.
And there you have it, now that your bub is all squeaky clean and shiny, good luck getting them to bed! Soak up that baby smell while it lasts. If you have any life-saving tips and tricks for bath time, please comment below, we’d love to hear them!