Isn’t bath time supposed to be fun? It used to be. Around the time that Joel turned 1 he started to hate bath time. I couldn’t figure it out! He never really did like to get his hair washed, but being in the water didn’t bother him until one day he screamed and cried through the whole thing.
Sometimes babies hate bath time because the temperature is wrong. Boyd is in charge of bath time, so he started giving Joel a bath after he took a shower so the bathroom was steamy and warm. Bath time needs to be comfortable and fun and temperature plays a big part in that.
Another trick is to bathe with the child. This might be a little weird for some of you, but it works for us. Boyd and Joel have been taking baths together so that Joel can have some happy bath experiences and get over his bath time blues. Joel plays happily and doesn’t even notice that Boyd is washing his hair, which is his least favorite part.
Bath toys are important, because bath time needs to be fun! Rubber duckies are great, water books, sponges, cups to dip and pour. A puppet washcloth can also make bath time more fun. Sometimes we sing bath songs like “wash, wash, wash your hair, wash your hair all clean, scrubba-dubba-rubba-bubba, wash your hair all clean,” to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”
Also, my pediatrician says that babies only need baths once or twice a week until they are old enough to play outside and get sweaty. Bathing your child too often can dry out their skin – they need those oils to keep their skin hydrated. In the summertime, kids need to be bathed more often.
Here are some other bath time tricks and tips:
- Give him a “spit bath” – clean with baby wipes/washcloths throughout the day to make the actual bath easier
- Put soaps in colorful containers and let him choose which one to use
- Put soap in a pump and let him squirt it out
- Sing songs
- Play music
- Have a warm towel ready in the dryer
- Read a story
- Designate certain toys as bath toys so those toys are special
- Blow bubbles
- Turn the water on to a slow trickle during the bath
- Put food coloring in the water? This might make a bigger mess than it’s worth, I’m not sure.
- Use goggles and a snorkel
- Give him a straw to blow into the water – make sure he doesn’t drink the bath water
Please share your bath time tricks in a comment!
[photo from jupiterimages.com]