I do the bath routine every night unless I’m not around. In fact, my wife commented last week when she bathed the baby that it was the first time in over a month for her. I figured out a few things along the way and as a result bath time is usually a lot of fun.
I don’t use one of those baby bathtub thingies. The only bathtub we have in the house is our spa tub, and that’s what I use. I never would’ve thought to use it if it wasn’t for Laura over at Moms on Call who suggested it.
First, I start filling the tub. I usually fill the tub with enough water so that she’s mostly floating, but with her butt resting on the bottom of the tub for added support and stability. While the tub is filling I’ll get all of the “stuff” ready. The first thing I do is get her bedtime clothes laid out on our bed. We usually put her in a jumper and then in a sleep sack because we keep the house pretty cool. I also put a toy next to the clothes that I can use to help distract her if she gets fussy during the dressing part. Then I setup a bouncy seat next to the tub. We have an extra one that we use exclusively for bath time so it’s always right there. Somewhere along the way I decided that enough was enough of her peeing on the bouncy seat, so I figured out that a normal trash bag fits over the seat very nicely. So if she pees it only dirties the towel and the bouncy seat is fine. Then I drape a towel over the bouncy seat so it’s ready to receive her from the water.
In the earlier days, she peed a lot more frequently so I would keep an extra diaper in the bathroom in case she peed before getting into the tub or while putting it on after. Also, in the earlier days I could just lay her on the bed and get everything all setup. Now that she’s on the go crawling around I’ll dump her on the floor with some toys to distract her, which doesn’t seem to help much, as she usually crawls over to the tub and pulls herself up because that’s where all the “action” is.
Once I’ve made sure the water temperature is good and everything is all set, I grab girl and head to the nursery to get her out of her clothes. I just loosely wrap a diaper on her and carry her to the tub. Once at the tub, I toss the diaper next to the bouncy seat and slowly put her into the water. Oh yeah, I always have my iPhone playing Jack Johnson – that’s our bath time music. It’s nice and mellow and she seems to like it, which is good because it’s some of my favorite.
I gently support her head while she floats on her back. She almost always just chills out and looks up at me with a precious little smile. Of course, I have to admit that sometimes I sing along, so I’m sure she’s quite amused by the tragedy of it all.
Once she got to the point where she could sit up, after the bath part was finished I’d sit her up and we’d play for a bit. As she’s gotten older that play time has increased some. Initially I just started off splashing around with our hands so I could keep a firm grip on her. Having a floaty toy seems to add an element of danger because as it floats off and they try to reach for it they lose control. You’ve gotta really have a good hold. I sort of learned that the hard way one night and she bumped her head on the side. Though, once we got the bathtub traction mat things improved greatly.
Toward the end of play time I’ll release the stopper and when the water gets low enough it’s time to get out. The dropping water adds an interesting element to play time. I pull her out and drop her right into the bouncy seat and wrap her up quickly. Once she’s all dried off I’ll wrap the diaper around her and carry her off to the bed to finish dressing her. Once she’s all dressed the music comes to an end and book time begins .
Don’t forget to take some pictures once in a while!