The thought of bathing a newborn baby can be a bit daunting – they’re tiny and wriggly and, even worse, slippery when wet. But when you get in the swing, bathtime is a great opportunity for fun, lots of cuddles and a wonderful bit of bonding. Try a few of these top tips to make your baby’s bath time lots of fun.
Singing and Splashing
For a baby, the simple act of bathing is a big sensory experience. Add a song and some silly (or soothing) sounds and you’ve got yourself a bath-time hit. Don’t be shy — relax and sing out whether it’s five little ducks or the latest from your playlist. Your baby will love it (and won’t even care if you’re out of tune), and you’ll expand her music and language skills. You can clap (and show her how to put her hands together) or tap her knee to teach her about rhythm.
Tickle Her Senses
Bath time is a great opportunity to tickle your little one’s senses. Your baby will enjoy touching lots of different textures — try a bath sponge, a wet flannel, a dry towel, and shaving cream, to name a few. When she’s able to grasp large objects herself (around four months) you can hand her different sized sponges and flannels for her to play with. Or give her an unbreakable mirror to gaze into — there are baby-friendly plastic ones especially made for bath-time fun.
Jump In Too
Share a bath together. Babies relish skin-to-skin contact with their parents — it encourages bonding, and it’s just plain cuddly. Plus, being close to your baby will help her feel secure as she adjusts to the sensation of the water, and it will make it easier for you to clean otherwise hard-to-reach crevices. Just be sure to take extra care when getting out of the tub so you don’t slip.
Break Out the Toys
There are so many bath-time toys that it’ll be easy to find ones your baby will like (the hard part will be storing them all!). The best ones add to bath-time fun by building a baby’s skills. Rubber ducks and other water-loving creatures encourage imaginary play; empty bottles, plastic cups and sieves teach your child about filling and pouring; and letters and numbers that stick to tub tiles introduce her to ABCs and 123s.
Is there a better place to pop bubbles than the bath? Your baby will love to watch the bubbles float in the air — and then feel them pop on her fingers or nose. Use a few different sized wands to expose your baby to the concepts of big and small (and high and low). Once your baby is a toddler, you can teach her how to blow the bubbles on her own.
Tell me a Story
Once your child turns into a preschooler, you may need more elaborate ways to turn bath time into an adventure. Preschoolers love pretending, so tell your tot that the tub is a pirate (or princess) ship sailing across the foamy ocean. Toss in some preschool-size plastic cups and have a cafe. Or turn a flannel into a puppet and get inventive with the dialogue – and don’t forget to ask your child to join in and tell you what happens next.
Finally make sure there is plenty of time to play and you’re not rushing because bedtime is looming. Then wrap up your precious bundle in a cosy, warm towel ideally with a hood to keep them extra snug www.pixieandjack.co.uk.
Thanks to www.whattoexpect.com plus a selection of my mum-chums for ideas