If your baby dislikes bathing, then bath time can get quite stressful. Handling tiny babies can also get quite tricky as they can wriggle and squirm easily when they’re wet, soaped and slippery. Fortunately, for me, both my daughters loved getting wet. So bath time was more of a fun activity than an ordeal. But there were some bad hair days too when they would get cranky – yell and shriek, refusing a wash down. Calming a tiny baby in this sort of a situation can get tiresome. But as they grow and begin to interact, it’s easier to indulge babies in activities that would distract them. Here are a few things that worked for me that made bath time fun and relaxing – for both baby and me.
Sing as you soap: Hum your favourite tune or break into any nonsensical, silly song. I used to do this quite often and it did actually work. Both my babies used to love it. And who would know if you go off-tune. All that matters is you’re having a good time singing and your baby is enjoying listening to you.
Tickle Her Senses: If you know your baby’s tickly spots, this is the best time to tickle your little one’s senses. Run your bare fingers on the areas where she gets tickled or slide the soap on her body. You could keep it on the shoulder or slip it down her hands or back. Your baby is sure to get a kick out of this and enjoy her bath time.
Burst Bubbles: Making bubbles and popping them out during baby’s bath time was one of my favourite activities. This was so much fun! Blowing bubbles and then watching baby trying to catch and pop the bubble that float around her. If you’re baby’s unable to get the bubbles, try and catch one and gently place it on her tummy or nose and allow the bubble to burst on its own. Watching your baby giggle with excitement is a priceless moment.
Spin a Tale: If you’re in the habit of reading stories to your baby, re-read those favourite stories during bath time. Better still, get imaginative too by throwing in some toys and make up your own stories. It can be a fun place to act out the stories too.
Soak yourself: One of the common reasons babies cry during bath time is either because they fear water or they’re not too comfortable with temperature of water. My children used to hate it when I used to soap their face. They would let out huge screams when lather got into their eyes. So the best way to make them feel secure is to cuddle them and get wet along with them. Bath time is the perfect time to bond with your baby.
Throw in some fun toys: Bring out all of your baby’s favourite waterproof toys and dunk them in the water. Splash them around and make baby bathe his rubber playmates. This could be a fantastic opportunity for you to teach your baby about colours and shapes. You can give a running commentary and create an imaginary situation with the toys. This helps baby to improve his listening and language skills.
These are just a few tips that can divert baby’s attention and make bath time a great whole lot of fun. You can experiment and try out your own tricks. Playing peek-a-boo with baby’s towel for instance can be a great way to bring an element of fun. Another trick my babies and I used do is create a whirlpool in the water and allow the duckies to spin in the swirling water.