Thanks to Disney Baby for sponsoring this post and sending me a Mickey Mouse hooded towel for free.
For some babies, bath time is magical. My daughter was one of them. Bath time was always her favorite part of the day and an essential part of her bedtime routine. Whenever she was grumpy — teething, growing, or just plain ‘ol sad — we would put her in the bathtub and suddenly her troubles were washed away.
My baby boy on the other hand? Not so much. Any and every time we tried to put him in the tub for the first 7 months of his life, he would completely fall apart with screams and tears. Bath time was miserable for us and for him. Finally though, we’ve figured out the formula for bath time success, and our boy is finally finding the magic in bath time. Here are a few things that helped.
1. Switching bath time to when he is usually happiest
If your baby isn’t terribly fond of bath time, choosing the right time of day to bathe is extra important. Since our oldest child absolutely loved baths, we always made them part of her pre-bedtime routine. We tried to do the same with our son, but since he didn’t inherently love the water, nighttime wasn’t the best time for him. The hour or so before bedtime is typically his grumpiest time of day, so we decided to switch bath time to the morning when he is happiest and it was a game changer.
2. Laying out the supplies ahead of time
In an effort to make bath time as quick and painless as possible, we made sure to have everything laid out and easily accessible before we brought out baby to the tub. Making sure we had washcloths, baby wash, towels, a fresh diaper and clothes nearby made the process go much more smoothly.
3. Letting him watch the water run
In an attempt to follow my own advice (see above) about prepping things ahead of time, I used to fill the tub before bringing my baby to put him in. He would always freak out and I couldn’t understand why. Eventually, I started filling the tub while he was sitting on my lap. I let him watch the water coming out of the faucet and let him touch it while he was safe and sound in my lap. This allowed him to ease into the idea of bath time, and now it seems to be less upsetting when it’s time to actually get in.
4. Giving him toys to play with
Now that he’s a bit bigger and well-skilled at grabbing things, he really enjoys having a few “friends” to play with during bath time, and we have a set of Disney bath toys that he really loves. Here’s a Finding Nemo set of bath toys that is sure to make bath time a blast!
5. Singing songs and chatting
We make sure to keep bath time fun and engaging by singing songs and chatting to keep him engaged and distracted while we wash. This is pretty successful at keeping the tears at bay most times.
6. Keeping him warm
Early on, it became apparent that our baby does not appreciate being chilly. The worst part about bath time was always the getting out part. We have found that keeping things warm and cozy helps a lot. Keeping the room warm — possibly bringing in a little space heater — and having a cozy towel to wrap up in makes the situation much nicer. Hooded towels like these are a great option. If your baby is even smaller, these bath swaddlers are also brilliant. Or you could go for an adorable robe like this one with matching booties!
7. Getting in together
Sometimes, there is no amount of coaxing that will entice a little one to enjoy bath time, but if all else fails, getting in the tub with our baby and making bath time a bonding experience always seemed to do the trick.
Here’s to helping your little one find the magic in bath time too!