Ah, a bath. What a relaxing part of a great night time routine. As a small baby, my daughter loved having a bath. She would lie there blissfully being washed and I would praise myself for being a natural baby whisperer. Fast forward a mere 6 months and I have a child whose idea of bath time can be likened to a game of “the floor is lava” but with bath water. She absolutely hates it. Which as you can imagine is an absolute joy when a nightly bath is actually a necessity following a dinner involving head to toe food coverage. I think I have developed nice little survival tips for getting the child clean before the neighbours think something untoward is happening though.
So as an actual bath, I use a mildly offensive shade of pink plastic tub that I got from a pound shop type store. When deciding what I was going to spend money on for her, baby baths did not make the list. Maybe this is the real problem? Maybe she loves baths. She just hates her mum’s tight fisted attitude towards what is essentially a plastic bucket! I had a fleeting obsession with a giant flower things whilst pregnant, envisioning myself gently bathing my newborn in the sink whilst she lay on the flower…as I’ve said before, pregnant me was not a realist. Anyway, I find that chucking this into my actual bath saves water and gives me a much smaller area to deal with. I have never had a baby support or baby seat- when she was small I held her and now that she is bigger she can sit up well. I also find having her bath in the ’big’ bath is easier to get rid of the water than having the bath downstairs or in her room and having to do that walk with a full bath that is threatening to spill everywhere!
One thing I do buy into though is safety. I love the ‘Munchkin White Hot Safety Duck’ which has a blue bottom with the word “HOT” appearing in white if your water is, you guessed it- too hot. Quick flip of the duck as I’m undressing the baby is all it takes to make sure that I’m not about to plunge her into a dangerously hot bath. I also get everything I need within arms reach so that I can keep a hand on her at all times whilst she’s actually in the water.
I have a multitude of products for myself and whilst pregnant enjoyed browsing all the baby bath products on offer. Let’s face it, the baby does not give a shit what I’m using to wash her. She has no desire for any bubbles, she does not care how organic her shampoo is and she definitely would rather just not have a bath at all, thank you very much. But I care!
I use Earth Friendly Baby Soothing Chamomile Shampoo & Bodywash because other than the fact it’s a gentle, lovely smelling certified organic product I do not have the time for separate products when I’m Anneka Rice-ing the hell out of bath time trauma. It makes her smell scrumptious and gives a great shine to her minimal amount of hair. Plus- it says it’s soothing. Be soothed, my water aversive love, be soothed! Ramer sponges are nice and gentle for delicate skin- I get packs of two from Boots.
Distraction offers a few half hearted smiles/looks of confusion between the sobbing. I’ve found cups (plastic stacking variety) are useful in the way that not only can I use them for distraction but they also double up as a really good hair rinsing aide. We have an IKEA set that were super cheap and some have holes in so that I can pretend it’s raining something other than my tears into the bath.
A hooded towel is a necessity for me, allowing me to wrap her up snugly after rescuing her from the bath. Instant smiles and double snuggle points for leaving it on the radiator beforehand.
I know that eventually she’ll grow out of this resistance to bathtime. Until then, my no-frills 5 minute dunk and wash seems to be adequate enough!