Posted October 6th 2015
Making the water a fun and safe place can start during a newborn baby’s first bath. In warm bath water, a baby can be naturally comfortable as a bath has a similar environment to a mother’s womb. By making every bath time a fun and relaxing experience from the start, a baby can learn to love and trust the water as they grow.
Start with sponges and cloths to wash the baby’s face and hair. It is important that the water moves down their face instead of up. This will prevent the water going up their nose. During each bath time, the baby should experience getting their face wet. As they grow older their faces should be wet often during bath time. Allow them to explore kicking and slashing- even making a little mess with the water! If the baby gets splashed accidently, smile and make a positive remark. By using positive language and expressions, the baby will pick up on this and learn that it is good to get their faces wet!
As the baby gets older, introduce different ways of getting their face wet. Use different bath toys such as a small plastic colander from the dollar store. It will be worth spending a few dollars to make the experience fun and interactive. Scoop the warm water with the colander and let the water gently wet the back of the baby’s head. As they become more comfortable, use more water and get more of their head, face and body wet. Eventually when they can scoop the water themselves, encourage them to wash their body, head and face with the colander.
A fun way to interact with the water differently is by introducing a shower. While singing a song such as the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” move in and out of the water stream allowing the water to pour down the baby’s face. While you sing “down came the rain” step into the stream, and while you sing “washed the spider out” step out of the stream.
- Always make sure the baby or child- no matter what age is supervised during bath time. This includes the filling and draining of the tub. A child can drown in less than an inch of water.
- Always make sure toys are added to the bath AFTER the baby or child is in the tub. This prevents them from crawling into the tub to get the toys.
- Test the water temperature before the baby enters and watch for signs of the baby getting cold.