Rounding off your baby’s day with a bath isn’t just a chance to get them nice and clean and smelling delicious, it’s also a wonderful opportunity for bonding, as well as helping them relax and get ready for bed. But if your little one isn’t a fan of bath time, it can feel anything but relaxing! However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right bath time kit and some clever distractions, it’s possible to make bathing your baby or toddler the highlight of their day (and yours!) – with no tears or tantrums in sight.
Here are 7 ideas for making bath time for your baby easier and happier
Get the right support
Bathing a baby, especially when they are so small, can feel like a daunting prospect. Worrying about whether you’re holding your baby in the right way, or just concentrating on not letting a slippery newborn wriggle out of your arms, is enough to make any parent feel nervous to begin with, but choosing a baby bath with proper, built-in support can make the world of difference. The Stokke® Flexi Bath® Bundle includes a clever Newborn Support that fits inside the bath tub, holding your baby in the perfect position – much like the support of a steady arm, without the arm-ache! Ergonomically designed to fit your baby’s natural body shape – from birth up to 8 months – it gives you peace of mind, so you can concentrate on simply having fun with your little one.
Prep like a pro
Every parent knows it pays to be prepared for anything when you head out with your baby. The same goes for bath time – if you want to make life really easy, just get everything ready before you start. Have your baby bath filled with water, with baby-friendly bubbles and shampoo at hand, before you bring baby into the bathroom. Make sure you have a gentle flannel or sponge, and a water pourer in easy reach – as well as a toy or two in case your baby gets restless – and have a soft, hooded towel laid out ready to wrap them up as soon as bath time is over. For the most relaxing transition to bedtime, have your baby’s nappy and sleepsuit or pyjamas laid out in their room, so you can get them dressed and feeling cosy in a flash.
Make sure the temperature is perfect
No one wants to get into a cold bath, so you can’t blame your little one for kicking up a fuss if the water is a little chilly at bath time. Your baby’s bath should be around 37 degrees C to 38 degrees C – typical body temperature – and you should always run the cold water first, before adding some hot water and mixing well. It helps that the Stokke® Flexi Bath® has a handy heat-sensitive plug that changes colour when the water starts to get warmer and needs to be checked. While it’s not a thermometer, it gives parents a heads up to keep an eye on the water temperature and test it with their own bath thermometer or elbow – remember, the water shouldn’t feel hot or cold to touch.
Turn it into sensory play
Bath time needn’t be boring – why not transform the Stokke® Flexi Bath® into a sensory wonderland to help boost your baby’s fine and gross motor skills as well as their cognitive development, while having lots of fun together? Add some gentle foaming bath and let your little one explore the bubbles with their hands, encourage lots of splashing and kicking, pour water through a sieve and let your baby try and catch it as it trickles through, give them a clean, wet flannel to gnaw on (perfect for little teethers) and put some non-toxic glow sticks in the bath water for an exciting light show – just make sure you don’t let these end up in your baby’s mouth.
Stick to a routine
A regular bedtime routine helps babies feel secure and settled, and a bath before bed is such an important part of this. Some parents may dread bath time, worrying about the lengthy set-up and clean-up, but the Stokke® Flexi Bath® makes it so easy. It’s super-quick to fill – either inside the bath or on your bathroom floor – and folds away in seconds once you’re done. Because it folds down to a nicely compact size, you can easily take it away with you, whether it’s a weekend visiting the grandparents or on a family holiday. No matter where you are, you can always recreate your baby’s night time routine. Here’s to a good night’s sleep all round!
Make bath time, play time
For guaranteed giggles, bring some water-safe toys along at bath time. Older babies and toddlers will be desperate to get into the bath when there’s the chance to play, so get creative and raid the toybox to see what you have at home that could work. Little boats are, of course, a perfect choice, but you could also offer a selection of plastic animal toys for your little one to splash around with, a small watering can, or even a favourite doll for your toddler to wash. The only limit is your imagination.
Take time to bond
Don’t underestimate how important this one-on-one time with your baby can be. Even if you’ve spent all day together, bath time is a wonderful bonding opportunity as you both wind down at the end of the day. With your baby bath set up on the bathroom floor, you can be right next to your baby as you sing songs or talk about what you’ve done that day – no need to awkwardly lean over the bath tub as you do the actions to Incy Wincy Spider, your little one will be right there with you signing along.
Buy the Stokke® Flexi Bath® now
Sarah has worked as a writer for over 15 years, writing about parenting for Family Traveller, Baby magazine and 5 Minute Fun, MadeForMums and The Independent’s IndyBest.
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