Bathtime can be an important part of your baby’s sleep routine, helping them become calm and relaxed before bed. It’s worth remembering however, that bathtime isn’t just about keeping them clean – it can also be a lot of fun too!
Bathtime can be an important part of the bedtime routine for many families, helping babies to relax, calm and tire themselves out before bed. However, just because it’s the final activity of the day, doesn’t mean that it needs to be boring.
Bathtime can be a great opportunity to stimulate your baby’s senses and bond with your child. It can also provide huge educational benefits too, from fine motor skills to cause and effect, language development, counting and conversation.
Here are some simple ways to make bathtime fun and bring on those adorable baby giggles we love so much.
Introduce some baby toys
From floaties and toy boats to toys like watering cans, buckets and containers that can be filled and emptied, bath toys make a really fun addition to the tub.
A great way to teach your baby about cause and effect whilst helping them hone their motor skills, they’ll love watching the water pour out or pushing things around the tub. Playing together with your baby can also help encourage their imagination and creativity as they get older, acting out scenes and role playing with their toys.
For hygiene purposes, you should look for toys that are made from BPA friendly plastic and ideally are sealed units (without holes). This will prevent the build up of any unwelcome mould or bacteria. You should also wash your bath toys regularly and allow them to drain fully after each use.
Alternatively, don’t feel you need to rush out and spend money on expensive baby toys – empty plastic bottles, tubs and even plastic containers from the kitchen can also do the trick!
Add baby bubbles
As your baby gets older and can sit up in the bath, introducing a thick foamy bubble bath can add texture and fun to bath time. From creating Santa’esque beards to blowing foam bubbles across the tub – bubbles can encourage your baby to reach out, touch, pop and play with in the water.
Look out for bubble baths specifically for babies, as these tend to be dermatologically tested and more suited to sensitive skin.
Sing bathtime songs
From ‘Row Row Row the boat’ to ‘If you’re happy and you know it’, singing in the tub with your baby can be a great way to teach language skills and introduce rhythm, encouraging them to clap and bounce along to the song.
Kneeling next to the bath, you can also maintain eye contact and reassure your baby, smiling and laughing to help them feel safe and comfortable in the water.
Encourage (gentle) splashing
Whether it’s splashing to their sides, creating gentle waves, or pouring water slowly onto their tummy, introducing gentle motion can help increase your baby’s confidence in the water and reduce any feelings of nervousness or anxiety about bath time.
Be warned, however – you may get a little wet, as when your baby learns just how fun splashing can be – they may not want to stop!
Ensuring your baby is safe
Finally, to ensure your baby is safe and happy in the bath, it’s important to:
- Check the temperature of the bath before they get in – too hot or too cold is likely to lead to tears.
- Even if your baby can sit up unaided, the water mustn’t be too deep.
- Ensure they’re attended to at all times – it only takes a second for something to go wrong in the water.
- Ensure you have everything to hand – from shampoos to towels, make sure you have everything ready for when bath time is over. The most common reason for tears at bathtime is getting cold – so a hooded towel ready and waiting for a post-bath snuggle can be the perfect solution.