Real Mom Confessions: Bath Time
1) I do not bathe my kids every day. Nope, I don't do it. They get baths two to three times a week. Sometimes more if needed. And honestly sometimes less if life gets busy. When Ben was a baby my husband and I both worked. It didn't want to take the time every night to be stuck in the tiny bathroom doing bath time. We wanted to relax and enjoy time with Ben, so we only did baths a few times a week. That carried over and we still only do it a few times a week.
2) I do really think it can be better for baby's skin to not bathe every day. We were told that in our child care class we took before my son was born. I don't bathe my kids every day and so far they haven't had issues with overly dry skin or any real skin issues. I know there are a lot of factors in things like that, and this is not and will not be the case for everyone. But for my kids I think it does help.
3) Along the same thinking I think it is actually healthier for kids' immune systems to not bathe every day. Playing in the dirt and being exposed to the world around them is good for kids. I really do think it makes them healthier. Again, not in every case and not in every kid. I know each child is different. But I do think my kids are a little healthier because I am not a germophobe with them.
4) I never wanted bath time to be a regular part of my babies' bedtime routine. I know, so many books suggest a bath as a relaxing part of a bedtime routine. While I think laying a warm bath is soothing, my kids view it as a trip to a tiny pool and get all hyped up. Not sleep inducing. I also think a good bedtime routine should be pretty brief. For my three year old bedtime is about 10 minutes. For my ten month old girls it is about the same, if not shorter. We can add on to the routine if we have time or want to, and we can also trim it up if we are short on time. We focus on the essentials only, and bath time didn't make that cut. I want my kids to be able to go to bed with a minimal amount of hoopla. I did not want to add things I couldn't guarantee we could do every night. Bath time can be a fun evening activity, but it isn't necessary for my kids to fall asleep.
5) My daughters get baths of about five minutes, tops. Now that we have three kids it takes a lot longer to do baths. The girls aren't great at sitting up, so they are still getting sink baths one at a time. Their baths are pretty short and to the point. I am kind of sad they don't get a chance to linger and enjoy the time more, especially since it is good one on one time. But three kids and one mom means I can't be held up with one that I can't walk away from for too long. Once I am more confident in their sitting I fully plan to bathe them at the same time and let them play a bit more.
6) I clean the bathroom while Ben takes his baths. Yes, I just said I was sad I couldn't play with the girls in the bath more. I do like to enjoy the bath time fun. But bath time is too good of a chance to multi task. I still make it fun for Ben. We often listen to music. We talk and once I am done cleaning I play a bit with him. But if I have to hang out in the bathroom I would much rather use it as an opportunity to knock out another task rather than just sitting there.
7) Swimming pools, splash pads, playing in the hose. Yup, I've counted all those as baths. (I know I'm not alone on this one.)
8) I am a master at the baby wipe bath. I don't bathe my babies very frequently, but I'm not letting them sit around dirty. When they are little they get a wipe down every morning and night. Honestly it is easier to get into all the little folds, get in between the fingers, and go between those sweet little toes with a wipe then try to do it while holding a wet, slippery baby in the bath. I feel like I can actually do a better job with a wipe sometimes than in a bath.
9) Bath toys are kept to a minimum. We have a couple of duckies, some cups to play with, and one little boat. As I type it out it sounds like too much, but everything can sit on the ledge of the tub without tumbling in every two seconds. I think the bath is a great learning place. We name body parts as we wash. We learn about displacement, volume, and basic concepts like empty and full. We don't need a ton of toys to accomplish these things, and often just being in the water is the fun part.
10) I still haven't figured out how to rinse my son's head without getting water in his eyes. I am working on it, but I feel that after three years of giving a little one a bath I should be better at it. I try to get him to tilt his head back, but he still looks down. I try to block it with my hand, but often end up moving. We've tried holding a washcloth over his face and having him use his hands to cover his eyes. No matter what I do some still goes running down his face and he hates it. Sigh, maybe by the time he can take his own baths I'll have it down.
There you go, ten of my bath time confessions. Hopefully this helps other moms feel better about less than perfect bath time routines. I can confidently say my kids are clean and healthy. Okay, clean enough. That is the most important thing.
Kimberly is the mother of a three year old son and ten month old twin daughters. She blogs at teamcartwright.blogspot.com
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