When I was in the last trimester of pregnancy and going over the list of items I needed to buy for our expected infant, there was one item that was never on the list.
A baby bath.
I had one for my older three children and it’s usually something on other people’s lists, but I knew how that whole “give a baby a bath” thing was going to go. I’d dread bath time and put it off as long as I could. And the baby would scream like I’m putting him in some sort of torture device.
All three of my older babies hated it and I swore for Silver I wasn’t going to put him –or me — through that.
According to Mayo Clinic, Baby doesn’t need a bath every day anyway — they shouldn’t have a bath more than a few times a week so their skin doesn’t dry out. A sponge bath could suffice, and as long as you’re targeting the key areas (diaper area, hands, face and neck), your baby’s cool.
So, that was my plan before he was born — I was going to primarily sponge bathe him for a while and when he needed his big weekly or bi-weekly bath, he would just pop in the tub with me. I didn’t bother getting a baby bath tub because 1) space and 2) torture is not my thing.
Not long after he was born, Silver developed a really bad chemical burn in his diaper area, which turned out to be an allergy to traditional diapers. When all that sprung up, we had no choice but to bathe him. We borrowed a baby bath from my mom because at that point it was more torturous changing Silver’s diapers with that horrible burn. It was suggested to us that we bathe him in warm water with epsom salts and baking soda each night to help his skin heal. Thus began our nightly bath time — and I feared it.
But then he surprised me. Instead of hating the bath time like my older three kids, who absolutely loathed it, Silver seemed to fall deeply in love with this time of the day. I don’t know if it was the soothing feeling it gave him and a quick reprieve from the painful diaper chemical burn or if he just loved the lightly dimmed room, hum of a heater and the warm water — but it was clear he just loved it.
I know that it’s suggested to not give a baby a bath each night for fear of drying out their skin, but our nightly routine has given us a lot — and dry baby skin is not one of them. His chemical diaper burn is almost gone now and this nightly ritual has become something both he and I look forward too. While it’s usually my husband who takes over his bath time (a good bonding time for them), I love watching Silver smile and coo as he kicks his little legs in the warm water. I love the light lavender smell that is left over from his bath — which transitions us nicely into cuddle and sleep time.
I never expected that I’d have a baby who loves — and looks forward — to bath time. I thought parents who bathed their newborns nightly were suckers for chaos because in the past that’s all that time was for us. This time though, it’s genuinely something I really love doing.
:: Does your child love or hate bath time? Share in the comments! ::
Photo credit: © Devan McGuinness
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