Whether it’s first time parenting or those who have been at it as a whole, raising children can be tough. While reading parenting books and other resources can be a huge help, each child is different and unique. Meaning that the struggles that come with parenting, each one will alter as well.
However, an issue common among new parents is the bathing of newborns. Although not needed as frequently as adult humans, regular baths for babies is an important part of hygiene, and if the child doesn’t like taking baths, it can make things a whole lot more difficult.
With just a bit of research, it can be extremely easy to learn the possible reasons why babies hate baths, and which method is best fit to help your baby enjoy bath time a little bit more.
Your baby’s sensitivity to baths:
A commonly known fact is the idea that babies are a lot more sensitive than older human beings. While this can be interpreted in many different ways, skin sensitivity is a huge factor when it comes to making bath time an easy process. In some cases, the reason why a child might dislike the bath is that the soap used on the skin is too harsh and painful, or because the water temperature is not comfortable.
To combat these is fairly simple. Being sure to look for products that work for your child’s skin specifically is a great start. Resources online and even dermatologist consultations are an amazing way to make sure the items used are safe for your baby’s skin. And with finding the right temperature of bathwater, making sure it’s warm, but not too hot is always a great way to go.
Preparing your baby for a bath:
Another way to make bathing more enjoyable for your newborn is to make sure everything is well-prepped beforehand. This concept is one that is sometimes overlooked by new parents. Foreign and new things like loud bath water running can scare new children, making them anxious, which in turn makes them more hesitant to relax in the bath. Simply getting everything in the bathroom ready ahead of time can not only limit the fear but make the process go by a lot faster and smoother as well.
Meeting your baby’s bathtime needs:
Some parents have found that the bath itself isn’t even the reason why the baby feels unsafe and at harm. In a lot of cases, the problem is something else entirely. From fatigue to hunger, there are many reasons why babies cry, and those issues can be magnified when they are placed in a new setting or area, such as a bathtub filled with water.
With this being said, the easiest way to combat this is just to make sure that all other needs are met before attempting bath time. So ensuring that the baby is well-fed and well-rested can make all the difference when it comes to the hygiene process.
Distract your baby for a bath.
A common tactic used among parents when it comes to bath time is the method of distraction. For some children, bathing simply will never be fun, and there’s not much to be done about that. So distracting them, and taking their mind off of the fact that their bathing in the first place is the next best thing.
This method can be implemented in many different ways, including singing and talking to the baby. Having a “conversation” with them and explaining what you are doing while washing them is a great way to keep them focused on the parent and not the bath itself. Anything that keeps the sound of the parent’s voice going for the child is a great way to distract them from what’s going on, to make the process go by a lot smoother.
Additionally, other things like toys and bath tools like bath pillows are a good way to do this as well. Even having music, or a cartoon playing in the background if space allows, can make all the difference to a child’s experience doing something they don’t necessarily like to do.
However, with bath toys, it should be noted that they are more used for older babies. Newborn babies may not do as well with them, and it can be easier not to include them at all, as to get them in and out of the bath in a hurry.
How comfortable is your baby’s bath?
Making a baby comfortable with the bathing process is another huge component of ensuring that it is going smoothly. While physically, this is a concern, emotionally, it should be too. New situations and changes can often make a baby nervous, thus causing them to act out and react in ways like crying.
A parent bathing with their baby is a great way to eliminate this concern, as the familiarity of the parent and skin on skin contact can do wonders when it comes to making them feel at ease. Also, crafting and sticking to a routine can have similar effects.
If a baby eats and then takes a bath every day, they will be less likely to act out at bath time, because they are in a sense prepared for it, and they know that it is coming. While this method may take a bit for them to get used to, once they are set in their schedule, it can make a huge difference.
All in all, while the hygiene process and keeping babies happy and healthy are extremely important, so is making sure that they feel comfortable and safe.
Most of the reasons why babies dislike bathing stems from the lack of these two components. The good news is, this can be easily avoided, by doing simple things, like switching products, preparing the bath beforehand, and even just making a bathing routine so that they can get used to it.
Although every child is different, the needs of each should be met, and resources, including this one, are a good way to ensure that they are.