I have fond memories of my little sisters enjoying bath time, and even some hazy ones of sharing baths with my big sister, and sometimes our two cousins too! So when it came to bathing Little Moore, I was prepared for giggles and splashes and lots of water play.
As you can imagine, it didn’t go like that at all.
Little Moore screamed for his first bath. And the next. And the next.
It got to the stage where I was dreading bath time because I didn’t want to make him cry. We only bathed twice a week – I didn’t want to make it part of the bedtime routine because of his sensitive skin – but each one was a trauma.
Until two weeks ago, when we had our first tear free bath time. And we’ve had several more since then. So how did we do it?
The first thing I realised we had to change for bath time was our attitudes. If we were unhappy about it then I think he would pick up on that, and that would make him worse. So I tried to look forward to bath times and make them happy times. We ditched the baby bath and I got in with him (bonus wash time for me!) and sang nursery rhymes with a smile on my face.
That was our first breakthrough. As long as I sang he wouldn’t cry, but as soon as I stopped for breath he’d start again.
The next step was toys. When he was born we were bought some colourful stacking stars for the bath, so we floated them next to him, as well as a rubber duck (no bath is complete without one!) We actually got his first laugh in the bath, playing peekaboo with one of the stars, which was wonderful to see together.
So toys and nursery rhymes were mostly working during the bath, but when we took him out he would scream until he was red in the face and wouldn’t stop until I fed him.
We cracked the actual bath time crying with swimming lessons and one more toy. I think the swimming lessons – which he loved – got him used to being in the water, so bath time became less scary. We also bought a bubble machine from Tesco in the shape of a penguin, which Little Moore found fascinating. The perfect distraction from the water!
For post bath time, we changed up the routine a bit. Instead of taking him from the bathroom to the bedroom to get dressed and creamed up, we did all this in the bathroom instead. That way he stayed in the warmth, with all his bath toys still around him too – he always picks a star to chew on.
Now bath times are so much easier on all of us. Little Moore, plays with his bath toys, kicks his legs and doesn’t even whimper when we put him in the water. It makes all the difference now that we can all enjoy it. I hope all bath times are like this from now on!