Bath Time as a Parenting Tool!

I am a bathtub mother. When I am too tired to play one more round of ring around the rosie, lead one more craft time or read one more Dr. Seuss book, I loudly announce "Bath time!" and my two little monkeys climb down off the chandelier and happily dash upstairs to the bath with me.

I firmly believe the bathtub is one of the most marvelous parenting tools given to us.

I always took baths with my first baby, Victoria. I would scoop her up, strip us both, and lounge with her for an hour. I gave her cups to pour. We nursed. I'd read a magazine while she softly splashed.

When I became pregnant with my second child, I really learned to appreciate our baths. I have high risk pregnancies and I tend to be sick in several dozen assorted ways, usually all at once. I also had an active toddler to care for. Baths became our salvation.

There is nothing quite so surreal yet satisfying as collapsing into a warm bath while a 14 month old draws on your belly with a Mango Mint mud mask. I highly recommend it.

We've dragged finger paints in to paint the walls, experimented with water and little bowls of dry oatmeal (good for the skin when she covers you with it to boot!), mixed corn starch goop, played with musical bopping bath dolphins, blown bubbles, and even given each other facials. We've torn colored paper into strips, dunked them and made mosaics on the wall.

The bath can be educational as well. We've experimented with mixing cups of cold and (not too) hot water and mixed food coloring in cups to learn how colors combine. Babies learn about sizes by pouring with different sized containers. Victoria learned her letters with a sponge alphabet on the wall.

When the new baby came along, she joined us, though I quickly learned to keep her diaper on until I knew her bodily schedule. There is nothing quite so NON-relaxing as hauling yourself and two shrieking girls out of a poop-filled bathtub at the speed of the sound. Fortunately, one of the great things about bathtubs is that they clean up, so five minutes later we were usually all once again happily soaking, splashing, painting and reading.

My babies are getting older, but bath time is still a nightly routine for all three of us. And if the day gets too stressful, I grab a handful of something that might be fun wet, shout "Bath time!" and grab the latest issue of Mothering.

It's a life saver, but we're running out of room. I've decided for the next baby I need a whirlpool.

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All works on this site Alicia Bayer unless otherwise noted.
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