Bathing with Baby

When our son was born we were living in an apartment that only had a shower, no tub. His first bath (not counting the one at the hospital) was in the apartment my parents rented after his birth. It was three blocks from our apartment, so one afternoon he and I strolled over for our first bath together. I still remember the look on his little face as I submerged his legs and tummy in the water. He loved it and so did I. 

The bath is a wonderful place to start your child’s relationship with the water. A wise pediatrician encouraged me to gently pour water over our son’s face and head starting at 2 months old so that he would become accustomed to the sensation of water running down his face. He was surprised the first few times I did it, but he quickly became used to it and knew it was part of our bath time routine. I would sing, “This is the way we wash our face, wash our face, wash our face”, and so on. When he started swim lessons at 8 months old, he put his face in the water and never looked back. He had already learned that water in his face wasn’t scary or bad. To him, it was normal. 

Now is the perfect time to introduce your baby to getting their face and eyes wet while bathing. Tear free soap and lots of praise is highly encouraged! The first few times might not be pleasant, but consistency is key. If your child is older, allow him to pour water on your head and face first so he can see your positive response to it. A baby that is content with water in his face, is a baby that is ready to learn how to swim. 

 

 

Carlie Ogren