Real #Parentingwins for Bath Time

by Megan Mangiaracino

Real #Parentingwins for Bath Time

Happy National Bath Safety Month! I remember the first few times my husband and I tried to bathe Baby B. It reminded me of my farmtown days when we tried to catch greased pigs at the county fair (yes, really) and they’d slip and squirm right out of your fingers. Except now, slipping was NOT an option. “MOM! Help!!”

(Seriously, I recommend having a grandparent or fellow parent-friend or someone who has experience with greasy pigs be there with you for your first bath(s) and moral support, if nothing else.)

I promise, it gets much easier. And then it gets harder. And then easier again. And then harder…. But that’s parenting. Each stage brings overcoming one challenge and then inevitably presents a new one. So here are some challenges and #parentingwins at each stage of baby B’s bathing lifecycle up to year one.

Newborn Bath

Challenge: Keeping the umbilical cord stump dry (learn why that’s important here)

#ParentingWIN: Both our moms helped us with the first bath or two. The kitchen sink was awkward to me so we used the Munchkin baby cradle tub from the beginning. It worked great in reducing slippage, and you can fill it up just enough that baby has warm water under their bottom, but not fully submerged (keeping the umbilical cord dry). We used it for the first 4-5 months and had to remember to empty the tray at the bottom or water would get trapped there and mildew. Lastly, if water dripped on the umbilical cord, I simply dabbed with a q-tip and it was fine.

3 Months-ish Bath

Challenge: Choosing safe bath toys. I opened up one of his favorite rubber duckie squirting toys and it was BLACK with mildew on the inside. Toss! Avoid them!

#ParentingWIN: Plastic cups and tupperware. Really. There’s no need to buy anything to make baths more fun than what you already have in the house, and these are easily disinfected in the dishwasher. And as baby grows, this encourages the use of some imagination. Just be sure to turn them over to dry in between baths.

6 Months-ish Bath

Challenge: Now, baby wants to move more in the bath, but all you foresee is a cracked skull or face-plant in their near bath-time future

#ParentingWIN: Use a laundry basket! Once childcare expenses kicked in, the last thing I wanted to spend money on was a baby tub. So I used a laundry basket inside our bath tub to contain him while giving him a little more independence. *Cute picture alert!*

1 year old+ Bath

Challenge: Keeping dangerous items away from a curious toddler

#ParentingWIN: While this isn’t specific to “bath time”, it’s important to achieve baby-safety in the overall bathroom because even when you are looking, baby will find any number of the countless dangerous items commonly kept in a bathroom. We opted for magnetic cabinet locks that were easy to install and didn’t require putting holes in the cabinets. They are in our kitchen, too.

Never underestimate the basics of bath-time safety. Here are some quick safety tips from this great resource: healthychildren.org. You can read the full article here:

  • Supervision: Never leave baby unattended. If the doorbell or phone rings and it can’t wait, wrap up baby warmly and bring him/her with you. Drowning is still a leading cause of death for infants.
  • Slips/Falls: Consider installing no-slip strips and teach baby to stay seated while in the tub (I’m still working on this with B). One good idea I read is to not allow any toys in the tub unless baby is seated
  • Water Temperature: Before you place baby in the water, check the water temperature with the inside of your wrist. If it’s to warm for your wrist, it’s too warm for baby’s sweet cheeks. Check throughout the bath if you leave the water running. Consider putting a max heat on your water heater. *I’d also add Room Temperature* Know how the A/C hits you after a bath or shower (if you get one!)? Don’t let what feels comfortable to you, fully clothed, make you think baby is warm enough coming out of the tub.
  • Medicines: Remember medicine caps are child-resistant, not child-proof. Keep them up and away.
  • Electric appliances: Keep them unplugged and store away.

What are your #parentingwins around bath time? Do you or your partner take a bath with your baby? Are you capturing a picture of your sweet babe in the tub? #babyboldly

Bold Momma on the Blog Today

Megan is co-founder of Baby Boldly and a full-time nonprofit fundraiser in Florida. She has been married to Mike for 3 years and (if you don’t count her furbaby, Max) she became a mom to Bennett in 2017. Megan believes strongly in supporting women (especially working mothers), the power of optimism and generosity, and the sacred tradition of Showtunes Friday in her car.

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