How to Bathe your Baby Minus the Panic

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Its a recent achievement and I STILL feel like celebrating. No, I’m not having a laugh but it does feel like I’ve found some sort of cheat to the whole bathing the baby routine.YES I’m serious!

It all began a few solid months back, where for some ghastly reason my now 6 month old daughter has had this great, big, whopping fear of having a simple bath. Now, I really can’t imagine where she had gained this strong, negative emotion from but its happened. It was there. I was so baffled by what it was that was upsetting her, and yes I am aware there must be billions of mothers out there with the same scenario of the dreadful event of bathing their baby -because of the screaming and crying- but I didn’t have a clue as to why it had to be my baby. As far as I was concerned I gave the greatest baths known to humans! Or babies that is.

I was taught by her Grandmother who just knew I had no idea where or HOW to start. The very first time was when she had entered her new home as a newborn baby. We gave it a few days till we thought to give her her first bath as we wanted to let her settle in. Her Grandmother did the whole task as it was best for me to watch and learn how to do it all properly. It was better that way though, I thought, as I would have just been too busy frozen in panic, holding the baby half mast, into the water. I know I have missed out on that special feeling, that moment, when a mother gives their first baby their first bathe ever. But it was her Grandmother’s honour to do it for her which will be a memory for the three of us. The great thing about it also was that it gave me the chance to take a few snaps of her first bath! What a TREAT! I actually had managed to take some decent photos of the experience as well as be in a few whilst giving a helping hand and learning. Unfortunately I well and truly have lost all these photos as well as a TON of others when my phone malfunctioned and I had to give it its first HARD FACTORY RESET. God, I still hate that word. Id learnt my lesson crystal clear after that, which was to back up everything, take no chances.

My usual routine for this glorious bath, I believe, went as follows:

  1. Run hot and cold water into her Winnie the Pooh bathtub set to the ‘ideal’ temperature, using her Winnie the Pooh thermometer. (These were gifts from Mothercare from my Parents in law).
  2. Whilst water is running run around closing any open windows and checking that the central heating is switched on.
  3. Lay out her cotton towel and then collect the bathtub carefully to the bedroom. It is placed on the floor to avoid heights and danger for the baby. I pour some of Johnson’s Baby bath ‘Head-to-Toe’ into the tub and create bubbles by giving a shake to the water with my hand.
  4. I pull out some baby wipes and her nappy for after she is finished with bathing.
  5. I select her clean clothes which she will wear for after her bath.
  6. I lay out her Winnie the Pooh changing mat for her nappy change, and place a bottle of Baby Johnson’s Oil near by on the bedside table.
  7. And one of THEE most important step of all is to ensure her toys are nearby and her animal friends such as Blue Elephant and Stripy Bear are there to cheer her on.

So, alas. There you have it. A great bath. Except she still cried her eyes out and was so awfully frightened of the water still. The minute she is stripped down to her blushing nudes she has already gathered the inkling that it is bath time. I have tried my best to be cheerful, sing songs, harp out great bursts of enthusiasm and praises that she is doing so well and I have also imitated playing with the bubbles and foam. I have tried to wiggle her Blue Elephant and favourite Stripy Bear at her pretending to squeak cheerful nonsense and goboldi-gook at her. Nothing had worked. Which never was a good thing as I had always tried to capture her ‘first bath’ again, except she was growing everyday so it had to be some time soon, when she’s all small and clueless about the world. And it was no where NEAR possible when all she did was cry her poor eyes out, and needed my support more, when everything had become so incredibly scary for her. AND if am being honest all the crying just makes me panic even more! So I always end up speeding through the whole process when really she could have enjoyed it as well as I.

Now, you have reached the part where I have cracked the code. Recently I thought it was the day I was going to tackle this fear, once and for all. I was going to give her a bath and I was determined to make her like it.Once again I followed the usual routine as above except this time I made her stand near her bathtub. I played with the water and showed her the floating treasures Id placed there for her. She might have known what I was tactilely trying to do as she took a step closer to me. I ignored this and continued to find the remedy. It was the best for her. I placed her standing in her bath to show her there is nothing to be scared about. But the wails came out. I slowly placed her lying down, supported by my arm and started bathing her, and she let out a few whimpers. I gave her her teething rings which were floating about in the water and she held them tight. I then played with the water and slowed this whole bathing process down, which usually is rushed as best as it could. Slowly but surely the whimpers stopped and she lay there, and allowed me to bath her , and pour the warm relaxing water on her. FINALLY, it wasn’t all cries and sad faces. She just MAY have enjoyed it!  Do you want to know the best thing about it all? I finally captured some photos of her in her bathtub!

If you are having the scenario like above then do try out this method, of actually preparing your child before getting into the water. It really does help.  To babies they have no form of measurement, which is why some do not enjoy baths; they cant understand if the water is shallow or deep, even if they are standing. Well, its what my husband has enlightened me on.

If you want any tips or advice for a more happier time for the task Do comment below and I will do my best to give you a heart to heart advice! Till next time chao!

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