No matter how refined your empathy is, it's still hard to imagine that some babies don't like taking a bath. And by dislike, we mean really hate it, often to the point of roaring. Since you, in turn, obviously don't like seeing your little one in this state, you try to do everything you can to make it as pleasant as possible. But that's not always easy. What does help when your baby doesn't like taking a bath? These 7 tips are definitely worth trying!
To start right off with the strategy you will very often use when your child dislikes something: distraction. That one is undoubtedly in the big book of Raising Like a Pro. And it often works well, too. Just as you make charming airplane or train sounds when feeding, you can provide toys for the bathtub when bathing. Chances are those cheerful colors and faces will catch your baby's attention - and thus hopefully divert attention from the aversion to bathing!
Bath toys unicorn and fox - €11,99
Hippo shape shorter - €16,99
- Take a bath with your mini
Most babies and children feel they can take on the whole world when mom or dad is with them. Being held by mom or dad simply makes them feel safe. Is the bathtub big enough? Then join your baby in the bathtub. That will probably eliminate much of the fear of bathing. It is also important to maintain eye contact with your baby so that the look in your eyes can reassure them. We can't get around it, but that look of "mommy/daddy is here" often works quite well. Get the bath toys in too and make it a cozy parent-baby moment. Quality time! Does your baby still find it too scary? Taking a shower with mom or dad can be another option.
- Washcloth for the face
Many babies hate getting water on their face or in their eyes, simply because they are extra sensitive to water. This may be the reason why your baby dislikes bathing so much. Therefore, try to wash your mini's face with a soft washcloth, being extra careful around the eyes. Before continuing with the rest of the body, it is a good idea to immediately pat the face dry with a hydrophilic cloth. In addition, during the rest of the wash, be careful not to splash too much water up and back into the eyes. Does your baby seem to shed fewer tears after applying this simple trick? Then you have immediately found the reason for their aversion to bathing. You see, behind every aversion, there is a reason ;)
- Dry bathing
If your child has a big aversion to bathing, he or she will probably also immediately associate sitting in the tub with the water, which he or she might find scary. Therefore, you can try dry bathing your mini several times. To do this, let your child sit in the tub several times for a few minutes, and entertain your mini as if it were a fun event (because honestly, it can be!). This can help your baby associate sitting in the tub with something fun, rather than something scary. After trying this a few times, you can try again with water. Does your child still find it scary? Give dry bathing another chance for a while, and very important: be patient with your mini!
- A small amount of water
After dry bathing, it's a good idea to gradually increase the amount of bath water. Fill the tub with a small amount of water the first time. Next time, let the bathtub fill a little bit fuller. Step by step a little more, until hopefully your baby no longer finds the water scary and even finds bathing in it an exciting water adventure ;)
- The temperature of the water
You probably agree that it is important that the bath water is at the right temperature. Nothing as annoying as being cold when bathing, and the same goes for water that is too hot and makes you want to jump out immediately. A temperature of 37 degrees Celsius is ideal for your mini. But I can also well imagine that estimating the temperature is difficult. That's why a bath thermometer comes to the rescue. Say goodbye to those discussions with your partner about whether the water is too hot or not.
Bath thermometer - €5,-
- Time of bathing
Are you in the habit of bathing your baby in the evening, and every time it ends in a big cry (and thus no successful wash)? Then you might want to change this routine and bathe your baby in the morning. At the end of the day, babies are tired and therefore a lot more irritable than usual. This also makes the things they dislike seem a lot worse. So: the morning it is!