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Parents, especially first time parents like myself, are always looking for advice on what to get for their baby or how to do things for their babies. No one likes to be told what they *have* to do, so that’s not what this is for. This post is just to share what worked for us and what we considered to be bath time essentials for this first year. Currently, our Little One is only 6 months, and I may have to update this post if something dramatically changes, but obviously, I’m not planning on that happening 😉
The Small Stuff First
Lil Helper is one of my most favorite companies in the entire world. In fact, in the coming weeks, I plan to do two posts that highlight them or their products. We do use them for cloth diapers, but they also make a lot of other products. Their washcloths are incredible! We use them for us and for our baby girl. They’re soft yet sturdy. They come in a 4 pack and are worth every cent! You can purchase them here.
While I looooove Lil Helper, I have not found a hooded towel brand that I am wedded to. However, I am very sold on the fact that you should use a hooded towel. We hang them on hooks right next to the tub so that getting her out is a smooth transition. It’s great because we can keep her head covered and wrap her up like a little baby burrito. We take her to the changing table and finish drying her off. Once she’s dry, we like to put a moisture barrier between her rolls so she doesn’t get chaffed or rash. We’ve got a roly poly girl so it’s important! We also use that time to give her a mini massage and keep her calm after she comes out into the cold air. We rub our hands together and ask if she’s ready for a massage. It seems to work, because she grins and kicks when we rub our hands together!
Now for the Big Stuff
Behold, the Blooming Bath. I love this flower. It always made me smile when I would get it out to give her a bath. You can put this in any sink to give a bath to your baby. I’ve shown the flower in the tiny bathroom sink that we washed her in until she was about 3 months old/13ish lbs. Their website has lots of pictures of what the flower looks like in the kitchen sink, but honestly, our kitchen sink isn’t as deep as the ones pictured and we have a two story house. Going to the kitchen sink was totally inconvenient for us. Which is why when she outgrew the bathroom sink, we transitioned her to the flower in the plastic tub. I really loved this because it allowed us to do a sink bath without the worry that she could bang her head and knew that it was creating a soft and comfortable seat for her while she had a bath.
This was super accessible for us until she was about 6 months old. We bought our little plastic tub at Michael’s on sale one day. But really, anything similar to this would work. We could put this on our vanity type sink if our backs were hurting and didn’t want to lean over. We could put it on the floor if we wanted to sit down and be face to face with her. Or if we could go traditional style and put it in the bathtub. If she was being extra fussy, I could put in the shower with me. I don’t often shower with her, because I can’t take as hot a shower and I have to be bunched up next to the shower head so that she can have a seat in the tub. It was great though, because I could pick her up and hold her in the water with me, but when I needed to use soap or wash myself, I could safely put her back in the little tub. Blooming Bath – Baby Bath (Canary Yellow) can be purchased here.
We are now using this seat. She has the time of her life in this thing. You only put about an inch of water in the tub around the seat. She splashes and kicks the water. She’s also started to reach for her toes, or run the wash cloth back and forth across the water. This seat has multiple settings and adjustments to fit your baby. Like the flower in the plastic tub, it can be a great way for me to get a shower in if she’s needing to be right there with me. I can shower quickly, and clean her at the same time. After my shower is finished, I can plug up the tub and fill it with some water. This gives me enough time to dry off and put on my clothes (next to the tub of course! Always keep eyes on your little one, no matter how little water is in the tub.) Summer Infant My Bath Seat, White/Teal, One Size can be purchased here.
Tricks and Tips
A friend of mine recently suggested a super fun way for us to finish off bath time (or you could exclusively do bath time this way.) I would not have tried this with our little girl much before 6 months, because she didn’t have the neck control. But what you do is fill the tub with about an inch of water. It gives enough water for baby to play, but not enough for water to accidentally come up and cover their face. But, as I mentioned before, DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF BABY!!! Seriously. It’s dangerous, even with an inch or less of water. But, doing this can be a great way for baby to play and you to wash or rinse them off. Babies can make water angels with their arms waving side to side. They can kick and splash. It’s great fun and best of all—it’s free! You don’t have to buy a thing.
We also keep a cup, bowl and washcloths for bath time. When she was first born, we used two bowls and two washcloths. The first one was fresh water with no soap that we could refill as needed to rinse her off with one washcloth. The other bowl we used to ring out and rinse the soapy wash cloth. We basically let the cloth soak up water and then squeezed it out over top of her. Eventually, we used a cup to pour water on top of her to rinse her off. She loves to watch the washcloths fill up with water and then create a trickle when you hold it in front of her. Now that she’s teething she also likes to bite down on a clean washcloth with fresh water during bath time.
I have loved sharing what works for us and hope that it can be helpful to you as you navigate bath time at your own house! Share in the comments if you tried something from this post and let us know how it went! Or, share your own tips and suggestions for parents about bath time during the first year!