Bath time is an important part of a little one’s routine, no matter what it looks like. Whether it’s a daily, weekly or occasional thing, bath time is an opportunity to help kids get clean, relax, and get great bonding time in.
Some people love to give their little ones a bath - they find it to be a serene experience and make time for it every day. For others, it’s a little more stressful, to the point where it’s not enjoyable for the grown up or the child, and both can be put off the whole routine.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way! Like all things in life, remembering a few key components can make bath time routines way simpler. At GRASP, we've broken bath time down to a few key ingredients. By covering these areas, you can get bath time down to a fine art - something which both you and your child can enjoy!
First things first, it’s important to remember one thing: not every bathtime is going to do everything you want it to. Decide up front what you want out of it: is your priority to get your little one clean after a particularly active day? Are you wanting them to wind down ready to sleep? Or are you (or they) looking for some special time together to bond, relax and play? Which of these is the most important will then decide everything else.
For example, if you just need to get them clean, it’s okay to not have lots of toys and time for play. Sometimes it’s a case of bish bash bosh, get it done!
Now that you know what your main aim is, prep the bath accordingly. Have a towel at the ready for after you’ve finished, and a footstool or rolled up towel for yourself. Get a hair-and-body wash out so it’s accessible when you need it, along with a bath brush or sponge, and a cup, boat or jug for rinsing.
If your child is having a bath shortly before bedtime, some lavender oil is a great addition to the bath water to relax them before sleep. And as mentioned, you might not need any toys, but if you do, choose some you can engage with too.
Also have a think about where your little one will be getting dressed into after the bath, and get their clothes and some moisturiser out too.
I really think when it comes to bath toys - and toys in general - that less can be more. Pick a couple that your child hasn’t played with in a while, but that engage them at their level. Floating animals, squirty animals and beach buckets are all favourites at home.
You want to be able to rinse your baby’s hair and body, so a cup or boat is great for that. Alongside that, we really have loved using the Pebbl bathtime brush we designed to dispense and lather soap. We made it so that little and big hands can use it perfectly. As well as being mould-proof and dishwasher safe, it helps little ones take charge of their health and hygiene routines right from the start, meaning you’re weaving independence into their earliest routines.
Lots of attention, eye contact and physical touch: bathtimes are really the perfect place to bond with your child. If they’re able to communicate, watch out for cues of what is on their mind, and be responsive to that. It’s a great time to let them lead the conversation. If you really want to extend this time of bonding, just make sure to keep the bath water warm!
At GRASP, we’re really big on teaching kids good self-care habits from the get go. Wherever there is an opportunity for children to take on a new skill or responsibility, let them have a go, let them try and fail for themselves, even if it’s for a moment before you step in to help or finish the job. This can be as simple as giving them a chance to take out the plug when it’s time to drain the bath. But my bet is, you’ll be surprised at how much initiative they can take when given the chance, and how far they can get before they need help.