Our dear boy is bathed only about twice a week. Don’t judge me. Man invented wipes for the in-between times, and they do the job quite handily, I have found. I know some parents bathe their babies every day. I have several valid reasons for what I will call our “periodic” bathing schedule.
1. Preparation for the bath takes nearly as long as the bath itself.
2. We have a rather narrow window of opportunity for a pleasant bathtime experience: in the morning; an hour and a half after he last ate, to avoid spit-up; at least an hour before he’ll need to eat again, to avoid a hunger breakdown.
3. The books say you only need to bathe your baby 2-3 times a week. Prevents dry skin, etc.
If you don’t have a child yourself, you probably wouldn’t think that a bath takes much preparation. Read, and learn differently. If you do have a child, you might just enjoy seeing how your own bathtime routine compares.
First, I prepare the bathroom. Position the baby bathtub in the tub. Run water until it reaches the perfect degree of warmth. Gather towels: one large towel (post-bath), two hand towels (during bath), one baby washcloth (during bath). Place the soap and shampoo where I can easily reach them. I might need to move fast.
The first hand towel is placed in the baby bathtub. For some reason, the first time I did this was the first time Jackson made it all the way through his bath without crying. I’ve been afraid to attempt a bath without it ever since.
The other hand towel I use to strategically cover parts of him that have already been washed and are now wet; if exposed to the air (although this air has been heated to approximately 85 degrees by the space heater*), the resulting chill could cause a breakdown of massive proportions. And the last thing I want is a screaming, wet, slippery baby. That is a situation fraught with possible disaster.
Second, I gather the necessary accompaniments. New clothes. Diaper, wipes, lotion, Vaseline, brush. Binky. Blanket.
This is Jackson at the beginning of his bath. He’s not wet yet, but he is happy. This is quite encouraging.
Jackson is now finished with his bath! We had a fairly successful transfer from the bathtub into the big towel. This can sometimes be a sketchy moment, but he’s recovered from it and is enjoying the space heater. The temperature in the bathroom is now probably 87 degrees, and I am sweating.
*Space heater. Don’t we heat our house? Yes. Yes, we do. But Jackson is just learning to actually enjoy bathtime. There is a fine line that cannot be crossed, between wet and happy about it, and wet and really mad about it. He does not like cool air touching his wet skin, and can you really blame him? So the space heater stays. Hopefully we can stop using it by summer.