Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bath Time for Toddlers

Well I feel the title of this blog should really be True Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom. Bath Time at my house as always been a struggle. When Z was a small baby he hated the water. He would cry from start to finish, no matter what we did. We were given many suggestions to help the process go smoother but nothing worked.

I remember being out this past fall with my friends C and K. I asked them to be honest and tell me how often they bathe their babies. I often find that the answer to this question is either every day or every other day. And where there are families who do follow these strict bath time routines, I also know that there are many families who are lying :) If your child hates to bathe or you lead a very busy life...the bath is the first thing that goes out the window. I am sure many families are lucky if their child makes it into the bath tub 3 times a week (which according to a segment I saw on the Today Show, is okay). C and K did admit that sometimes bath time only happens 2-3 but that they aim for every other day :)

Well at that time, we were lucky to get Z in the bath once a week. The experience was so terrible that all three of us in the house dreaded it. We tried different times of the day, would only bathe him if S and I were both there, tried soothing music, bubbles, toys, name it we tried it! Z hated to get his hair wet and so we tried baths without hair washing...he would cling to us as we tried to put him in the water (which was not too hot or too cold by the way). It was so strange to us because he loved the pool, lake and ocean! We even tried bathing him in a bucket with my mother in-law. She too soon realized that bath time was a losing battle.

Then come Halloween, something miraculous happened. My friend K Booed our house and left a bag full of goodies at our door. They were goodies designed to help make bath time easier for Z :) So that night we gave him a bath with these new toys and we had no tears! He even let us wash his hair. Now granted, we had been introducing new toys for some time but for whatever reason he allowed us to bathe him!

Z now loves the bath. He signs bath and runs to the stairs wishing that you will follow him. Z would take a bath every day (twice a day) if we let him!!! He loves the water, to splash around, loves the Dan Zanes cd we play and does not mind getting his head wet or water in his eyes. It has been a complete turn around thanks to K and her Boo Bag :)

So why do I still not bathe Z everyday or at least every other day? Well we have a new problem on our hands......he now cries hysterically when you take him out. It is torture getting him out of the tub and so we are lucky if we hit 3 baths in a week! If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to comment. My only successful strategies so far have been timing Z's bath with S's homecoming or bribing him with a special game. And when all else fails, I just take his tearful, squirmy body out of the tub and try to dress him as quickly as possible so that we can move on to the next thing.

So yes I admit child does not bathe everyday! I am sorry if that offends you, I will continue to work on it. For now, my little Z will be bathing 3 times a week (2 times with me and once with S) and as I said before...the Today Show said that was okay :)


Michelle said...

We have had many of those screaming fits upon exiting the tub. We just let them cry it out. We used the promise of a favorite video after bath time. It became a ritual. One that I came to love.

My other solution ws to cut the bath out altogether for the most part. I found it was just easier to take them in the shower with me. Although, having 3 little ones at one time did make it crowded! ;) But they loved it. Then we had a waiting line when we decided that it was just unproductive to have 4 people in a shower;)

The downside to this....never getting to take a shower alone until they were 4! ;)

Don't feel bad because you are only bathing him 3x per week. He doesn't even need it that much in the winter unless he dumped lunch on his head! ;)

I love your blog. I love to read it every day. THANKS! :)

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