The first time you bring a baby home from hospital, everything is done with such careful precision. There’s meticulous cleaning, planning – and fretting! Every tiny aspect of caring for that tiny squalling human is another cause for anxiety over whether you’re doing it right, doing it often enough or doing it well enough. With your second baby, whilst those same hopes and fears are present, the luxury of time and opportunity for agonising over the smallest of tasks and decisions is simply not available! The anguish is real, because of course that lack of energy being spent wasted differs – and so it’s replaced with guilt. One of the difficulties I found with my two has been bathing them. So today I thought I’d share my top tips for bathing a baby and toddler together.
The first bath is a beautiful milestone – and the first bath with a sibling is a steep learning curve! Everything you thought you intuitively knew is tested as you have two maternal instincts vying to be heard. Pixie – naturally – wanted to be involved with bathing her sister, while I equally wanted my new baby to survive bathtime without being subjected to inadvertent waterboarding. But there are definitely some steps you can take to ease the transition, and even make it fun and enjoyable.
Top Tips for Bathing a Baby and Toddler Together
In my mind’s eye the perfect scenario encompasses beautiful big wet rooms complete with walk-in showers; oversized tubs with varying levels on which you can set up a baby bath seat and basically be hands-free – and even climb in yourself too.
Assuming this is as much a fantasy for you as it is me, here are my tips for those with a more humble bathroom:
1. Make Sure Your Toddler is in the Right Mood!
First up, if your toddler is in an especially demanding mood then today is not the day. Hold out for when your toddler is feeling protective of his/her new baby rather than put out by them.
2. Draw the Bath for the Baby, Not the Toddler
On the off-chance that you’re reading this while severely sleep-deprived (let’s be honest – not that unlikely), I won’t apologise for stating the obvious. Make the temperature right for a newborn and keep the water shallow – better safe than sorry!
3. Have a Second Adult on Hand
For the first couple of times you try bathing the littles together, it’s a great idea to have help available just in case things don’t go quite as smoothly as you’d like. Even if the babes are behaving beautifully, you could find yourself needing to scoop nasties out of the water, and last time I checked that’s what my husband is for.
4. Keep it Simple
I’ve learned the hard way not to be too ambitious with bathtimes if I’m alone. So, I remove the majority of toys and I won’t wash Pixie’s hair if I’m also bathing her sister by myself. I have done it in the past (after I’ve got Elfin out and dressed) – and nearly got caught out with a baby getting too close to a hot radiator whilst I’m washing shampoo out of a toddler’s hair. That wasn’t fun for anyone and I don’t recommend it.
5. Be Prepared
Once you are confident bathing your children together and wish to progress to doing so without the need for back-up, I recommend ensuring you have everything ready for the baby to come out before you get started. That way you can pop your toddler in the tub first, then undress your baby and gently place them in alongside, before quickly deciding that’s enough excitement and removing your infant from you over-enthusiastic toddler’s clutches. Having a warm towel, clean nappy, wipes and babygro to hand is a life saver so you don’t have to leave your bigger one unattended.
Do you have any other tips for bathing a baby and toddler together that I’ve missed? Share them in the comments!
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