Honestly, I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing or just something the mothers in my family did, but we don’t bath our babies until after the umbilical cord falls off. It took 10 days for Angelo’s to fall off. During those 10 days, I used cotton balls to wipe him off with warm water mixed with a little pure coconut oil, in the evening time. When bath time around, he used to do the spread out frog pose but relaxed while his hair was being washed. Admittedly, I was a bit anxious bathing baby Angelo but like breastfeeding, it was a moment in time set aside just for us. A few weeks ago I was invited to an event on the ‘Importance of healthy baby development with JOHNSON’S®’, I was unable to attend but I would like to share with you their findings.
Looking back, I remember how unchild-friendly our family bathroom was when Angelo was born. One day his godmother visited and she asked “Where are the toys?” “What toys?” I asked. She said “The bath toys”. She suggested that we get bath toys to make the experience fun. I’d been trying my best to engage and bond with him, but I totally did not consider helping him explore his new world. Added to that, the poor boy was being bathed in a plastic bowl! I’m not sure why? As I’ve said on a few occasions, the first year and half of his little life is a haze. Postnatal depression robbed me of many things. Then, his grandmother bought him a massive bath tub. Not long after that, I attended a course at my local children centre called ‘Start Learning Together’ one of the areas we touched on was at bath time play. Since then our bathroom has been full of toys, empty containers to dip and pour and sometimes even music! Looking at him develop, I can see how confident he is to explore things. His fine and gross developed quickly and his vocabulary is quite good for his age.
I learnt how baby bath time was much more than getting nice and squeaky clean. ‘The multi- sensory elements to a bath are proven to aid better cognitive development for babies in their first 3 years.’ According to JOHNSON’S® findings:
- Parents in the UK bath their children for the longest amount of time (26 minutes) – the average bath takes 23 minutes, with the Philippines spending he least time washing their children (18 minutes)
- 92% of mums in the UK say they are primarily responsible for bathing their children in their household
- Babies bathed with a fragranced product displayed:
- 30% more engagement cues with their parent after the bath
- Nearly 25% less time crying before sleep
- Playing with bubbles helps babies develop hand-eye coordination
- Splashing helps teach babies cause and effect
- Listening to bath time music can help stimulate parts of the brain responsible for memory
Take a look at the video below.
How do you set up your baby’s bath time? What does your child enjoy most about bath time? I’d love to hear from you, even if your baby isn’t a baby any more. It’s nice to reminisce, they grow so fast!