Splish, Splash, Hating the Bath?

Babies love baths. Even grumpy babies enjoy bath time. It’s calming for them. Relaxing. That’s what I read when I was pregnant at least. So I was excited to give Bebe her first bath. We had to wait a while though because her stubborn little umbilical cord stump was hanging on for some time-three weeks and one day to be exact. For her first few weeks we did sponge baths only. Then it was time for the real thing. We were so excited. Her first real activity. “She’s going to love it!”, I told my husband. He agreed. But we were wrong. At first, our little Madeline did not like bathing. Quite the opposite actually.

Bath number one was the Primo Euro Bath, which I ordered from Diapers.com while I was expecting.

It is a large plastic tub that fits inside your bathtub and is said to be for all babies, birth-24 months. Though a bit big, it seemed like a great bath for our future bundle. We could use it for her first two years-perfect. Unfortunately, we didn’t. No, this purchase didn’t get used at all, unless you count the brief dip Bebe took the first time we tried to use it. She was in the water a total of 45 seconds, 43 of those seconds spent screaming. She was just too small. The tub itself was so big, but the water barely reached her little, nearly nine pound body. She was just uncomfortable lying down in it. First bath-fail.

Our second bath attempt was the Spa Baby Bath Bucket, which we were very hopeful would be a winner. Our nephew loved it as an infant.

My mother-in-law ordered the tub for us from Amazon.com and we couldn’t wait to use it. Many babies love this bucket bath because it is said to simulate the womb. Perfect. Bebe was in no hurry to be born, so I figured this would be the bath for her. I remembered seeing pictures of our nephew plopped in there, instantly calm and happily bobbing about. We decided to put the bucket in our kitchen sink to make it easier to handle. We filled the bath up to the designated line and eased Madeline into the water. She settled in for a moment and just as we started to breathe a collective sigh of relief, she began to cry. Just fussing and squirming at first, so we readjusted her, trying to get her position just right. But no luck. She was too small to get comfortable and her crying increased until she was screaming. I pulled her out, once again defeated.

Much to our relief, bath three worked like a charm, as third tries often do. My college roommate, who has three children of her own, came to visit when Bebe was about five weeks old. As I was recapping my first month as a mom, I shared with her our bathing struggles. After seeing the first bath, which she thought was unnecessarily large, and the second, that was totally foreign to her, she described the “sling on a stand” she used with her kids. The next day we took Bebe on her first outing, and included a trip to Target where we purchased our third (and final) bath. Convinced my little one just didn’t like baths, I was less enthusiastic for the third bathing attempt. Once again, we opted to use the kitchen sink so I could stand over her easily. We prepared the water, placed the soft, mesh bather in, adjusted the temperature, and slowly set her down. Bebe laid back and looked up at us. I waited for the outburst. Nothing. We poured some water over her body, wet and washed her hair. And she was calm. She didn’t squeal in delight as I had initially imagined she would (though I almost did), but she didn’t cry either. She just looked around, taking it all in, and relaxed.

Ahhhh...our sweet girl enjoying a bath. Finally.

It took two weeks and three different types of bathers to achieve bathing success for Bebe, but we found what works for her. Three months later she’s happier than ever lounging in her kitchen sink hammock.

Did your baby love baths from day one, or did you have to work at it like us? What works best for you when it comes to bath time?

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