Bath Time Requires Serious Strategy

It’s not that bathing an infant is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but it certainly does need a plan. Come to find out you’re not supposed to bathe them with a hose outside like I would the dogs on a hot summer day. There is a bit more to it than that.

For starters you need to have all the right equipment. It’s not as easy as just plopping them down in the tub. You will want to make sure you have ready the following: tub, baby wash cloths, robe or towel for the baby, shampoo, more wash cloths, separate water basin, comb, dry diaper, lotion or oil, more wash cloths, and the kitchen sink (no joke, really the kitchen sink).

I’m not going to lie, bath #1 did not go well. My wife and I were a confused mess. Who would wash what? Is everything ready? Oh no, we forgot his bathrobe! How warm is the water? Is the water too hot? Is the water too cold? Oh god, he’s peeing everywhere. Oh no! He doesn’t like this! (of course he didn’t). I fumbled around like an idiot in the dark and tripped my wife up at every step. When it was all done I’m not sure who was more tired and stressed out, the baby or us.

Round two came a few days later. The bride and I huddled up. We had a documented game plan. While the boy was being good my wife would take the top half and I would concentrate on the bottom half. With any luck everything will go smoothly. But before we knew it the boy called an audible. He got angry, and cried, …a lot. I instantly forgot all the planning and documented strategy and went with a panicked scramble to wet, clean and dry the child. I clumsily bumbled around, making the situation worse rather than better.

The best thing that ever happened was the gross remains of my son’s umbilical cord fell off and his belly button healed up. (btw = gross)  We could now upgrade from the sponge bath to a regular bath with suds and water.

This has improved my son’s bath experience by a lot. Ne seems to enjoy the warm water and suds and I am happy to say that he didn’t cry at all during his latest bath.

I have learned the following:

  • Be prepared, go back to boy scout basics and get together everything you will need.
  • Set aside some time for this. it could take 20 minutes, it could take 2 hours.
  • Talk to your wife and make sure you fully understand her plan (do not have a plan of your own, because it is wrong)
  • Stick to your wife’s plan.
  • Have several wash cloths
  • A little pee int he water is going to happen, roll with it.
  • Think about the pre-bath as well as the post-bath.
  • If the dogs get in the way give them a bath after, they will never get in the way again.

Pat Lemieux

About Pat Lemieux

Pat has it all, family, big old house, dogs, a young son and a quarter-life crisis. He blogs about trying to be who he has always been and be who he now needs to be. He enjoys 90's grunge metal, tasty local brews and the outdoors.