Babies love the relaxing, stimulating experience of showers, creating a rhythmic pulsating stream for a gentle massage of their senses. Showering with your baby is an ideal bonding activity that parents can easily incorporate into their bedtime routine. Here are some essential tips to ensure safety and enjoyment during shower time:
- Wear a T-Shirt: Babies can be incredibly slippery in the shower, even without soap. Wearing a T-Shirt provides a grip for your baby and prevents slipping. Also, make sure the bathroom has non-slip mats.
- Set a Warm Temperature: Water temperature should be warm, not hot. Check with the back of your hand or wrist before showering. Also, ensure that other household members do not change the water temperature. The ideal temperature is 37-38°C.
- Acclimatize Baby to the Shower Spray: Start by running water over their back, arms, and legs. Adjust the pressure to a gentler massage, then roll baby over and let the water flow over their toes, hands, and tummy. Avoid placing the spray over their face until they are upright.
- Teach Breath Control through Conditioning: Hold baby upright and support their neck. Use trigger words “Name, ready, go” and gently guide baby’s face under the shower. Increase the count from 1 to 5 over time, so that baby learns to hold their breath on command. This will also help them become comfortable with water on their face for future hair washing and swimming.
- Use Positive Social Referencing: Make shower time fun and enjoyable for both you and your baby by smiling, making eye contact, and talking to them. Ensure that shower time is not during a time when your baby is hungry or tired.
Feel free to view our short video on Showering With Your Newborn.
Warning: Never leave your baby unattended. All young children under 5 years old need active adult supervision during bath and shower time, even when they can sit or stand independently. Children can drown in very shallow water, so always keep them within arm’s reach.
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