S really loves water. She loves splashing in puddles; she loves playing with the water in the sink; she loves bath and shower time.
When she was really small, I gave in breaking my back bending over at bath time, and just got in with her instead. We enjoyed some really lovely times in the bath together, and as she grew older (and bolder), she went from passively laying on my chest as I washed her, to sitting between my legs, splashing away.
Pretty soon, I was banished from the bath and would stand in the door way while she splashed most of the water out of the bath.
As she got older, she began to prefer a shower to a bath – way more splashing to be had! This was good news for me, since we’ve recently moved house to a place with a gorgeous shower, but no bath.
We’ve had some fantastic times with glowsticks in the shower.
After a while, S cottoned on to the fact she had her shower before bed… but she could also gatecrash Mummy’s shower in the morning! Now we share a shower most mornings; her playing with her bath toys, drawing patterns in the steam on the shower screen or catching water in a cup while I try to wash my hair around her.
Bathtime – for us and for others – is more than just time to get clean. And it’s not just about playing, either. Bathtime provides an opportunity to engage touch, sight, smell and sound. It’s a multisensory experience for baby and parents, and can be really important for a child’s brain development for this very reason.
Routine touch and massage by a parent or loving caregiver is critical to a baby’s growth and development – which is why bathtime can play such an important role. Not only is there the play and washing in the bath, but drying and massage after a bath. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, infants who experience routine touch and massage are 50% more likely to make eye contact and three times more likely to have an overall positive expression.
Now, if you’ll excuse us… we’re off to have a shower!