Managing Bath Time with a Baby and a Toddler
Ah, bath time. How does it go in your house? Lots of splashing, lots of laughter, LOTS of water on the floor? Bath time is usually an essential part of most family's bedtime routine but sometimes it can be the most chaotic too! So how do you manage bath time with a baby and a toddler? We've put together a few tips that might make the process a little easier. Let us know in the comments your best tips for managing bath time with a baby and a toddler.
The key to a successful bath time with any number of children is to be prepared. Once you have small children in the water, you cannot leave them for even a few seconds, so make sure you have everything you need to hand before you start. The last thing you need is to be scrabbling around for towels or clothes when you need them.
It's also a good idea to be prepared in other ways. Make sure that bath time is at an appropriate time within your routine, and that your baby in particular hasn't just had a feed- always wait at least 30 minutes for the milk to go down before you start the bath. It's a great idea to time the bath for just before the last feed at bedtime.
You also need to be prepared for the rest of the bedtime routine so you can make the most of the fact a nice warm bath can ready little ones for sleep. If you don't have pyjamas and beds ready for after bath time, you can lose momentum and find that the whole bedtime routine takes a lot longer than it needs to!
Make a plan
It can be hard to bathe both a baby and a toddler at the same time. Some families find it easier to pop all the children into the tub at the same time, and others find that bath time in shifts works better for them. You need to find your own way, but we have some suggested plans you could try:
- Ask your toddler to 'help' you bathe the baby first. Once baby is out of the water, you can wrap them in a warm towel and have a cuddle while your toddler has a splash in the bath. When it's time to wash your toddler, lie your baby on a soft towel on the floor by the bath as you do this. If your baby needs a feed you can do this while your toddler plays, but make sure you don't take your eyes off them as you do. When both children are out of the bath, you can dress them both and start your usual bedtime routine.
- Pop your toddler into the bath first, and make sure that your baby is either napping, or lying somewhere safe in the bathroom so that you're able to watch them both carefully. When your toddler gets out of the bath, settle them with a book or quiet activity while you bathe the baby, then carry out the rest of your usual bedtime routine.
- Bathe both children together. Take care to advise your toddler to sit in the water and choose bath toys that aren't too 'boisterous'. Make sure you keep hold of the baby at all times. When it's time to get out, take the baby out first and wrap in a warm towel as your toddler plays.
You might find it easier to have completely different bath times for your children, or you might have another adult around to help out too. The most important thing to remember is that being prepared and taking safety precautions is essential. As your baby gets older, the whole bath time routine gets easier- we promise!