You’ve probably heard over and over how important skin-to-skin contact is for parent-baby bonding. Between giving birth and breastfeeding, moms often find a lot more time for skin-to-skin, and this can leave dads feeling left out and anxious when they aren’t bonding as fast as their partner. Fortunately, there’s another obvious time for lots of great skin-to-skin contact, and a uterus and breasts aren’t a prerequisite requirement: bath time!
Part of Bedtime.
Did you know that many newborns enjoy a bedtime routine? The consistency of bathtime with Daddy, get into PJs, read a story with Mommy, and then bed can help your infant associate night time with quiet, sleeping time. This can make sleep training easier in the months to come, and some lucky parents even find a consistent bedtime routine is all their baby needs to learn to sleep by themselves. When it comes to working in some great skin-to-skin contact time for Dad, we recommend building it right into the day. By having bath time with Dad as part of the night time routine, he’ll be sure to get a least a little skin-to-skin time with Baby everyday.
Baby Bathtub, Sink, or Big Tub?
After your baby’s umbilical cord has healed, you can start to give them real baths. For real baths there are a few options. You can buy a baby bathtub which will be fit your infant’s tiny body and help to keep them comfortable and warm. Alternatively, many parents choose to just wash their baby in the sink. However, we encourage Dads to wash their baby in the big tub. While your partner holds Baby, fill the tub one or two inches with water that’s warm but not hot. Remember to use a non-slip bath mat, and sit yourself comfortably in the tub. Once you’re comfortable, have your partner hand you baby. Now it’s time to sing, splash, and maybe even wash up.
Never leave your baby by themselves in the bath. They can drown within seconds. Nothing is so important that you should ever leave them unattended in the tub. Secondly, when bath time is over, call over your partner. Carefully hand them Baby to dry off. This ensures that Baby is kept warm and safe. Remember that your wiggly newborn is going to be slippery after splashing in the tub, so be extra careful! Once Baby is safe and warm in their towel, it’s your turn to get out of the tub.
Bathtime is great activity to make 100% Dad’s. Many dads feel like they don’t get enough opportunity to quietly bond one-on-one with their baby. They may be busy at work all day and feel a little left out of their new family. It’s important to make sure both parents have an opportunity to connect with Baby, so remember to set aside this special time for Dad.
Want to make bath time even more fun? Our selection of floating, squirting, fishing, and other amusing bath toys can help!