The Importance of Bathtime

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My kids are growing up.  They are in that phase where they can do almost everything by themselves which makes me kinda lazy and I am getting really good at ordering them around.  But there is one thing they still can’t quite do themselves…bathtime.  My oldest takes showers now which is a long ways from where we started…

Will bath

So cute.  He’s so little and chubby.  Bathtime is such a great memory for me with my kids.  There are so many funny memories–that one time when we started a bath and Lucas jumped right in fully clothed.  All the times they got a bath because they were covered in food or marker or whatever.

I love how they would just love bathtime.  We could put them in the tub and let them play for a long time happily (with supervision.)  I would sometimes use that time to clean the bathroom.  We would pour in the bubble bath, let them make bubble beards and hats.  They would argue about who got to sick in the front.  They’d soak the floor.  We’d get kinda mad about that.  But on the plus side, I didn’t have to mop my bathhroom floor anymore!


Perhaps the best memory I have of bathtime is when they were newborns.  I remember giving Will his first bath in my old tiny apartment in Provo.  For some reason we did it in the baby tub in the spare room rather than in the bathroom.  I put him in the sling and was so sure I was going to break him.  I remember being super paranoid about getting his umbilical stump wet.  I had my mom help me.  I think he cried a lot.

Bathtime saved me with Ellie.  She was (is) a hard baby.  I think she had colic as a baby and just never grew out of it.  But as a tired mom of three under 3, I would do anything to get her to relax and stop crying.  And baths did the trick.  I got that Johnson’s Bedtime Bath stuff, in the purple bottle, and added it to her bath.  I would make it warm for her.  I undressed her tiny body and laid her in the baby tub with a warm wet washcloth over her belly and legs.  She hated being cold so I would pour water over her body every few minutes.  I would sing to her and talk to her.  It was possibly one of the only times in her first year that I actually remember her being consistently happy.

And afterwards I would take her out and the screaming (off the Richter scale) would commence.  She hated getting out!  I rubbed the same Johnson’s Nighttime lotion on her, I think it has lavender, and would try to massage her baby.  I’d get her dressed and then nurse her to sleep.  We did this every single night for a long time.  Apparently infants who experience touch and massage during/after baths are 50% more likely to engage in eye contact and 3 times more likely to have a more positive expression.  I know this totally improved Ellie’s mood!

JOHNSON'S Science of the Senses Infographic

Usually my husband bathes the kids.  I did Ellie when she was an infant because it was our ritual alongside nursing and Aaron would take the boys.  I kind of wonder if that early bonding with she and I has made her such a momma’s girl today.  But 54% of Dads are in charge of bathtime in households across America and 26% of households have both parents doing it.  I always love hearing my husband give my kids their baths because he relaxes and gets silly with them–especially my daughter.  And since he’s been so busy and stressed with work for the last year, it’s so nice to see this consistent quality time spent.

Johnson’s just wants to remind parents how important bathtime is for more than just getting kids clean–it’s important for sensory learning, emotional bonding, and sensory stimulation for babies and children.

JOHNSON'S SoMuchMore infographic

I thought these statistics were interesting. It seems like overall, people have a gist that bathtime is good for babies and toddlers but maybe don’t know just how important different parts of bathtime are. Playing with bubbles increasing hand-eye coordination–who knew? And 28% of Americans didn’t think massage was important at all to babies. Kinda crazy!

After reading these stats I will definitely be taking more care to incorporate different things into our bathtime routine. I used to, when they were babies, but they still deserve my time and attention even when they are a bit older. I’ve noticed better behaviour in my kids’ willingness to go to bed if I take the time to play with them during their bath, sing them songs, and help them get dressed afterwards, even though technically they can do it themselves. They love that individual attention.

What were your favorite memories of your baby’s bathtimes? What is their bath routine? Did you find these statistics interesting? Will you do anything different for your kids’ bathtimes?

This post is sponsored by Johnson’s and TheMotherhood. All opinions are my own.

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