Spending time with your baby in water can be a wonderful experience which will encourage them to love being in water rather than being afraid of it. However, babies can easily become startled in water and build a fear associated with it. This can have long lasting effects from traumatic bath times; for you and them, to a fear of learning to swim.
- Children quite naturally love water and this stems from a very early age, babies will enjoy being bathed soon after the birth. Make baby bath time a fun playtime for them, as they can soon get bored. Bathe your baby at least twice a week. Try to involve both you and your partner or relative so you can both hold your baby and play with them.
- Make sure the water is not too hot or cold by using a bath thermometer, ideally the water should be between 32°c and 37°c is ideal. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet and have towels handy to mop up any splashes. Babies’ movements are uncontrollable and their limbs could jerk in all directions giving you a good soaking! Don’t let this bother you as your baby will pick up on this and could become tense.
- For safety us a non slip bath mat and support your babies head so they don’t slip into the water. If your baby gets water on their face and cries, dry their face but don’t make a fuss. Splash some water on your face so your baby can see what happens and that this is fine to do. Smile and talk in a quiet reassuring voice to calm your baby.
- Place a plastic mirror in front of your baby so that he can see himself have fun. When baby gets older place the mirror on the bottom of the bath and encourage your baby to look at himself in the water with his eyes submerged.
- Babies will also love showers, hold your baby so they feel secure and place a plastic mirror on the wall so they can see the water on their faces.
- Never leave your baby unattended in or near water. Don’t answer the phone or the front door; it only takes a second for a baby to drown.