The moment I became a mother I realized that the more time I could spend completely by my son's side, the better off I was. Postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and a traumatic pregnancy, labor and delivery left me with a polarizing fear I didn't know how to handle, so I needed my son next to me at all hours of the day and night. We co-slept, we breastfed on demand and, not surprisingly, we co-bathed. Turns out, there are so many reasons why co-bathing with your kid is just the absolute best; reasons that go beyond my postpartum experience and my overwhelming, obsessive need to be around my son at all times.
Of course, this isn't to say that the only reason a mom should (or would) co-bathe is because she is experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety. What helps a mother through those mental issues will vary depending on the mother, so in no way are co-bathing and support for postpartum depression or anxiety automatically related. It's just for me, personally, co-sleeping and co-bathing helped me through my irrational fears when I was a new mother. Then, after I found the treatment I needed for both, I was able to really enjoy co-sleeping and co-bathing which, you know, are both awesome. Now that my son is two-years-old and my postpartum issues have faded away and are now nothing more than a distance memory, I can truly appreciate the moments when I can simply enjoy being around him or near him (and not do so out of some irrational necessity).
Which means, now, co-bathing is just a fun thing we get to do from time to time. Now, co-bathing is about playing with those hilariously cheep but somehow super entertaining bath toys and drawing on the tub with bath crayons and making my son laugh when I blow bubbles at his little face. Now, co-bathing is just fun (and practical) and the absolute best, for the following reason:
You're Essentially Killing Two Birds With One Stone
I don't know about you, but every since I became a mother I've been all about efficiency and effectiveness. If I can get something (or better yet, two or more things) done as quickly as possible, I'm happy So, for that purpose alone, co-bathing just makes sense. I can clean myself up, I can clean my kid up and we can spend some quality time together while simultaneously getting ready for bed. So many wins I don't even know where to start.
You Get More Time With Your Kid
As a working mother, this is a big one for me. I don't get to spend as much time with my kid as I would normally like to, so if sharing bath time (and even shower time) means I get to spend more time talking to him in his cute toddler speak, I'm all about it.
In the morning, if I have the time to take a longer shower than normal and my kid is in need of a good cleaning, we'll be able to both get ready for the day while simultaneously playing and talking and laughing and listening to music. If the morning won't work but he needs a bath at night (and so do I, because summers in New York City are no joke) then we can spend that one-on-one time together, too. I know, sooner rather than later, it won't be appropriate to spend this kind of time together, so I'm soaking it up while I can (pun intended).
You Get To Watch Them Play With Their Bath Toys...
Sorry I'm not sorry, but my kid is adorable. I mean, it' almost too much, especially when he's splashing around in the bathtub playing with this water toys or his water crayons. It's just the best.
...Which Really Means You Get To Play With Bath Toys, Too
Of course, co-bathing gives me a great excuse to essentially be a kid again and play with my son's bath toys, too. I get to dunk the floating basketball in the tiny little hoop that attaches to the shower wall; squirt water out of the little rubber duck and rubber frog; blow bubbles. It's awesome.
You Can Make Sure They Actually Get Clean
Now, this isn't to say that your kid isn't getting clean when they take their solo-baths. I'm sure they are, and it's not difficult to make sure they're scrubbing behind their ears. Still, there's something to be said for getting in the bath with them and helping them. In fact, I believe the example I set for my son when I'm taking a bath with him, has helped him learn how to better bathe himself (and, honestly, is why he loves brushing his teeth so much. Like, he literally asks to brush his teeth. What kind of a kid does that?!)
You're Usually Better Equipped At Keeping The Splashing To A Minimum
I can't say there are no messes, but I have noticed that those messes aren't as substantial when I'm in the bath with my kid and can redirect his focus to something other than dumping water outside of the tub.
It's Another Great Way To Bond
In the end, I will take my bonding moments anyway I can get them. When my son was just a newborn, it was on me (and my partner) to bathe him and wash him and as I'm a big believer in the power of touch, I know that those moments helped bring my son and I closer together.
So, I'm all about continuing them for as long as I possibly can and for as long as it's appropriate to do so.
It Can Speed Up Your Bedtime Routine...
I'm all about efficiency, people. If I don't have to sit on the toilet next to the bathtub while my son plays in the tub for damn near forever, I'm a happy camper. When we co-bathe, I get to spend time with him while simultaneously using the most of that time in an efficient and effective manner. That's the parenting dream.
...Giving You The Opportunity To Enjoy More "Me" Time
Of course, as much as I love spending time with my son, I also look forward to the quiet hours of the night when I can spend time with my partner or with myself. If co-bathing speeds up our bedtime process, and my son goes to bed a little earlier or at least a little quicker, I consider the evening a complete success.
It's Just Fun, You Guys
I mean, do you honestly need any other reason? Co-bathing with your kid is fun and adorable and you get to play with kid toys again and you get to make your kid laugh and giggle and it's just the best. It's no secret that kids grow up so damn fast, and I'm convinced that co-bathing slows down time; if only for a moment. I'm all about it.