There's nothing more adorable than a baby in a tub full of bubbles. But if you're up to your ears in dirty diapers and bottle washing, you may want to turn this task over to someone else at the end of the day. If your partner wants to get in on the action, you should know the ways dads can and should help with bath time.
Newborn babies don't need to be bathed daily, but baths have other amazing benefits at this age. The warm water and feel of a parent's touch helps slow down baby's heart rate and blood pressure and provides a relaxing effect, according to U.S. News & World Report.
And unlike childbirth and breastfeeding, bath time is a time when dad can roll up his sleeves and play a major role in the process. His involvement can do double duty, allowing him to develop his own special bond with the baby while giving mom a much needed break.
If your guy is a little nervous about the idea of bathing, let him start off slowly. Let him get his feet (and probably his shirt) wet with a few tasks like preparing the water, assisting you with washing, and even applying lotion afterwards. Before you know it, he'll be having so much fun that he may relieve you of your bathing duties all together.
1. Let Him Do The Washing
If you want to make bath time an event for the entire family, try dividing the duties, as mentioned on The Bump. Let dad wash baby's body while you wash her hair. Giving him an important job to do can help dad feel like he's a part of the team.
2. Be There For Backup
It's never OK to leave baby alone in the tub, so dad can be there for backup in case you need to leave the room. Call on him if you need an extra towel, a favorite toy, or anything else that isn't in your immediate reach.
3. Give A Lotion Massage
You already know that a nice massage can help baby relax before bed time. According to What to Expect, massage can help with everything from tummy troubles to teething. Let dad rub baby down gently with lotion after the bath. The physical contact between the two will help strengthen their bond.
4. Help You Bathe With Baby
Some mothers look forward to bathing with their babies to relax, nurse, or just have another excuse to be close to their little ones. If you want to share bath time with your baby, you'll definitely need an extra pair of hands. Let dad help you get baby in and out of the tub once you are comfortable, as Dr. Sears mentioned in Parenting.
5. Make Bath Time Dad's Time
If dad is comfortable with the idea of being left alone with baby in the tub, let him take over. Bathing is a great way for dad to have his own special quality time with baby. It will also give you a few minutes to pump breast milk, make a phone call, or just veg out on the couch.