Here at Cuddledry HQ we know only too well just how important bathtime is for babies. As parents ourselves we've enjoyed countless funfilled splash sessions, and on a daily basis we receive message after message from other parents telling us that bathtime really is the best time of the day. But did you know that each time you gently lower your baby into the warm water, you are helping to expand their world in ways that you would never dream? Read on to find discover three ways that bathtime boosts your baby's development.
Bathtime is a multi -sensory experience
Humans learn best through explorative play, and the five senses play such an important role in this. Bathtime is so much more than filling a tub with water and having a wash! To better understand, next time you fill the bath, take a moment to see this from your baby's perspective and in relation to the senses.
- Sound: as the tub fills, your baby's ears will start to tune in to the sounds of the water running, the pipes creaking and the noises you make as you prepare everything you need. Consider this the first sensory experience for your baby and watch their reaction as the water runs.
- Smell: if you use baby friendly bubble bath, your little one is going to find their nostrils singing with sweet smells that have the power to energise, soothe, calm or delight. The sense of smell can be very powerful and often brings back memories and feelings that help us to understand the world around us- so don't underestimate the importance of scents at bathtime.
- Sight: as your baby grows a little older, all the different things to look at during bathtime can be quite amazing. Watching the water run into the tub, trying to figure out exactly what bubbles are all about, searching for bath toys in the water... what your baby sees during bathtime helps to stimulate and further teaching of the world around us exponentially.
- Touch: What does the warm water feel like as your baby is lowered into the tub? How do the bubbles feel under their fingers? How soft and silky is the towel you wrap them in? All of these sensations are vital to helping your baby relate bathtime to feeling secure and safe, and to translate that learning to other areas of life too.
- Taste: Now, we're not suggesting that your baby should have the opportunity to taste a lot at bathtime, but there is probably no way to avoid some element of this! A splash of water, or a lick of bubbles won't hurt, although we don't recommend it as a regular indulgence!
By recognising bathtime as a sensory experience, we are helping with cognitive and emotional development, and that in itself is amazing.
Bathtime is a tech-free zone
Let's face it, these days it's hard to untether ourselves from social media, emails and texts for long. Yes, our babies are adorable but that only means we want to take a snap and share it with everyone doesn't it? The result of us being online so much each day means that our phones are never far from our hands for long, and this can actually be detrimental to our baby's development.
Don't get us wrong, we love social media and we firmly believe it has its place in society. But isn't it wonderful how bathtime forces us to really be in the moment with our babies? In the bathroom we can swap Facebook with the real thing, and really pay attention to our baby's facial expressions, movements and sounds. We can maintain eye contact, talk, sing and laugh. We can live intentionally and with a meaningful purpose each and every time we fill the tub. The result? Our babies develop their communication and emotional skills. Vocabulary is built, fine and gross motor skills are honed in. Our babies flex their creative and imaginative muscles and we in turn teach them that they are interesting, important and loved.
Bathtime is a chance to bond with your baby
We're often on our high horse talking about how bathtime is a wonderful bonding experience for parents, but did you know that this in itself has amazing powers when it comes to boosting brain development? Showing our babies affection has the ability to fire up emotional and social development, foster feelings of security and self confidence and spark the ability to form lasting relationships too. So every time you play with your baby at bathtime, and wrap them in your arms for a cuddle afterwards, you're helping to nuture, grow and shape the amazing adults they are destined to become. How wonderful is that?