As busy parents ourselves, we know how important it is to be able to multi-task wherever possible, and our number one tip when it comes to anything in life is to take help when it's offered! That piece of advice still stands when the help being offered comes in the shape of an older sibling. Time for everyone to roll their sleeves up and make bathtime a family affair!
Siblings love to help!
When a new baby arrives, older siblibgs are often eager to get involved and help out- so take advantage of this! When your baby is very young, your older child can help at bathtime by helping to get everything ready before you begin. See this post for more guidance on how to breeze through baby's first bath.
Toddlers and older kids are GREAT when it comes to distracting and amusing babies while you prepare the bath water, and again when it come to lowering them into the water. You will be using both your hands to hold baby and gently swirl water over their body- big sister is on hand to entertain!
*As helpful as older siblings can be at bathtime, your baby should always be supervised by a resonsible adult.
A great way to bond
There is so much literature out there focusing on the bond between parent and baby- and that is so important! But the bond between siblings is just as vital, and an element that we tend to place less importance on. Bathtime is such a lovely way for the whole family to bond, and this is one of the reasons we love it so much.
Making bathtime fun and interesting for all the children- whether they're in the tub or not- is an excellent way to build sibling relationships. Children learn as they play, and younger children look up to their siblings for key skills such as communication, language and gross motor skills. Simple bath games are a great place to start, and such a lovely way to re-enforce essential family bonds.
When your baby is a little older and able to sit up securely in the bath tub, you can start to take things to a new level. Intrduce shared bathtimes slowly- your younger child may find it daunting sharing the tub at first. It's also a good idea to establish some rules for your older child too- such as being aware of the fact that are now sharing the tub with a much smaller person, and that they now need to share their space and their toys!
With ground rules established (and again, bathtime must always be supervised by a resonsible adult), let the fun begin! Watching your siblings play together, learn together, splash together can be really magical. Sharing the tub can help siblings to build water confidence (all that splashing is great, especially when it comes to swimming lessons) and a confidence in self care too. Encourage your older sibling to help wash the baby's hair, for example, and talk about why we need to take care of our bodies.
And let's not forget that sharing the tub saves on water and time too- win, win!
If you do decide to bathe the children together, the same safety rules apply- see more here- and don't forget that preparation is stil key. Get everything ready before you start. Oh, and forget about the splashing. Water on the floor will soon dry!