Benefits of Bathtime
The nightly routine of a warm, relaxing bath, followed by a cozy bedtime story can be one of the best investments that as a parent, you can make with your time.
We have always tried to have bathtime in our house in the evenings, even when the children were babies, as it helped to define the day from the night and set up a good marker for the end of play time and the start of (hopefully) a good night’s sleep.
The advantages over the years have been that not only do our children know that once bathtime approaches in our home, and they begin to wind down from the day and get ready for bed, that same routine has been able to be kept when they are at grandma’s house too ( albeit with several more bedtimes stories! )
Bathtime is not just an opportunity for washing away the dirt and grime of the day, it can be a place for children to wash away the worries too, as it gives them some quiet time to process the events and a chance to chat to you about things that might be troubling them. As your child gets older and you don’t need to be in the bathroom with them for safety reasons, it is still a good idea to be close by and every now and then asking open questions. This side of the routine can go on through the teenage years and I have had many a heart to hearts through the bathroom door with my teens about things that perhaps they didn’t want the pressure of talking about face to face.
For your younger children that just love to play in the bath (and for those that you might think have grown out of bath toys) playing with water is not just soothing, but also scientific. You don’t need to buy special bath toys for the job either. Plastic cups, bottles, action figures, dolls etc are all great items to add to the bath and let your children’s imaginations take over. We love those little magic flannels that expand to a full sized washcloth in water. We also love colour changing bubble bath and highly recommend Mini-U’s range of bath bombs, bath paint and coloured bubble bath as they were so gentle on our youngest eczema sufferer.
If you have a child that is reluctant to leave the bath, then perhaps setting a visual timer might help and talking about what book they would love to read together with you at bedtime might also be a good incentive.
Bear in mind that as your child grows and becomes more body conscious they will want to have some privacy. We don’t allow locked doors in our house for safety reasons, but we always knock before entering bathrooms or bedrooms in our home and teach them to do the same.
And if you are lucky enough to find some time to yourself – forget those jobs that need doing – run a warm bath, relax and let yourself recharge!