Bathing : Daddy’s Winning Moment
“Wash your baby around 11am. Spend some time in the mid morning sun, then bathe and massage baby. After breastfeeding your baby, they will sleep like a dream all afternoon.”
I thought about this advice and considered the number of mothers who had talked about sleepless nights and made the decision to do things a little different. I wanted the little man
to sleep like a dream most, if not all of the night. And so started our evening bathing routines, and we all loved it. Everyone else threw a fit when we told them we wash baby around 7pm. They swore that the little boy would get pneumonia – we ignored them.
One of the advantages of evening bath time was that daddy was able to elbow in on washing his baby boy. He would dash into the house folding his sleeves as he declared that he would wash baby if I had not already started.
It was amazing how fast dad mastered the bath time routine. Half fill the baby basin with steamy water and put it in baby’s room so that it can warm up the room. On a really cold day, we would have the heater on. I would organise baby’s bathing items and sleep wear while daddy began to sing the special song to undress baby. Not that baby needed a song, he loved being naked. Dad had mastered the art of catching that stream of wee that always escapes the moment baby’s diaper came off.
Before long, daddy could differentiate between baby shampoo, baby lotion and baby oil.
Initially I had to stand guard in case he tried to wash baby’s hair with baby oil. Bubbles and rubber duckies, splashes and giggles. Sometimes I think dad enjoyed bath time more than baby. I learned to put a towel around the bath area otherwise we would have to mop the floor once bath time was done.
Getting the little man out of the water was usually the hardest part. Given an option, he would stay in the water until he looked like a little prune. With daddy in charge of bath time, protest cries would quickly turn into giggles as dad did the peek-a- boo game with the towel to distract the little man.
A full body massage before dressing up, then a feed and the little man would be ready for bed. That is if he would not fall asleep as he fed. After that he would wake up around 11pm as we came to bed for a half-asleep feed, and we would not hear from him until about 4am and then again at 7am for the first few months.
The routine remained the same whether dad was around or not and even as the little man continued to grow. Watching dad bond with his little man has always quite amazing. To see this strong masculine man take care of his child with love and care. His big hands gently rubbing baby shampoo into the little man’s hair or as he clasped the little man’s hands or feet as he lathered them with baby soap.
Thanks to Johnson’s Baby products we have never had any skin irritations or issues.
I am convinced that those baby bathing bonding moments with daddy have contributed to their close and play-filled relationship that continues 5 years later and hopefully for years to come.