Aside from being a main source of embarrassing stories to tell your child’s future boyfriends and girlfriends, bath time is a very special time for parents and their children. In a recent study, 84 percent of parents say it’s some of the best quality time they get with their kids. It is also an important factor in developing a system of routines that are just as important to your child’s growth as keeping up with their cleanliness.
This article is going to cover the more prominent physical and emotional developmental benefits of making bath time a special time.
Bath time is a time for baby to explore their senses, which is critical for cognitive and emotional development. Rubbing your baby’s skin, in or out of the tub, has physical benefits that can be activated at any time. A study by Tiffany Field, the leading expert on the science of touch at the National Institute of Health, found that premature infants who experienced massage therapy reported a 21-48 percent greater increase in healthy weight than premature infants without such therapy.
It isn’t just touch that makes bubble bath time so special and important. It’s also the full engagement of other senses, from smelling the soap to watching the bubbles pop to listening to the water splash.
Linked to Better Sleep
A bedtime routine will help your little one learn about the patterns around bed time. As they go through these routines, they will pick up on the cues of bed time and start to expect sleep at certain times and therefore fall asleep much easier. Bath time can be an essential part of the development of these sleep patterns. Warm water along with warm focused attention from Mom or Dad will help soothe the baby and make them feel loved and tired.
Another study conducted by Field, which was funded by Johnson & Johnson, reported that babies who took baths with lavender scented cried less and experienced deeper sleep than babies who took baths with no fragrance.
Water and technology are mortal enemies – which makes bath time, the perfect time to put down the smart phone and dial in to quality bonding time with your child. As a parent, you are a model for your children’s behavior (monkey see, monkey do), and if you are constantly on your phone, then they will likely emulate that as they get older. Being present in the moment can really benefit your child and give them a sense of love and trust in your judgment and time.
Connecting with your children is something special and provides a feeling that can’t be replicated in any other segment of your life. Bath time is one of the first bonding and playful experiences that your child has in their life, so make sure it’s memorable and special.