When it came time to ditch the sponge baths (which my husband and I had down to a science) and move on into the baby bathtub, I was so excited. I couldn't wait to lay my little guy down in the warm water and have the best bath experience ever. Well...not so much. Sam screamed as if we were trying to torture him in a cruel and bizarre way. He screamed and cried so much that I actually cried and my husband with nerves of steel started to look a little frightened. It was not a good experience for anyone. As we tried to calm Sam down we knew that we had to find a way to make bath time a great experience for all involved.
If you think about it bath time is very scary not just for your baby but also for you as a parent. The water temperature was something that I obsessed over for a good 10 minutes before we put Sam in the bath. When he started screaming I of course thought I had burned his gentle skin. When I saw that his skin was not burned or even red I thought that the water was too cold and he would now get sick and it was all my fault. So stressful!! The design of the bathtub I had picked out was also part of the problem. It had a sling/cot that held Sam up over the water. This made him feel exposed and cold since he wasn't actually down in the warm water. He also looked and felt unsure laying on the bath sling/cot even with my hands there to support him. I knew we had to get a better bathtub and a way to make Sam feel safe and secure during bath time.
The search began for the best bath tub money could buy. Luckily, it didn't cost very much. We bought the 4moms Cleanwater Infant Bath Tub with Digital Thermometer. Yes, you read that right, clean water and a built in thermometer. Genius!!! The tub is also curved to fit your babies body with a thin foam like pad for him to rest his back on. The way it is designed allows water to flow over the thermometer sensor, then into a water reservoir, and then gently spill over into the basin where your child rests comfortably. There is a drain on the basin side that allows the soapy water to flow right out. The drain also prevents the water from getting too high. Your baby has the luxury of fresh warm water continuously circulating around him/her. The thermometer is awesome! It turns bright red and sounds an alarm if the water coming out of the faucet gets too hot or turns bright blue if it gets too cold. It gives you a green light when the temp is just right for baby. I love being able to glance over and see the exact temperature while I am bathing Sam.
So, we had found the ultimate bathtub, but this was only one piece of the puzzle in achieving bath time, fun time. We needed to figure out how to make Sam feel totally safe and secure while being lowered into this new wet environment. I thought and thought, googled and googled, and then remembered what made Sam feel secure at night in his cradle when we first brought him home from the hospital... swaddling! Babies like to be swaddled. We swaddled Sam in one of his very thin baby towels. So far, so good. Put on some mood music. Then we lowered him in legs first into the already filled basin with water that we knew was being kept at the perfect temperature. It totally worked!!! Once in the tub we were able to slowly unwrap the towel and start bathing him. Since that night, bath time is a fun and relaxing time for everyone.
Speaking of relaxing... Sam's asleep, Daddy's home, I think I could use a soothing bath myself!