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Bathtime is about so much more than getting clean. It’s a chance to play, learn, grow and bond with your baby.

Your gentle, loving touch during the bath and cuddle time afterward builds your baby’s self-esteem because it makes them feel loved and important. In fact, research shows that your touch promotes healthy social-emotional development and enhances your baby’s motor and sensory skills, too.

Bathtime and Tips for a Happy Healthy Baby Development

What you can do What your child is learning
Have fun and celebrate your child’s accomplishments, such as squeezing the water from the sponge or floating a toy. That they are smart and competent, and that sharing discoveries when you play together is lots of fun.
Explore and play games like patting the water back-and-forth to make a splash. The skill of taking turns and that engaging with activities together is fun and rewarding.
Cuddle up together after bathtime and share a bonding moment That they are loved, which builds your baby’s self-esteem.

Building and Strengthening Baby’s Language

What you can do What your child is learning
Connect and engage with your baby. For example, when your baby makes sounds and gestures, such as indicating they would like you to read a book, respond with praise and follow through on the ‘request’. That they are communicating with you, and you understand. This reinforces that sounds and actions are a good way to show what you are thinking or feeling.
When bathing your baby, talk with them and explain what you are doing together. For instance, drop the ducky in the water and exclaim, ”Look, it floats!” When you talk to your child like this during activities, it helps them to learn words and concepts like sinking and floating.
Make bathtime fun to help your child learn new skills. Show how to stick sponge letters to the wall of the tub or make the ducky squeak. Your baby will learn to make things work by copying your actions, while bonding with you.

Understanding Physical Development

What you can do What your child is learning
Make bathtime fun and educational by offering your baby a variety of toys so they can explore and discover with their hands. How to have fun and explore in new ways from a seated position. Transferring objects from one hand to another and using their hands to make objects work, such as trying to get the bath stickers to stick to the tub, teaches your baby confidence.
Point out and talk about your baby’s different body parts as they use them. Praise your baby for using their hands to pop bubbles and tell them what body part they’re using. To recognise their body parts and how they work to help reach their goals.

When your baby makes a big splash with their hands or by dropping a toy in the tub, they learn about cause and effect. This helps them figure out how things work. When your bub wipes the bubbles away to discover their tummy underneath, they learn that things still exist even though they can’t see them — a very important concept.

And all the talking you do together during this special time helps build baby’s language skills. What’s most important is that all of this learning takes place with you, your bub’s favourite person!

 

Remember, part of keeping bath time fun is making sure your baby is safe. This means never leaving your baby unattended, even if they’re in a baby bath seat. So gather all the things you will need for the bath beforehand and let the phone ring over to voicemail. Also, be sure to set your water heater below 37 degrees to prevent the possibility of scalding.

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