3 Bathtub Tips to Help Your Baby Love Water!
As a kid, I always loved to play in the water–whether that was running through the sprinklers, swimming in the lake, or having fun with water sports like canoeing or skiing. For whatever reason though, I absolutely hated sticking my face into the water–and still do to this day. But that doesn’t stop me from jumping off a cliff into the lake, riding the waves of the ocean, or going white-water rafting. Heck, I wanted to be one of the ‘cool people who got to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel’ when we went to visit when I was a kid. Why? Because I have always LOVED the water (and adrenaline adventures, it seems!). BUT that’s also because it’s always been a part of me, and the stuff we did growing up for fun often involved water. And thus there seems to be some truth to how the fear of water can be prevented, if introduced at a young age. While I would love to tell you more about how to raise children who aren’t afraid of the water, I don’t know ‘all the things!’ so I have found an expert to give you the lowdown! I leave the floor to Natalya.
3 Bathtub Tips to Help Your Baby Love Water!
Babies typically have baths around two – three times a week. When babies start crawling and walking, baths become more of a necessity to keep them clean! While you are giving your baby or toddler a bath, there is an abundance of bath time games and activities you can implement that will help your child become a water-loving baby! It is important that children learn to love the water at an early age, so that once they start swimming lessons, they are comfortable in the water.
Below I have set out my three favourite ways to help babies (and toddlers), become comfortable in the water. All three of these can be done right in your bathtub!
#1: Bathtub Toys
There are many great bath toys that can be used to help your baby love the water. Toys that sink, such as rings, and toys that float, such as rubber ducks, are both excellent options to allow into bath time. Toys that have holes in them in order to pour water on your baby’s head and shoulders, are a great option for easing your child into becoming comfortable getting water on their face. Practicing this skill can be done by gradually, softly pouring water on your little one (a toy watering can is a great tool for this). First, begin with pouring water on their shoulders. Once they are comfortable with this you can work your way up from their shoulders to their head – shoulders, neck, back of head, and finally top of head.
#2: Turn on the Shower
This option will likely be for babies who are a little older (12 months +). When your baby is comfortable in the water and the bathtub, fill the bathtub with a little bit of water and then turn on the shower for a few minutes. It will be like playing in a sprinkler! Allow your little one to explore the water “raining” down. Encourage them to put their hands under the water, then their back, and lastly their head!
#3: Games & Songs
Babies love songs! Incorporating songs into bath time is a great way to connect fun with water. If your baby is lying on their back, you can sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Encourage them to move their arms and legs while lying on their back and to put their ears in the water (ears in the water seems to be a common item that children do not like to do when they come for their first swim lesson). Other great songs are: “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”, “I’m a Little Teapot”, “If Your Happy and You Know It”.
You can also play some simple games like “Simon Says” and “Talking to the Fishies” once your child is a little older (2 years +). “Simon Says” is a great game to practice putting your face in the water. Some of the things you could say are: “Simon says put your ear in the water”, “Simon says touch your forehead in the water”, “Simon says blow bubbles in the water”, “Simon says put your whole face in the water”, etc. “Talking to the Fishies” is a great way to allow your child to practice rhythmic breathing. This game is easily played by asking your child to ask the fishies in the water a question by blowing bubbles and then listening to the response by turning to the side and putting their ear in the water.
*Word of Caution*
Babies and toddlers should never be left unattended in a bathtub for any amount of time – even for a minute. Be sure to stay right beside your child when you are giving them a bath.
Hello! I’m Natalya, and I run Ottawa’s most convenient swimming lesson provider – Hippo in the Bathtub! We offer Red Cross swimming lessons for children as young as 4 months old, and we also offer a Lil’ Hippo Swim Time at our Nepean indoor facility for parents and their babies (4 months – 24 months). This swim time is the perfect opportunity for you and your parent friends to spend some pool time with your little ones. You can book lessons in your backyard pool, your condo pool, or our salt-water indoor pool located near Merivale & Slack Road. To sign up or learn more about our services visit our website or Facebook page!
DISCLAIMER: pool & tub images in this blog post were provided by the author, and are not the work of Pure Natural Newborn Photography.