Bath Terror

Read about being a mother of 12 as our resident 'Supermom' shares her wise parenting advice.

Your children will not thank you for taking nude bathtub photos

It's safe to say I've had a lot of experience with bathing babies, since I've raised 12 of my own. My first daughter was terrified of the bath from day one. I have whole albums of controversial naked baby photos and in all of them, my daughter is shrieking. When people look at the photos they are more aware of her terror than of her naked body, which doesn't make the least bit of difference to my daughter: your children will not thank you for taking nude bathtub photos. But I digress. It took several months and a lot of trial and error before my baby girl decided that she took to water like a duck.

No dice

My mother bought me a standard baby bathtub that came with a removable bath sponge. The theory of this sponge was that it would permit the parent the use of both hands for washing the baby. The sponge supported the baby instead of the parent having to hold the baby with one hand while washing her with the other. I would have thought my baby would feel secure on the sponge, but no dice.

The towel trick

I tried adding things to the bath routine to ease her bath terror. I swaddled my daughter in a hooded bath towel and lowered her into the tub. The towel absorbed water at a slow pace, helping the baby acclimate to the sensation of being wet. The swaddling helped prevent the startle reflex that once started, seemed to kick itself off again and again, as my poor little girl flailed and wept. Still, she was a smart little thing, and the towel trick didn't really fool her. I think that by the time I tried the towel thing, she was already wise to the fact that she was being subjected to yet another terror-eliciting tub time. I have to say that I started my other babies with the towel trick, right off the bat, and it worked like a charm for them.

She shrieked the entire time

Another thing I tried with baby one was to take her into the tub with me. I figured that maybe she was crying in the tub because she didn't feel me holding her. Taking her into the tub with me was a most unfortunate idea. Once in the tub with her, I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out how to get the two of us back out! To top things off, there was no one else at home. Also, the bath time for two idea didn't work. Even though I was there with her, she shrieked the entire time.

I learned to bathe my daughter very fast, until the day came when she realized that water was something she could play with. She was six months old. If your baby is scared of the tub, remember that this, too, shall pass.

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