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Connie Simpson, better known as Nanny Connie, has been a nanny for more than 30 years to over 250 babies. Focused on guiding new parents through the wonderful journey of parenthood, Nanny Connie has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names and their families. Here, she shares her thoughts on creating the perfect bath time ritual for your little one!
I love bath time! I’ve seen first-hand how wonderfully soothing and relaxing it can be for both Baby and parents. The key components to making sure your bath time stays nice and peaceful is consistency, preparation, and setting the mood.
Consistency is key for a bath time ritual that everyone will enjoy! The more you stick to the schedule, the more you’ll start to notice your little knows exactly when it’s bath time. As with any routine, their bodies and attitudes just fall in line and it becomes second nature. It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling, they’re at a sleepover, or at home because that little internal clock will go off and they’ll start moving in that direction.
There is some prep work involved in the routine to make sure it’s as stress free as possible. First things first, make sure you have your towel, washcloth, pajamas, clean diaper, baby brush, lotions, night time bottle, and book. Once that’s taken care of it’s time to set the mood. Ensure that the temperature in the home is not too cold or warm so that way when they’re coming out their bath it’s not a shock to their little system. Dim your lighting and if you have a humidifier or diffuser get those soothing essential oils circulating. Turn on your sound machine or lullabies so they’re softly playing in the background. You want to fully engage all their senses so they can fully relax.
Once everything is laid out and the mood is set, it’s time to head to the tub. My go-to bathtub is a hammock baby bathtub. It allows your baby’s body to be completely submerged while keeping their head securely elevated. The sling allows you to be somewhat hands-free so you can get to all their little rolls and crevices. Your water should be womb warm—yes, womb warm, not lukewarm. When you put them in their bath, go feet first. This allows them time to get acclimated to the temperature. So we go feet, then bum, then fully on their back. Use a gentle soap and a soft washcloth and let the bubbles begin. The key areas to make sure you wash are their hair, face, hands, and bums/private areas. We want to ensure that we wash their hair to prevent cradle cap, their face and hands due to kisses and touches, and their bums/private areas to prevent diaper rash. Be sure to get in all their little rolls and crevices. This is especially important in their private areas; be gentle but ensure that those areas are cleaned. Do a good rinse from head to toe and wrap them up in their soft hooded towel.
This is where the fun happens. Once you’ve dried them leaving their skin slightly damp take your lotion/oil/shea butter and gently massage their little bodies. Avoid their hands and eyes but everywhere else is fair game. Then we put on their diapers, pajamas, and brush those little heads. Now it’s cuddle time with you, their bottle and book. Lay them in their bed and let the sandman do the rest.
I’ve tested this bath time ritual for over 30 years. Try to keep the routine at the same time and use the same elements (dim lights, light music/sound, diffuser/humidifier, warm bath, and massage) no matter if you’re home or traveling. The routine and mood is just as much for you as it is for them. If you’re prepared and not stressed you’ll be relaxed, in the moment and fully connected with your little one.