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Can Bath Time Help With Baby’s Development?

Traditionally, we’re inclined to think that bath time is just a time to clean your baby, a part of your everyday routine, but it’s more than just that! Bath time, both cleansing and massage, can offer a multi-sensory playground where parents and babies have the opportunity to not only bond but also discover, together.

Did you know that playing with bubbles can help your baby develop hand-eye coordination? Take note and watch as your little one is mesmerised by the bubbles floating in the water. Playing music and singing songs during bath time can stimulate parts of the brain responsible for memory, while playing certain types of music can stimulate parts of the brain responsible for visual imagery. Talking back and forth with your baby during bath time can help with language development. Studies show infants who are spoken with more have larger vocabularies by 24 months.

Routine massage before or after bath time is a perfect opportunity for skin-to-skin touch. It’s shown to improve a baby’s sleep quality and quantity as part of a bedtime routine. And as we all know, a good bedtime routine can be really beneficial for both mom and baby!

Encourage Social-Emotional Development

Have fun and celebrate your child’s accomplishments, such as squeezing the water from the sponge or floating a toy. Explore and play games like patting the water back-and-forth to make a splash. This will teach her about taking turns and that engaging with activities together is fun and rewarding. Cuddle up together after bath time and share a bonding moment. Show her that she is loved, which will build her self-esteem.

Language and Thinking Skills

Engage with your baby by listening out for her sounds and gestures, such as indicating she would like you to read a book. Respond with praise and then settle down for a cuddle and a read. This reinforces that sounds and actions are a good way to show what you are thinking or feeling. When bathing your baby, talk with her and explain what you are doing together. For instance, drop the ducky in the water and exclaim, “Look, he floats!”. When you talk to your child like this during activities, it helps your child to learn words and concepts like sinking and floating.

Physical Development

Make bathtime fun and educational by offering your baby a variety of toys so she can explore and discover with her hands. Transferring objects from one hand to another and using her 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 she uses them. Praise her when she uses her hands to pop bubbles and tell her what body part she is using.

This article has been sponsored by the JOHNSON’S® brand.


Do you use bath time as a chance to help your baby develop?
What part of bath time do you love the most?


 

About the Author

Editor of eumom.ie, Mairéad Cahalan is a creator of content, a lover of music, red wine and coffee, and a part-time wedding singer! Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud and LinkedIn.

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