Being a new parent is all about eternal love and devotion to the precious child. It's also all about cutting corners wherever and whenever possible. The sooner that new moms and dads learn where they can apply a time saving (or sanity-saving) hack, the better off they will be.
Parenthood is a marathon folks; we are in this for the long haul. In the end, there will be no awards for the fanciest birthday party thrown or the most beautifully, creative dinner served on a Tuesday evening. Our reward comes in the form of getting the kids to age 18. If they reach adulthood, then we are all winners my friends.
Hacks, tips, and tricks don't make you a lazy parent or a lesser parent. They make you a smarter parent. In the game of motherhood, you want to work smarter, not harder. Conserve whatever energy you have, because you will surely need it. If you can make mealtime or bathtime easier, then run with it! Here are ten genius ways that moms and dads can save a few precious minutes during infant bathtime and ten bathtime hacks that might not save time, but they definitely will save your sanity.
20 Don't Bathe The Baby Every Night
Many new moms and dads are led to believe that they have to scrub their newborn down each and every night, but that is not so! Bathing your infant too often can cause more harm than good. Infants don't have the same oils or odors as their stinky parents, so there is no need to clean them up regularly. Frequent bathing can cause an infants skin to dry out severely, become irritated or lead to eczema. Most experts recommend a soak every two to three days for young infants, unless there is some sort of diaper explosion or a major spit up disaster. Just by cutting back on the daily baths, parents can save a few hours a week.
19 The Sink Will Be Mom's Best Friend
It's true. Get ready to fall in love with your kitchen sink of all things. Being a new mother will give you a sincere appreciation for random things that you never looked twice at before. Any help is appreciated during these initial days as a new mother, even if the support comes in the form of a porcelain basin. Large bathtubs can be daunting, and even infant baths can feel a bit slippery, plus they are sometimes challenging to crouch over and wash your squirmy infant in. Kitchen sinks work beautifully for cleaning little ones in. No bending, no crouching, and they are the perfect size for little ones, plus most come with a detachable nozzle.
18 Lay The Towel Out Next To The Wash Bin
Even if you have a few baby bathing sessions under your belt and consider yourself to be a professional, don't get too cocky when it comes to handling a wet and wiggling newborn. They are slipperier than they look people! The last thing moms want to do is bath a baby and then carry them over to their towel in the next room. A lot can happen in that ten feet of space. Wherever you are, that is where your towel should be. Place it in the ground, perhaps with another one underneath for soft comfort. Don't try and transport your soapy little dude to their towel.
17 Create A Bathing kit
Remember those shower caddies that we used back in our college days? Get ready to resurrect them once you become a new mommy. These plastic caddies are the jam when it comes to diapering and bathing kids. Have them handy wherever you are doing the bulk of your baby bathing so that your soap, washcloths, and lotions and never more than an arm's length away. When it comes to little ones and water, you don't want to take your eyes or hands off of them for even a few seconds, so create ready-made kits to make bath time easy and safe.
16 Enlist Help
If baby bathing makes you anxious because you have convinced yourself that your squirmy tot is going to tumble underneath the water or out of your arms, then save this chore for the end of the day and make it a family bonding activity. Include your husband in bathtime, following dinner, and use this task to relish in the tiny human that the two of you together created. Consider doing this even if you are comfortable with the process. Feel free to involve older siblings in the bathtime routine too! I used to let each of my older girls help bathe one of our little twins every few nights. They indeed were very helpful with handing me toiletries and wiping infant fat folds, and they felt involved and bonded to their new baby sisters.
15 Know When The Time Is Right
There is this time of day in an infant's life where they are tiny tyrants at best. Some seasoned mothers call this "The Witching Hour." If you know that your little one is a major, inconsolable grump around 7 p.m., then don't do an evening bath. If you are starting to recognize that you have a smiley happy baby in the mornings, shoot for bathtime then. The last thing you want to do is wash your little one up when they are upset. A screaming, thrashing baby that is lathered up in suds is pretty stressful to handle and far more time consuming than a content baby. Even mothers who have done this a million times already will feel their blood pressure rise when bathtime is packed with tears.
14 Create The Ultimate Bath Supply Organization
If I could go back in time and re-hack my new days as a parent, I would do this. One thing that new moms and dads quickly learn is that babies may be small, yet somehow they cause tornado-level disasters to bathrooms at bathtime. It is not uncommon to walk into the bathroom after your baby is tucked in for bed and stare at a soaking wet room full of towels, washcloths, toys, soap, and buckets full of water on every surface. For the mom who needs to have some level of organization in her life to feel zen or the mom who frankly doesn't feel like spending an hour every night cleaning the bathroom floor, try this hack out. All you need is a shower curtain tod, some cheap plastic bins, and shower curtain rings. Make sure to drill holes in the bottom of the containers for drainage purposes.
13 Make Sure The Water Temperature Is Spot On!
Well, well, well. What is this little gem? For moms and dads who fret over the perfect bathwater temperature, this is the ultimate bath time accessory. No longer will parents spend precious minutes testing the bath water, adding hot or cold water to the tub, and rechecking the temperature for ten minutes before popping their tyke into the bathtub. This gadget tells you exactly what temperature water you are pouring into the bath. This thermometer is a step up from the general spout cover and pulls dual duty by notifying parents of water temps while protecting little noggins from bath spout bumps. What will inventors think of next?
12 Assemble The Washcloths Beforehand
To people who don't have kids, this seems a little extra. To parents of newborns, it sounds downright genius. When bathing a small human, you pretty much don't even have a hand to use for grabbing and reaching let along squirting out soap and twisting off shampoo bottle caps. Mothers really should be able to grow a third arm once their babies arrive. Assemble your washcloths beforehand. Have one that is soaked in warm water to cover your baby's chest with. This will help keep her from getting chilled. Have one that is soapy and another that is sans-soap. This hack will ensure that all you have to do is grab the appropriate cloth for the job at hand, never needing to mess with slippery bottles.
11 Join In!
This seems like a slightly safer idea to try out with babies who have a bit more body control and trunk stability, but it's a great hack for bathtime nonetheless. The one thing new moms never seem to have time for is a warm bath. Why not fill up the tub and cuddle your baby while you are soaking. Bathing with your infant can create a moment of bonding between you and your darling baby, and it will give you that magical bath that you have been longing for ever since you became a mother. Talk about killing to birds with one stone! Just make sure that you are adept at handling a slippery infant and that the water is not too hot.
10 Create A Spa-Like Environment
No matter how many tips and tricks some parents try to make infant bath time a soothing, bonding experience for all, some babies don't dig the water. Babies aren't crazy about being cold, and even with the warm bath water, they can become chilled pretty quickly, especially with air-conditioned air in the bathroom or during the colder months. A few minutes before bathing your buddy, try running the hot water in the shower in hopes of creating a moist, warm environment to relax your dry-land-loving infant. Throw a few drops of lavender in a diffuser to really up the spa-like experience.
9 Soften Bath Edges
Many people have shower-bathtub combinations that have an edge of metal serving as a shower runner along the side of the tub. This serves an important function in connecting the bathtub and the shower, but it also can be a hazard to small babies who seem to get bumped and hurt on just about everything in sight. Buy yourself a cheap pool noodle, cut along the edge of the noodle and slip it onto the metal frame ridge to keep your tot from smacking his precious limbs on the hard surface. It's not the prettiest thing to gaze at, but it's a lot better than staring at a giant scrape or bruise on your child that could have been prevented.
8 Mold Proof The Bath Toys
Bath toys are cute, and kiddos love them, but they are also primary breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. These plastic, squirt toys often have a small hole in the bottom of them meant for expelling any standing water, but moisture is bound to get trapped up in your baby's favorite rubber duckie, and before you know it, Junior will be gumming a moldy, bacteria-laced toy during his soak. Get yourself some superglue or better yet a hot glue gun, and use it to plug up the holes in the bottom of toys. Furthermore, make sure to sanitize bath toys often in order to keep them safe for infant play.
7 Scrub The Tub The Natural Way
When it comes to bathtub cleaners, many commercial products are loaded with harmful chemicals that you likely would prefer your infant to steer clear of. You might consider whipping up a batch of far less toxic bath and shower cleaner to scrub your tub down with. In order to remove shower and tub gunk, create a paste of water and baking soda and go to town on those hard to remove water spots. For really stubborn stains, try a vinegar and baking soda paste. Vinegar and water mixed at a 50/50 ratio will disinfect tile, glass, counters, and cabinets. The bonus is vinegar is crazy cheap, as is baking soda.
6 Baby-Proof The Water Spout
Once your tyke graduates to paddling around in the adult bathtub, new dangers emerge. That's the way it is with child rearing. They pass through one danger zone safely only to encounter ten more. Large bathtubs often come with metal waterspouts that are eye level with sitting babies. One wonk on the water spout and bathtime can become a dreaded event for both mother and child. Fear not mom! You can get yourself a spout-proofer pretty much anywhere these days, making any accidental head to spout bumps less painful. Check out this super cute one HERE that is sold on Amazon for a little over ten dollars.
5 This Bathing Cap Is Worth The Money
Check out this stylish infant hat! Okay, this isn't something that your darling little lamb is going to be wearing to the park, but she can rock it at bathtime. If there is one thing that little ones hate, it's getting water in their eyes. For a few dollars, you can purchase one of these nifty caps for your kiddo so that they never have to experience the sting of soap and water in the eyes. Anything that might prevent your infant from screaming and thrashing about during bath time is worth a try, especially when the product is about the same cost as a latte!
4 Turn Bathtime Into Playtime
Bathtime is an excellent space in the busy week to interact with your infant. You can merely coo and speak to them, allowing young ones to better learn to focus on your face and make new faces of their own, or you can get fancy-smancy and channel your creative genius side. In less than an hour, you can turn a simple bath cloth into a water-friendly puppet to stimulate your infant, who is bound to be fascinated by such a contraption. If only kids stayed thrilled with such simple toys for a few years longer, we parents would have it made.
3 Line The Tub With A Towel
Regular sized bathtubs, sinks and even specially made infant baths can get very slippery and believe me, new parents need LESS slippery in their lives. An easy way to help your mini-me stay put while in their tub is to lay an old towel down on the tub surface. The texture of the towel will create a less slippery surface, making your job as your baby's number one cleanser far easier. It's important to note that this hack is by no means foolproof. Even with the help of a towel, you should never take your hands or eyes off of your bathing baby. It takes but a second for a little one to slip right under the surface of the water.
2 Try A Swaddle Bath
Swaddle baths are quickly becoming a new and preferred method to wash your baby. Swaddle baths are meant to better soothe young babies who are not used to the new sensations of air temperature and sponge bath temperatures. To try this serene technique out apply a loose swaddle to your child and slip them into a warm bath. Once submerged from their shoulders down, remove one limb at a time from the wrap to clean the baby. Nurses who have used this technique in hospitals with newborn babies reported far less crying during swaddle baths compared to traditional sponge baths.
1 When It Comes To Soap, Less Is Best
Young babies don't need a whole lot of soap to get very clean. They don't get germy, stinky and dirty like us adults do. A little bit of sud goes a long way when it comes to babies. Furthermore, don't get wrapped up in the wild world of infant product marketing. Developers of infant bath products make just about every scented soap that you could think up. Your baby doesn't need a basil-mango shampoo, in fact, the dyes and perfumes in many of these infant bath products can cause harm to a young baby. Keep the scents simple when it comes to what you lather your baby up with.