Bath Time Benefits for Baby
Fun in the tub nurtures a baby’s developmentBy FamilyFeatures.com
From bath to bedtime, there are a number of rituals parents participate in with their children that bring them closer together. These small acts provide a sense of security to little ones and serve as family bonding time.
However, many parents do not realize these everyday moments can be more impactful than they seem.
Many parents already know that bath time is some of the best quality time they get with their child, yet many parents underestimate its power. Emerging and foundational research reveals multi-sensorial experiences such as bath time can be critical to baby’s happy, healthy development.
During the first three years of life, 85 percent of baby’s brain is formed. Researchers have found that during the formative first years of life, every interaction — every moment — is an opportunity to help shape baby’s developing brain.
Bath time is more than cleansing; it’s a ritual that allows parents to unlock the full power of baby’s senses with opportunities to use smell, touch, sight and sound. Make bath time mean more with these fun ideas:
1Don’t leave out the bubbles
Playing with bubbles can help babies develop hand-eye coordination and discover objects exist even when they can’t be seen.
2Be a rock star for the night
Play music and sing songs during bath time to stimulate parts of the brain responsible for memory, as well as those parts that deal with visual imagery.
3Give a language lesson in the tub
Talk back and forth with baby during this time. It can help with language development.
4Link smell with happy memories
Pleasant smells, like those from a fragranced bath product, can create long lasting memories for baby when paired with the loving interaction of a parent.
5Turn up the volume
No, we don’t mean the music. Bring plastic containers into the bathtub and encourage your little one to pour water into them, to teach about capacity and volume.
6Let them color their (wet) world
Give your child paint or crayons made specifically for the bath.
Another big part of the after-bath routine is routine massage, and research shows that babies who receive routine touch and massage are more likely to make eye contact and have an overall positive expression. Yet, according to Johnson’s Global Bath Time Report, nearly three in 10 parents (28 percent) believe baby massages are not at all important for their child’s brain development. Studies have also showed that skin-on-skin contact through routine massage can lead to improved cognitive development and increased attentiveness for children.
Remember to think of the bath time routine as more than a simple task. It fosters development and can create a sense of well-being for baby and parents, alike.
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