A warm, snuggly bath right before bed is enjoyable for your baby and also has many sleep benefits. Most babies love a bath, a fun way to get the germs off from a hard day of being a little one. Incorporating a bath into your bedtime routine ensures a clean child, good bonding time for you both and sets them up for a great night’s sleep. Here are some benefits of a bedtime bath and why you should consider it as a part of your bedtime routine.
It solidifies the bedtime routine
Having a routine before bed is extremely important for little ones. Repeating the same routine each night will mean that they know sleep is coming and allows them to wind down. Adding a bath to the routine will help register with your child that a big night of sleep is about to begin and start making them sleepy once this routine is in practice. Having other parts to your routine like storytime, dimming lights, brushing teeth repeated in the same order each night will also help.
There is actual science behind bedtime baths too. When your child is having a warm bath the blood comes to the surface of their skin, this process is called vasodilation. The warming of the body means these blood vessels are open, so when they leave the bath their body temperature will drop a reasonable amount. This body temperature drop will allow them to fall asleep easier.
Our body temperature changes throughout the day, which can signal different meanings for our body. Our temperature will increase before we wake up, stay high through the day as we move around and will drop in the evening as a signal to sleep. This inclusion of the bedtime bath will help promote this process and give the right signals to the body to sleep.
Scientific research shows that by reducing your body temperature by 1C before bedtime, it can help with decreasing the time it takes to get to sleep, lower the chances of waking up in the night and also encourage sleeping longer. Even just a small drop in temperature could help your child with their sleeping.
Reduces bedtime tantrums
Often the transition from dinner to bed can result in a few tantrums along the way. Adding a bath to the mix can add that fun step in between that will limit the fussing. Most children love baths a great time to play with bath toys or even have a fun bubble bath. After dinner children can look forward to the fun bathtime and not get upset about having to go to bed. The warm bath should encourage sleep and once over they will hopefully be ready to hop into bed for storytime if that is a part of your routine.
A good bonding time
As children need to be supervised in the bath, it’s a great time for bonding. Having 100% of your attention babies and children will love being able to splash about and play with you. You might help clean them with a gentle skin cleanser. This skin-on-skin contact helps strengthen the bond between parent and child. A bath will encourage conversation between the parent and child, you might talk about the bath toys they are playing with or the way the water sounds when they splash. This is beneficial for helping the child understand the world around them.
Nice and clean
While it doesn’t feel like a chore, having a nice warm bath will help get any germs and dirt off after a big day. It will encourage good hygiene practices and make getting clean fun. Adding a gentle wash to the bath and helping your child wash will reinforce these good hygiene practices and make them extra squeaky clean. As mentioned earlier using a wash is great hygiene but also allows for skin-on-skin contact which is great for bonding.
Not all will have the privilege of having a bath in their house, but this doesn’t mean the little ones have to miss bath time. A makeshift plastic tub should be relatively easy to find from your local shopping center. You can fill it up in the shower to reduce any unwanted splashes in the bathroom. Fill it with warm shower water and then help your little in while still in the shower.
Moment of peace
Bathing your child is not only beneficial for them but has benefits for you too. Having to be 100% engaged at the task on hand gets you off your phone and lets you be present in the moment. You can let go of the busyness of the day and just focus on spending valuable time with your child.
Warm not hot
Make sure to check the water temperature before putting your little one in. The bath should be warm to the touch not hot. Having a too-hot bath can be uncomfortable and will raise their body temperature too much. When they’re too hot before bed sleep will become difficult as the body temperature drop signals sleep.
Relieves any cold symptoms
If your little one is suffering from some congestion or allergies, having the warm steam from the bath rise up will help clear up their sinuses. If they have any aching muscles the bath will also help relax these too.
After reading this you will hopefully have some insight into why you should include a warm bath before bed into your child’s routine. Adding this fun step could be the extra help they need to get a good night of sleep.