Bath time is a great opportunity for bonding through play all while getting clean. But it’s so much more than that.
A growing body of evidence suggests that bath time plays an important role in your little one’s cognitive, emotional, social and motor development. By the time a child is three years old, their brain is already about 80% the size of an adult’s, and the amount of learning and development that occurs in those first three years happens at a rapid pace.1
When babies are immersed in a nurturing environment that is filled with tactile stimulation – like during bath time – that learning is only strengthened. From the water on their skin, to bubbles floating in the air, to the fresh smell of soap and the sounds of splashing and laughter as they play with bath toys, the rich sensory experiences that baby encounters in the bath provide a wealth of benefits beyond just getting clean.
Benefits of Bath Time
Bonding through Physical Touch
Skin to skin contact helps you and your baby connect by getting to know one another’s feel, smells, and energy.2 It fosters attachment and closeness and has been shown to reduce maternal anxiety. The gentle touch of bathing your baby’s skin also produces a relaxation response, which can improve sleep.3
Engaging the Senses
In addition to physical touch between parent and baby, there’s also the tangible feel of water on baby’s skin as well as the ability to distinguish different temperatures. The smell of shampoos or the sound of running water can improve their mood or help them relax. As an added bonus, bath toys with varying textures are great for engaging the senses even further.
Bath time is perfect for nurturing language skills. Talk and play with your baby, teaching them the names for each body part as you wash it. Ears, fingers, toes. You can even introduce rich vocabulary with words like splash, pour, drip, drizzle, and slippery. Floating toys or bath stickers are also great for teaching the alphabet and making learning fun.
Developing Fine Motor Skills
Squeezing sponges and playing with toys goes a long way to enhance your baby’s fine motor skills. Toys like the Dr. Brown’s™ CleanUp Float & Hatch Dino Eggs help to develop those motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination.
Cultivating Early Learning
Bath time play, like scooping up water and dumping it out again, introduces your child to the concepts of empty vs. full and less vs. more. The Dr. Brown’s™ CleanUp Pour & Roar Watering Can is designed to easily fit little hands. Plus, watching the water as it drains from the Triceratops mouth, horns and nose is just plain fun.
Bath time is a great time to teach your toddler important self-care skills. They gain a crucial sense of independence as they are able to clean their own bodies and dry off on their own. It’s also a great opportunity to begin teaching them responsibility as they learn to put away their bath toys afterward.
Bonus Benefit for Parents – Digital Detox
Because bath time requires your full attention to keep your child safe around water, it’s the perfect time to put your phone away. When you are distraction-free, you not only get a nice break from texts and emails, but you open yourself up to more meaningful interactions with your little one as you focus on what’s most important.
For more bath toys to enrich your baby’s bath time, plus soothing after-bath skincare, visit the shop on our website here.