I’ll be brutally honest with you: I didn’t let myself get nervous about having a brand new baby (both times I had a brand new baby). Feeding? You just feed it. Burping? The little thing will eventually burp. Sleeping? It is what it is (or isn’t). But bathing for the first time? INSERT PANIC AND FIGHTS WITH HUSBAND HERE. I take trying to be fabulous very seriously… bathing my babes is NOT my strong suit.
Even though my second baby is nearing one year old (how did that happen?!?) I’m still a paranoid nutcase about bath time… and my husband and I still have our battling moments about it. The cause? Me: Babies in water flat out scare me (but I have dramatically improved since that very FIRST bath more than 2 years ago). Despite my husband being a pediatric surgeon who knows how to handle slippery infants with unparalleled precision, I was PETRIFIED to bathe each of my babies for the first time (and the second, third, fourth and on and on).
With my first baby, I was frozen with fear about pouring water over her head and letting it just run down her face. Never mind the soap getting in her eyes … One drop of H2O into those tiny nostrils and SURELY SHE’D DROWN. (That can happen, right?) On her first bath, I shielded her face with my hands as though the water I was washing her with was poisonous. And then my husband swooped in and dumped a WHOLE CUP of water over her head. I still remember our fight (e.g. me screaming and yelling at him that he was going to drown our first baby and him yelling back how ridiculous I was acting and our little newborn baby staring up at us not even knowing what was going on). Two years later, I can still barely bear to watch him give either of our girls a bath with all of his unabashed dumping of water on their innocent heads and all over the place. It. Just. Scares. Me.
My fear for bathing my second baby isn’t much different. In fact, bathing my second one for the first time was a lot like bathing my first child for the first time. The slippery limbs. The awkward maneuvering of a tiny body laying on a giant turtle sponge in our shallow sink. Her eyes staring up at me saying “Don’t screw this up Mom… the stakes are high.” The fear of it all came flashing back too quickly. I gave up and immediately passed her over to my husband… even though I was cringing the whole time. Everything else concerning baby, I could do. This bath thing? Not. Really. Interested.
So what does my husband do to chill me out? He continues to laugh and dump huge cups of water over both of my girls’ precious heads to wash their shampoo out … And to prove a point that babies won’t instantly drown from having a cup of water run down their face.
But you know what? For the most part they actually seem to like it. And I’m getting better too… especially when there are such cute hooded towels to wrap them up in afterwards.
Don’t be scared like I was. Just be cautious, hold on tight to those tiny arms and go easy on the dumping (even though my husband would disagree).
ARE YOU (OR WERE YOU) NERVOUS TO BATHE YOUR BABY?