Splish Splash: 5 Reasons to add a bath to your child’s evening routine this summer!

Written by Dr. Kate McCann
18th June 2024

It’s almost summer, and sleep can become a problem in some families.  Here are some top tips – and why I would suggest you could consider adding a bath to your child’s evening routine**!

1. Good time for the “tick check” after a day of playing outside

2. Help them cool down before bed on hot summer evenings.

3.  Baths can help children wind down before bed for better sleep on bright evenings.

4. Good time to wet comb with detection comb to check for lice once a week.

5. Water play (pouring, squirting) is great for development. (Ignore the video – my youngest prefers empty shampoo bottles to any of these toys, btw!)

We won’t even mention the obvious health benefits of getting all that dirt out of scraped knees and from under fingernails.  If your child has sensitive skin or other health conditions, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice, including on soap substitute products.

Reminder:  Never leave young children unattended near or in a bath. 

**If you are struggling with sleep in your home, and don’t have a routine, it is worth considering. “Bedtime routines” are important for healthy sleep for all ages, and should be the hour before bed and screen-free. Child bedtime routines often involve:

1. Preparing for the transition.  “ok, we are going upstairs in 10 minutes.  This is the last game.”  or “This has been so much fun.  Will you help me put the cars back in their garage and say good night to them?”  “It’s almost bedtime.  WE are going to finish this up soon.”  For older children/teens, this should involve logging out of apps and turning off all screens and placing the devices in a charging point in a common area of the home, not their bedroom.

2. Hygiene – washing hands/face, brushing teeth, taking a bath, combing hair.  The same routine is helpful every night.

3. Quiet activity to unwind depending on age:  rocking and singing, reading a story.  For older children and adults, this may be quiet reading to themselves.   Listening to music or an age-appropriate guided meditation are other options.

4.  For infants, a bed time feed may be part of this routine.  For older children, a practice that includes a way to deal with worries of the day may help. This can include “worry dolls”, telling the fairies, or gratitude practice.

 

 

 

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