Bath time is a great way to encourage your baby to love the water; read up on our bath time tips to discover the fundamentals of infant bathing, and the ways that you can make the experience easier, safer and more enjoyable for both you and your baby. Once you feel confident that your little one has gotten to grips with the basics of bath time, you can start to introduce toys and activities to make the experience more fun for them.
Whilst some babies don’t need any encouragement when it comes to bath time, there are others who may need some extra guidance; bringing gameplay into the mix will enhance their enjoyment of the tub. Some of these bathing games can be developed to suit the swimming pool too, creating a sense of familiarity in the water that’ll keep those water wobbles at bay!
Bath time rhymes
Bathing is a sensory experience for babies, so adding to it with music and rhyme is bound to hold their attention. Try sticking to a maritime or underwater theme and encourage your baby to splash or clap as you sing.
Some ocean-themed rhymes include, ‘1, 2, 3, 4, 5…’ and ‘I’m a Little Fishy’ (sung to the tune of ‘I’m a Little Tea Pot’), as below:
I'm a little fishy, I can swim
Here is my tail, here is my fin.
When I want to have fun with my friends,
I wiggle my tail and dive right in!
Adding song and rhyme to your baby’s experience in the water is something that can be translated to their swimming sessions too; find out more about this, and other swimming games for babies and toddlers here.
Bath time puppet show
Using a characterful wash glove, entertain your little one with a puppet show as you clean them. Choose a character wash glove that’s soft to the touch and bold in colour to really draw your baby’s eyes to the show.
As your child grows, encourage them to create their own bath time puppet show for you; this interactive activity is a perfect bonding opportunity, and develops their creativity through imagination and role play.
Hide the soap
Adapt the classic ‘Peek-a-Boo’ game for the bath by making the soap “disappear” and magically reappear in the water. This game is perfect for bringing giggles to your baby’s bath time, distracting them whilst you give them a clean. Always remember to use a gentler, baby-friendly bath soap for your baby’s delicate skin.
Bring on the bubbles!
There’s no better place for bubbles than in the bath; stock up on your party bubbles and bring them to your baby’ bath time. Your baby will love to watch them float in the air and catch them in their hands. Using different sized wands will create larger or smaller bubbles, introducing your little one to the concept of ‘big’ and ‘small.’ As your baby develops, you can teach them how to blow bubbles themselves.
Health professionals advise parents not to bathe their children in bubbles until they’re at least 3 years of age, so this is a great alternative to a bubble bath when they’re young.
Using a wash cloth, play ‘peek-a-boo’ with your baby. Hiding their toes, hands or tummy with the cloth, say ‘where are your [name of body part]?’ Then ‘here they are!’ This game is great for creating an audio-sensory experience for newborn bathers. Once they’re able to sit up independently, you can adapt this game by covering your own face. Say ‘where’s [your baby’s name]?’ then, ‘here [she/he] is!’ instead.
As they get older, making bath time part of your little one’s daily routine is a lovely, relaxing way to end the day – for both you and your baby. By developing their enjoyment of this, you’ll instil a confidence and calm around the water, which will in turn aid their swimming. The benefits of baby swimming are well-documented, and the ability to swim is a potentially life-saving skill that they’ll never forget.