Taylor has loved baths since she was about a month old. Her umbilical cord fell off right around her two week birthday, and Jake and I couldn't wait to give her her first real bath. We tested the water to be sure it wasn't too hot or too cold, had all of the necessary shampoo and lotion lined up neatly on the bathroom counter, and into the pink whale tub she went. She screamed from the time we took off her clothes until the time we put them back on. Turns out when you only weigh seven pounds, a bath can be quite freezing without any extras to keep you warm.
Once she started to put on a little chub, bath time became much more enjoyable (for all of us). Around six months, Taylor outgrew the pink whale and was finally able to stably sit in the full-size tub on her own. Since then, bath time has turned into a completely different adventure. Free range of the tub has definitely led to slipping, sliding, and a whole lot more splashing. This lifesaver allows her to play without me having to worry about her constantly bumping her head. It has also led her to develop an extreme fascination with the water spout. She is mesmerized by the water pouring out of the spout, continually amazed about where the water comes from and my ability to turn it on and off. Oh, to be that innocent again!
While time spent in the bath tub is something we all look forward to each night, we equally dread what comes next. Taylor has come to completely despise getting dressed. I'm not sure if it's the fact that she has to stop moving for ten seconds or that she has to lay on her back, but she will kick and twist and scream until she finally breaks free. The simple task of putting on a diaper, applying lotion, and clothing the child has become an arduous task. It doesn't take long for all of the joyous memories from the bath that just occurred to be thrown out the window. I'm hoping this is just a phase that will eventually get better, because every clothing and diaper change is exhausting.
We established a nightly bath time routine early on in order to develop Taylor's sleep schedule. The routine time changed frequently as she grew, but the order always remained the same: bath, bottle, bed. It was a routine that she came to know and demand. Very rarely do we skip her night time bath. Honestly, I think the combination of a warm bath and this lavender lotion really does help calm and soothe her. And even after the nightmare that occurs post-bath, she settles down as soon as she gets her bottle. We typically feed her while rocking in the glider in her room. It's familiar, quiet, and ensures she doesn't get distracted from the impending sleep that is slowly creeping up on her. After her bottle, we'll read her a book or two (depending on how sleepy she is) and then it's straight into the crib. After a million hugs and kisses, she puts in her binky and snuggles up to her glow worm (which is a sweetest sight, especially after the torture I just endured trying to clothe her). No sooner than I turn off the light, she's halfway asleep.
While I know that what works for one kid doesn't always work for another (different strokes/different folks), our tot is a child of routine. She knows when it's time for bed and rarely disputes it. The kid loves her sleep, and I love her 8:00 bedtime, because it allows me time to write these blogs. And keep my sanity. So let's all be thankful...