Bath time with multiples: Let’s dive in!
We hear over and over, practice makes perfect. And when it comes to parenting twins, one way to get plenty of practice juggling your babies is during bath time. Early on, it can be daunting to imagine being left alone with two newborns for even an hour, much less bathing them by yourself. Twin mama and postpartum doula Karen Baker offers up tips to help parents of multiples dive confidently into bath time.
“I got surprisingly adept at juggling what felt like slippery little octopuses in and out of the tub,” Karen said. “And yet, bath time became my favorite time of day. My sweet babies loved it, too, and smelled delicious afterward.” Now as a postpartum doula, Karen has helped countless sets of twin families over the last years, and bath time is still one of her favorite doula activities.
A key ingredient to bath time success is proper planning. As Karen’s wise father-in-law says, follow the 5 Ps: Prior planning prevents poor performance. That means gather all items needed before bringing babies into the bathroom. These include bath sponge for newborns, towels, washcloths, and head to toe bath soap. Fill a sink or infant bathtub with warm water. With her twins, Karen placed a bouncy chair in the bathroom along with pacifiers and toys for the baby waiting their turn. Also have on hand fresh diapers and pajamas. Everything should be within arm’s reach.
If both parents are home, or you have helpful visitors, you can opt to bathe one baby at a time while they entertain the other. But if you find yourself frequently alone with the babies at bath time, bring them into the bath space together. “One of my babies would relax in a bouncy chair nearby so I had easy access to both babies. I undressed and began bathing baby #1 while keeping baby #2 occupied with my singing or with toys or a paci,” Karen explained. No doubt, sometimes bathing two babies can be chaotic! “A benefit of the 5 Ps and the set up mentioned I used is, once I finished bathing the first baby, I moved to the second without having to leave the room.” Of course, never leave any baby unattended at bath time. Karen then diapered and dressed the freshly bathed baby and undressed the next, while draining and refilling the tub with fresh water. Baby #1 then got a turn in the bouncy chair.
Bath time can be done as a family activity when both parents are home by bathing the newborns together in the tub. Place infant bath sponges – one of our favorite bath tools – side by side in the bathtub, add a couple of inches of warm water, and place babies next to each other on the sponges. Each parent leans over the tub and tends to their bathing beauty.
As your babies get older, bath time together gets easier. Once Karen’s twins could sit unassisted, bath time became splash time as bathing together became the norm.
Although bath time can be a favorite wind down activity in many households, alternating bath days with a lotion massage every other day was more manageable and gentler on delicate baby skin.
You have options for bath time with your babies – either as a team or on your own. And though it may seem overwhelming at first, as with all multiple-related activities, keep practicing and you will soon you master the art of bathing multiples.