When I became pregnant with baby #2 (the one we now call Milo), Whitney asked our friends and scoured the Internets for baby advice for me. The best one about bathing a baby (when you have two under two or even two under three) is “Just bathe the dirtiest one.”
We used that tip for a long time. Here are several methods for giving your two little ones a bath that have worked for our friends and readers:
Just bathe the dirtier one. One at at time, no big whoop. The big kid can help by handing you supplies or playing nearby (or watching TV). If the little one is not in the tub, a baby seat is a great device. We also had an exersaucer in the bathroom for just such occasions.
Little tub. Big tub. My friend Laurie’s two are almost exactly two years apart. When she bathed Big Theo in the large tub, she could also fit Little Zoe’s baby tub inside the tub. This kept Zoe relatively protected from her big brother’s impulses (pictured). Our baby tub was a bit larger (AKA Eurobath) and could be used at the same time outside the tub.
Bath tub ring thing. While this handy device is not a substitute for your total vigilance in the bathroom during the Great Wash, it can be like an extra pair of hands. Baby must be able to sit unassisted and have relatively thin thighs. It worked well for Scarlett but not for chunkier Milo. Whitney said, “I did use the bath ring for Scarlett, once she could sit up on her own. She went last in, first out (LIFO for the geeks) and we allowed Julian, age 3.5, to be unsupervised in the tub (bad parents) for long enough to put her diaper on in her room and grab jammies for her. Then she would stand at the side of the tub and watch the rest of his bath.”
Go for it in the big tub. Once your baby can sit up unassisted, you might be ready for the real tub! The first time you try to bathe your two little ones in a regular bath tub, you will want help. It will be scary and slippery just like the first time you tried to bathe your infant in a bucket or the kitchen sink. After a few times of practice, you can hand this job off to daddy or even a babysitter without having a panic attack. I promise.
Even though we totally think you deserve a merit badge, bathing kids is just something moms do!
Remember to grab your towels in advance and lay out jammies to save yourself some headaches and wetness once the tub(s) drain.
Do you have any other parent-tested methods for bathing a couple of little ones?
[Photo credit: Laurie Zee]