When he creates a splash by dropping his rubber ducky in the tub your baby learns about cause and effect.
If your baby could talk
What could be more awesome than a giant puddle in a steamy, warm
room, where I’m center stage and no one is allowed to interrupt us?
you and me and my belly and my nose and my fingers and all the other
parts of me that you tell me about. I can fill cups with water and dump
them in the tub. And when you soap me up it feels so good.
Watch me! I
can rub my belly clean just the way you do. Floating boats and ducks and
bubbles all make my bath time even more fun. When we’re done, I love to
be wrapped up in a warm towel and snuggled, and hear you tell me how
sweet I smell. Hmmm. I’m something special.
What your baby is learning:
Your gentle and respectful touch, during the bath and when you’re cuddling
afterwards, builds your baby’s self-esteem because it makes him
feel good about himself.
He develops important social skills when he gets
you involved in a playful splashing game. He figures out how to engage
you, take turns and have fun.
This helps prepare him to share good times
with other people as he grows.
How things work
A few simple water toys can go a long way toward enhancing the learning
opportunities of bath time.
When he creates a splash by dropping his rubber
ducky in the tub, or empties the full container, your baby learns
about cause and effect—how things work.
Math and science
He is also discovering basic
math and science concepts such as full and empty, floating and sinking,
and the difference between liquids and solids.
Most important, all of this
learning takes place within the context of his loving relationship with
There’s no better way to stimulate his curiosity.
What you can do:
- Always keep your baby safe in the bath!
- Six-month-olds learn by imitation. Fill up a bucket, or make the rubber
ducky squeak and encourage him to do the same.
- You don’t have to wait until nighttime to give your baby a bath. Even
during the day it can be soothing and help him switch gears.
This article was provided in collaboration with the Too Small to Fail Initiative of the Clinton Foundation.