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Why baby’s bath time is a perfect time for learning

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?

Just

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:

Self-esteem

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.

Social skills

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.

Love

Most important, all of this

learning takes place within the context of his loving relationship with

you.

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.

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