How to shower with your baby..
I shared with my friend the other day that I showered with my newborn and she was seriously impressed and wondered how I did it. I’ve showered all my babies once their umbilical stumps fell off and then I didn’t have issue with them not liking a shower. For those of you wondering, I stop showering with them once they notice we have different body parts and/or are old enough to wash themselves. Showering your baby is a great time to bond and doesn’t have to be scary, but it does take a little bit of preparation.
I start by getting out fresh clothes and a diaper for baby and put it where I will be getting him dressed. Then I pick out fresh clothes for myself and hang my bathrobe in the bathroom. I grab a fresh wash cloth and towel for the baby and turn on the water to get it nice and warm. Next, I undress the baby down to his diaper and wrap him in a blanket and put him in his bouncer, which is right outside my shower.
Then I hop in the shower and complete my washing routine so when I bring the baby in all I have to do is focus on him. I step out of the shower and pick him up and bring him in with me. If you notice that the baby startles from the water simply hold him close and fold their arms in. It will help them feel secure and then relax. I wash my baby in the same pattern I wash myself- top to bottom. I wash their head/hair, then move on down the body. I wash their back while holding them to my chest- in the same position that you burp a baby in. Then I put him in the crook of my arm and wash the side that is out- cleaning under his neck, his arm, his chest, and so on. Once that side is done, I rinse and switch arms that I’m holding in and repeat for the other side of his body. While I’m washing him I may sing a song or just talk and coo at him. When we are done, I wrap in him in his dry towel and place him in the bouncer and cover him up with a blanket to stay warm while I towel off. Then I throw on my bathrobe and go get him dressed.
I recommend trying this when you are not rushed for time. You don’t want to add to your stress by having to hurry. Overall, showering with my baby saves me time because I don’t have to give him a separate bath and clean up after tub time. I shower or bathe my little guy every day, I know that not every baby needs a bath every day or can every baby’s skin tolerate it either it may dry them out too much. My newborn has probably had fifteen or so showers at this point and he loves it. He smiles and totally relaxes in there. Go ahead and give it a try, you may find that it works for your family.
Kristen Jokinen, BS, DONA Trained
Why is it so hard to find and keep fellow mommies as friends? As women, we crave interaction and support from other women, it’s hard wired into our nature. As girls we made friends at school and played together and shared common interests; sports, dolls, television shows. Our teenage years might have been a little difficult to find and keep friends, especially if you weren’t popular (like me), but you may have been friends with the other girls on the fringes of different groups. We know how to be friends and the qualities we are looking for in a friend, so why is it so hard to have “mommy” friends?
I have a couple of ideas about this. Moms whether they work outside of the home or are a SAHM have a lot of demands on their time. A mom’s time is precious, after juggling work, the kids, the house, her spouse/partner, she may not have any energy (mental/physical or emotional) to invest in a friend. Some days I barely have any leftover energy for self-care, let alone energy to think about my friends.
The “mommy wars” also plays into today’s women lacking friends. We are put at odds over how we do everything and we are led to believe that there is a “right and a wrong” way to do everything, from how we feed our babies, how we let them sleep, to our overall parenting style. We hope to find a friend that believes everything we do and does everything the same as us- but what if we meet a woman that we like but she doesn’t do anything the way we do? Can we be friends with her? If we do befriend her, are we going to try to “convert” her or will she try and “convert” us? How about a third option- we act like grown women and just enjoy one another’s company without feeling the need to tell her how to do anything?
The third obstacle to having mommy friends is finding them. Where do all the mommies hang out? Well, that depends on what her interests are. She might be at the yoga studio, YMCA or a cross fit box. Maybe she’s at the library during story time or a mommy and me music class. Maybe she’s strolling the aisles of Target or Hobby Lobby with a good cup of coffee and a baby strapped to her in a carrier. My friends are from work, church or fellow army spouses, because that’s where my interests lie. I’ve made a bunch of “acquaintances” via Facebook groups but I haven’t met any of them in “real life”- yet. I think Facebook is a great way to connect with other women and if you have social anxiety it may be a great solution for you.
My best advice for a finding a friend is this- “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly” Proverbs 18:24. When you see that fellow mom strolling your favorite store, don’t be afraid to comment on that super cute mug she’s holding. You may have started a conversation that will lead to your new BFF. You may have to invest in others and show them that you are friendly and willing to invest in them before you are “friends”.Maybe you got a new neighbor who is a single mom or whose husband just deployed; bring her over some “box” brownies. She might just be lonely for conversation that isn’t about Bubble Gupppies too. I think this is key, especially in today’s culture where it is so self-centered and all about “me”. We need to think about others and how we can support them, and maybe, then you will find your friend.
Kristen Jokinen,BS, DONA Trained Doula
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