I know I don’t have to bathe my kids every night. It’s not a parenting law. Most people I know are on a three-days-a-week bathing schedule or the ever-popular every-other-night plan. And that’s fine. We seem to be the oddballs as we’re on the “every single night if it kills us” bath time plan. Even on vacation. Yes. Every night. Why? Because I’m a freak and also because…
1. Baths relax them.
There has always been something about a warm lavender scented bath wash that immediately puts our kids into bedtime mode. After a hard day of household destruction and cat-traumatizing, my kids need to take a load off, and baths are a way for them to simmer and get them to wind down before bed.
2. Bathtubs keep them contained.
Everyone stays in one spot for longer than 12 seconds. I don’t have to chase three kids in three different directions because there’s only one way out of the tub and that’s me, sitting there like a goalie waiting to intercept the first toddler to fling themselves out of their water-cage.
3. Bath time is a necessary part of our routine.
From the time their umbilical cords fell off, they were in the tub faster than a Kardashian can pose for a selfie. I didn’t mess around. Baths are just what happen after dinner and before bed — like how taxes happen after Christmas and before Summer.
4. They get to play with bath-only toys.
These are the toys that stay in the tub because they never dry fast enough to take out of the tub. So, every evening at bath time, it’s like new toys. When I rotate the toys out, it might as well be Christmas.
5. They love to be in the water.
Our kids have always been water babies. They spent nine months in it and never got tired of it. It takes little convincing to get them into the bath, and if we have an off-day and someone protests, it’s nothing a pair of goggles, a snorkel, and flippers can’t fix. Who doesn’t like to snorkel in the bath?
6. I hate dirty feet in sheets.
I really do. I can’t say for sure why, outside of the fact that I’m a freak. I can count on at least three fingers, the number of times my kids have all gone to bed with dirty feet. If we were stranded on a deserted island, I would use sand to exfoliate their skin and wash them in the ocean until their piggies sparkle and shine for bedtime in their leaf-beds, because freak.
7. It’s a quick and easy floor wash.
If your toddlers are like mine, occasionally using flippers, there’s enough water left on your floor to set sail in search of the Great White Whale. Grab a towel, mop that stuff up, and call it clean.
8. They think baths are fun.
And really, what kid doesn’t love sitting in a pile of bubbles and their own dirt, drinking from a washcloth you just used to wipe their sister’s face with. So, why take that away from them? Let them do it now while it’s cute. In about eight years, it’ll just be weird.
9. I get downtime.
When they splash, play, or just lie in the water and kick back, it means I get a few minutes to sit and do nothing. Sometimes, I let them stay in for as long as 35 to 45 minutes. That’s a lot of doing-nothing time, and it’s pretty fantastic. It’s basically a parent-vacation.
10. It delays the sheet-washing process by a week.
Again with the clean, I know. If my kids are clean at bedtime, that means their sheets are clean. If they are dirty at bedtime, I would feel a burning need to wash their sheets regularly. (I keep telling you I’m a freak.)
This is what works for me. I mean, for us. I’ll bathe and clean my kids until the cows come home — and then bathe them again because kids like cows, and cows are pretty dirty and I don’t want to wash the sheets.