Bath time is a fun way to wind down and get your little one squeaky clean, but it’s also great for her development. Take a look at several ways splashing in the tub supports bonding, brain development, and much more.
Bath Time Promotes:
Distraction-Free Time with Parents and Caregivers
At any other time of day, focusing on your child can be interrupted by your phone buzzing, someone knocking on the door, or an email begging to be sent. Bath time is different, though, because the number-one safety rule is to focus on your child and nothing else. This distraction-free time supports bonding, as well as meaningful interactions that help shape her rapidly-developing brain.
Talking and playing with your child in the bath are great ways to nurture language development. Bath time also supports language concepts like sequencing and predicting, because you typically do the same things in the same order each time.
Bath time is one of many routines that provide your child with a sense of structure and control. Without routines, babies and toddlers may feel insecure because they don’t know what to expect. Knowing what to expect helps them learn to regulate their emotions and behavior.
Bath time is a perfect time to teach your child self-care skills, from helping to wash her body to putting away bath toys and drying herself off. Learn more from the “Bathing and Drying Off” activity in the self-care area of our BabySparks program.
Play is the way your child learns, and bath time play is extra-motivating. Bath toys and water provide a unique play experience that she doesn’t have at other times of the day. The tub is also a great place for water-themed pretend play.
Early Math and Science Learning
Tub play like filling and dumping cups introduces your child to concepts like volume, more, less, empty, and full, or experimenting with whether objects sink or float.
Fine Motor Development
Tub play with squeeze toys or sponges gives your little one’s fine motor skills a workout! You can also play fun games, like “Fishing in the Bathtub,” which you can find in the fine-motor area of our BabySparks program.
Much like clothes-free playtime, bath time gives your child’s tactile sense a lot of attention, from feeling the water on her skin, learning to distinguish different temperatures, and being touched while you wash and dry her. The tub is also a great place to do our “Floating Toys” sensory activity.
Now that you know about the developmental benefits of bath time, be sure to read our articles about bath time safety and step-by-step tips for bathing an infant.