I can remember my first daughter’s bath in the hospital. The nurse came in, showed us how to bathe a newborn. She seemed to enjoy it- didn’t cry once. We came home from the hospital and settled in to our routine, and when the first bath time rolled around, we bathed her in the kitchen sink.
But that first bath time was not the first night home. Nor the second. Actually I don’t think I could even tell you when it happened at all. But there are pictures, so I know it happened.
There are some new parents that take the time each night to bathe their child as a part of their bedtime routine, which I think is so sweet. I have visions of them smiling sweetly over their newborn- one of them holding the baby gently and the other using the sweet smelling baby wash. Just like in the commercials. But for us that is exactly what it was- a commercial. A set-up scenario that was super sweet but SO unrealistic. Was our newborn clean? Of course! I mean she might have had the occasional “something stuck in her fat rolls” but all babies get that, right? Newborns are the children who are the LEAST likely to get super dirty. They don’t play outside, they don’t dig in the dirt or sand, or feed themselves. Comparatively our pre-schoolers should be hosed down after every meal the way they eat.
And then you add another kid (in our case two for the price of one) and the whole bathing schedule goes out the window. We try. But wow is it hard. There is not enough time in the day for everyone to get a bath each night, let alone every other night. We are lucky to get everyone bathed twice a week. Does that mean our kids are gross? No. Does that mean they might have a bit more dirt under their nails- well yeah, probably.
Point being, don’t sweat the small stuff. Want to bathe your newborn every night? Fantastic- enjoy those moments. If you have more kids you’ll never have those peaceful moments again. If you don’t? Have no fear- there are more people out there like you than you think. And their kids are still alive, not (too) stinky, and going about their lives (with maybe just a little more dirt behind their ears).