In your pre-baby life, you’d just…shower. Postpartum? It’s a complicated calculation where you’re doing mental math about time, logistics, feeding schedules, and so much more. Here is our how-to shower with a baby 101: all of the best tips on getting clean while caring for a babe.
Some of the baby shower logistics depends on what your personal situation is. Some parents have limited support and limited childcare, which means shower time is almost always going to overlap with baby time. These tips are for you—although they will be useful to anyone in a pinch!
There’s other variables to take into consideration too, like layout of your bathroom and shower, the personality of your baby, and your own comfort level. For some parents, it will be easy to actually take the baby inside of the shower with them. Others may want to make plans for keeping baby contained inside the bathroom, but outside of the spray of the water.
Keep in mind that these tips are for a relatively short shower, fifteen minutes or so at the most. We’re focusing on function, here—you need to get clean and you need to parent, so how can you do both? Our tips for how to shower with a baby aren’t necessarily about a relaxing shower experience, unfortunately. Please also note we never recommend leaving your baby unattended under any circumstances.
Showering With A Baby: The Newborn Stage
The good thing about newborns? They’re not yet mobile! With a newborn, you can pretty easily get away with sitting them on the floor outside the shower on a towel, a bathmat, a playmat, etc. If you feel more comfortable, it’s also totally fine to place them into a swing, baby seat, or bouncer (if it fits in your bathroom, of course!). They’ll do fine and you can pop your head out to check on them as much as you want. To make things easier for everyone, try to shower just after a feed or a nap, when your little one is feeling content and well-rested. While the sound of a shower can sometimes soothe fussy babies, it’s better to start the process off when everyone is calm. The calmer the baby, the bigger the chance your time getting clean can also be a calm experience.
If you have one (and if your shower is big enough), you can also place your child into a baby tub and let the water trickle on them a bit while you do your thing. Some babies even find the sound and steam comforting (bonus: the humidity from the shower can help unclog stuffy little noses!)
Showering With A Baby: Older Infants
Older babies who are pros at sitting might enjoy sitting in a waterproof seat (like a Bumbo) or hanging out with you in a waterproof baby carrier (like a mesh or silk ring sling). Placing them inside a plastic laundry basket filled with some water-friendly toys works well, too….it’s a bit like a waterproof playpen! Just be sure to put down a towel or other surface to stabilize the seat or basket if you bring one into the shower.
If your highchair is easily portable, you could also bring that into the bathroom and set it up so your baby can watch you shower at your own eye level. Or, you can use other “baby-containment devices” like a Baby Bjorn seat or a bouncer. Once again, it will be easy to pop your head out and check on as they play safely outside the shower.
Or Enjoy A Baby-Free Shower
And if you DON’T want or need to shower with your baby? All the power to you…because we get totally get that. Shower when your little one is with another responsible caregiver, asleep for the night, or at childcare. Use that time to be blissful and baby-free, focused only on you.