Days with kids can be big, busy, chaotic! And bathtime can be a fun little full-stop at the end of it. A chance to get splashy, to learn with water, to wash all the sand/grime/spaghetti away. But have you thought about what happens after you convince your rambunctious little humans to climb out of the tub?
If you’re doing bathtime before bed, this is a chance for calm, and to create an after-bath routine that’s delightfully relax-y and ready-to-go-to-bed-y.
Have everything ready.
If you’d like to avoid desperately rifling through drawers trying to find a pair of pyjamas, while your nude rascal does laps of the living room, a little prep can go a long way. Things you might want to have handy for after-bath: a dry towel, a clean nappy, an oil and/or lotion, a hair brush/comb, fresh PJs, a dummy or comforter. Lay these things out before you run the bath and Future You will be very happy/thankful/think you are magnificent.
Do a quick vibe check.
If bathtime brought the playful energy, think of the after-bath wind-down as an opportunity to create calm. Set the mood with warm, dim lighting (exposure to bright light before bedtime can disrupt the circadian cycle and impact sleep) and pop on a calming playlist (like this one!). If the evenings are chilly, make sure the room you’re in after bath is nice and cosy.
Incorporate a massage.
(Providing they’ll stay still for long enough!) A lightweight oil like Skin Wizard is perfect for this – also, wonderfully nourishing and protective for young skin. Apply to their limbs using both hands, keeping your strokes gentle but firm. This kind of ‘deep pressure’ touch can help release happy, calming chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) to the brain, which makes little bodies feel relaxed and helps to lower heart rate. It’s also a precious bonding moment for you and your kid!
Calm cranky skin.
If your kid’s skin is rough/dry/flaky, follow up with a slather of hydrating lotion. (We love Super Softy because it’s made with sweet almond oil, shea butter and calming chamomile. And because it’s ridiculously cute.) Moisturisers are partly water based, so they’re especially good for dry skin. They can penetrate the skin fast, delivering ingredients that can improve the skin’s ability to retain moisture.
Make it routine.
Keeping things predictable after bath every night (following similar steps and keeping the environment consistent) will help your child to feel calm and in control. They know what’s expected of them and learn to anticipate what’s coming next. Will it mean an end to bedtime battles? Of course not. (Only bribes can do that.) But it might help make these fleeting after-bath moments more smooth and enjoyable.