They say that the way to a healthy physique is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I say that the first year as a new parent is 100% survival. Survival of both the parents and the child in question.
Charlie was difficult. I will leave it at that. When he was a baby he wasn’t really into the whole bathing and water thing but he was very into the making gigantic messes out of everything he could possibly get his hands into before I even had a chance to even think about stopping him, thing.
Since not bathing my child might be considered endangering his welfare, I had to find a way to get him clean without all the scream.
I started showering with him because god forbid I put him down. I would stand there, holding him on my hip and I would bath him right there in my arms. Once he was all spick and span, I would call in my husband who would take him and dress him while I finished showering myself.
Horrified. You might think, Oh my god, but soap is slippery. Weren’t you afraid you would drop him???!!!???
Not even once did I even come close.
This was less about “safety” and more about survival. I. had. to. find. a. way. and believe it or not, in my protective arms (since I was intensely focused on not dropping him) the water became more soothing than scolding to his being. Or maybe he just loved having full access to my boobs.
As he grew and could sit on his own I would continue to shower with him. Only I would sit him in the tub with the drain covered so that the shower water would fill the tub for his bath. In the first year and a half of his life we spent countless hours in the bath. It became one of the few things that would calm him down. If I had been too focused on what i was supposed to and not supposed to do, I might never have tried it and we might not have made it through that year.
While the first year with my first son was all about survival, now on my third son I’ve been able to perfect the techniques I developed so many years ago and now with Maddox I have a showering system that doesn’t require my husbands help. Since Maddox too hates the water.
The moral of the story: Find what works. Then do that!
Don’t worry so much what the books say.
P.s. During the time I was doing this with Charlie, a friend decided to try my technique out for herself with her daughter. Who decided that the shower/bath she was sharing with her mom would be the perfect time to poop in the tub. Although this has never happened to me. Don’t say you weren’t warned!