Okay, so maybe this is a silly question but here goes…
My baby is almost 8 weeks and we co-sleep and contact nap. That’s the only way she will sleep for me. Her dad travels for work and is gone quite a bit so it’s just my daughter and I a lot of the time. So, when and how do I manage to take a shower?
I’m going on like a week of dry shampoo and wet wipes and feeling a little desperate for a shower, but I don’t want to let my daughter cry. Is this just mom life? Lol
Or do you have a magical trick I can try that will give me like 30 mins to shower and get dressed without her freaking out?— Erin
Not a silly question at all!
I vividly remember the guilty feeling of hearing my daughter cry when I did something for myself. I remember feeling so selfish! I’d think to myself, “GET OUT OF THE SHOWER! She needs you! What are you thinking!?”
And while I know now that my thinking was both rational + irrational, at the time, this was the solution I arrived at that answered both:
I did baths with my baby.
I made it a thing to enjoy! Even if it was in the middle of the day — there’s no rule book on *when* you have to get clean, just a strong recommendation that you do! 🧼
Who says we have to shower first thing in the morning or just before bed in order to make it count?
I think that’s the ticket to any lifestyle adjustment we make as newborn mothers: rewriting the “rule” that we’re trying so hard to fit into.
And that’s what we did. We bathed whenever the time seemed to open up for us. I’d be in the bathtub at 10 AM on a Wednesday. For my usually Type-A, perfectly scheduled-self, this was a huge change in my life.
When I made the decision to stop trying to fit someone else’s timeline + create my own timeline instead, my mothering experience got infinitely easier.
I felt better when I felt like my daughter was getting something out of the experience while I was getting clean when I made bathing an intentional practice.
Here are the questions you can ask yourself to craft your best grooming routine as a new mom:
How would you best enjoy getting clean?
For me, the ideal grooming session involves bubbles, wine, candles, calming music, a healthy face mask, maybe a deep condition, a full-body shave, some lotion, maybe a quick mani/pedi touch-up and then getting into fresh loungewear or pajamas after drying off in plush towels.
Sounds too luxurious for a mom, right?
But hold on…
What parts of this experience can my baby enjoy, too?
Out of that ideal grooming session, all I’d have to cut out is the wine (due to breastfeeding) and maybe using strong-scented nail polish in front of baby.
Otherwise, all parts are fair game!
Then your bathtime just becomes a matter of logistics.
How can I best position baby so that she lasts the longest?
Here are a few of my favorites:
Face-to-Face Knee Recline
I did baths with my baby in the first few months so I could relax + soak in Epsom salts.
I would prop my knees up and lay her on them facing me. I’d wash her in this position, sing to her, tell her stories. Just used the time for simple, sweet bonding.
I would cradle baby in my arms + have the bath water go no higher than my bellybutton so that we could nurse in the tub. The extra skin-to-skin contact was extra calming for my baby.
Boppy Newborn Lounger Pillow
I would bring the Boppy newborn lounger pillow into the bathroom with me. Since baby couldn’t roll over, I would put the pillow on the floor with a layer of towels before I got into the bath. This way, if baby wasn’t feeling bath time as much as I needed it, I could lean over, swaddle her quickly, and leave her in that position as I quickly finished rinsing off + getting out myself.
How can I have bath time serve me in other ways?
Some moms love having bath time be a way to burn energy at the end of a long day. Other moms love using bath time as a sleep cue to make nap + bedtime transitions easier.
Having an intention beyond getting clean helps me stay motivated in making it happen — especially on the days where I feel so tired.
If I know that baby is going to be more likely to go down for a nap, or to get to sleep at a reasonable hour for the night, then I’m extra incentivized to follow-through for the sake of adult time!