Rub-a-Dub Co-Bathing in Our Tub

Welcome to the April 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Personal Care
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories, tips, and struggles relating to their children’s personal care choices.

See my little bath buddy? She’s pretty much the best :)

Co-bathing kind of fell into our laps. Jemma started her baths in a little whale, but soon she graduated into the real tub. She loved (and still does) to splash around, but wasn’t too steady in the beginning. So, mama started joining her. I became her chair, her recliner, her reading buddy, her bath time snack, and of course, her personal spa attendant.
I still cherish my alone baths full of bath salts and a good book, but most baths Jemma joins me and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Bath time is more than just a time to get squeaky clean, it’s her time to learn about the world and I’m blessed to be a part of that journey.

  • We practice conversation by visiting about our day
  • We look at magazines where she points out every animal and person she sees
  • We identify body parts – eyes, nose, ears, hair, teeth, belly buttons
  • We learn about keeping water in the tub
  • We practice safe climbing in and out
  • We play with boats, squirt bottles, and catch water bugs
  • We blow bubbles and make fish faces

Lately, Jemma has been a super snuggler during bath time and it has been so sweet to have her relax in my arms, stretched over my growing belly. It’s like I’m snuggling my two children at the same time – one on the inside and one on the outside :)

For additional reading … Here’s another mama’s co-bathing story and A discussion on when to stop co-bathing.

Do you co-bathe? What has your experience been like?

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  1. says

    We love mama-baby baths! We have a big jet tub, so we don't often do it (uses too much water), but it's so much fun when we do. Brixton lays against me and kicks his legs like crazy. I love his enthusiasm. We stay in there about 45 minutes, well past the time fingers and toes begin to prune. :)

  2. says

    I love all of the things she is learning during bath times :) I still bathe with 4yo Kieran, and I don't see an end to that anytime soon. We'll just monitor comfort levels – ours and theirs.

  3. Growing Slower says

    Our bath time routine looks very similar to yours. I had no idea there was a proper term, but "Co-bathing" is the perfect word to describe it! I also loved how you were able to capture a family-friendly picture of that sweet time. I showed it to DH right away and told him he has to take one of BabyE and me together.

  4. Sheila says

    I love baths with my little boy. That was the only way we ever bathed his first year! Now I sometimes get in with him and sometimes not. The cutest is when my husband takes a bath with him! The two of them get so into their bathtime games.

  5. says

    "Bath time is more than just a time to get squeaky clean, it's her time to learn about the world and I'm blessed to be a part of that journey."Lovely, Gretchen. You both look so at ease in the bath together, simply sharing time and space. Thank you for an example of enjoying your baby. :)

  6. Jennifer Wenzel says

    Baths used to be a family affair here. To us, a shower or bath as always been a more than cleaning, but a time for connection. But as our family grew that has changed what it looks like. My boys bathe together. When things get out of hand during the day: we head for the tub. Thanks for sharing your tub time with us!

  7. Lyndsay says

    Beautiful post! Aodhan is almost 3 and we are still blissfully bathing together!

  8. ThatMamaGretchen says

    That makes me happy to know you're still going strong at 4 years old :)

  9. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Not all pictures have ended up family-friendly :) … but, yes, I'm so happy I have this one and hope to squeeze in a few more now that she is older!

  10. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Jemma is to the point where she prefers to have a bath buddy! One of these days we'll start practicing independent bath play (with me supervising, of course) :)

  11. ThatMamaGretchen says

    It really is super relaxing for both of us – I love that it isn't a rushed/stressful activity.

  12. ThatMamaGretchen says

    I have such fond memories of bath time with my sisters. I can't wait for Jemma to experience the same in the coming year!

  13. I-RIBBIT says

    I love that you co-bathe! I have been bathing/showering with my now 3 year old since she was a week old. We both cherish our time in the tub. I keep telling her that one day she will be wanting to bathe without me but she insists that she will never shower alone! ;) I just love all the ways you connect during bath time as well. Super sweet!

  14. I-RIBBIT says

    This is Hybrid Rasta Mama by the way!

  15. Gretchen says

    Our tub has jets too (one of my guilty pleasures) and Jemma loves the bubbles. She's been hearing the soft rumble since she was in utero so it has always been a relaxing sound for us both!

  16. Gretchen says


  17. Gretchen says

    Ha! I was wondering :) Of course she doesn't think she'll ever bathe alone, being with mama is WAY too much fun!

  18. Marisa @ Deliberate says

    Lovely to hear your sentiments about snuggling with your two children at once. We love co-bathing and it is always such a great way for me to slow down and be present. Thanks for sharing this.

  19. says

    So cute! It sounds like such a great place for them to learn, they have our undivided attention in a small space and I bet Jemma loves that time with you! We do co-bathing, too, and it gets pretty crowded with the four of us in a small tub! It's a way for daddy to spend some fun time with us after being gone all day, plus It's easier to handle two babies with two parents. I think I'll look for a jacuzzi-sized tub at our next home :)

  20. ThatMamaGretchen says

    4 in a tub! How awesome!!! That totally makes sense with double the babies. There is no way we would all fit in ours :)

  21. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Yes! It will also be fun to see how things evolve with a toddler and a baby at the end of the summer!

  22. hnimble says

    This is a great way to make bath time secure and fun for a little one. Especially if they are insecure in water as my little one was at first. I bath her in a baby bath tub but I think it's high time to co-shower/bath. At the grandparents they have a really nice old fashioned bathtub and this will be a next-times-visit-must to bathe together!

  23. hnimble says

    Ursula Ciller (not hnimble) sorry about that!

  24. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Jem had a bout of some water fear a few months ago, but co-bathing has definitely helped her work through it.

  25. Mamapoekie says

    We have been co bathing with our bubs since they were born. We never really bothered with the baby tubs. I found it much fuss and with the nex baby, he was simply too big for a baby bath. Now, we're often three in the tub (me and the two kids), but the bathing organization depends on the day.

  26. jessicarogers says

    what a very sweet post. :) i found your blog through… i saw your linked up in her "steppin out" …had to click on your cause you're pregnant, as am i! (for only 6 more days hopefully.) i like your blog and am defintely going to start following. best of luck with your new one on the way. jessica

  27. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Baby tubs are a hassle … Jem only used hers for a short while. Now I'm not even sure if I'll keep it around for #2.

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