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10 tips for bathing the kids during winter

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If you’re anything like me, you are having a wee bit of trouble encouraging your young one to take a bath at this time of year, writes NSM Natasha Shaw.

Mornings and evenings are on the chilly side and the last thing Little Miss or Mr wants to do is strip off and get wet. You can’t really blame them, but the last thing you want to do is let them jump into their clean PJs and bed with remnants of day care all over them, or half of the nearby park.

So how do you avoid the tantrums, and the ‘No, Mummy, No!’ as soon as a bath is suggested? Try some or all of these tips, and you might just clean up in the battle of the bath!

1. Fill the bath slightly warmer than you usually would. Definitely not enough to scald, but enough so that the temperature of the water doesn’t drop to freezing as soon as the warm bathwater hits the cold ceramic of the bath. Also note that very warm water can help to dry out the skin, so you may want to moisturise your child after their bath.

2. Have your child’s PJs or clothing set out ready to be put on as soon as they are dry. You don’t want to be scrounging around for clothing while they are turning blue and screaming.

3. If you own your own home, install a bathroom heater light. These supply instant heat as soon as they’re turned on and will help to keep the upper body of your child warm while they are sitting in the bath.

4. When it’s really cold, shut any windows and doors to prevent a cold draught entering the room, if this section of the house isn’t already heated.

5. If you want your child to sit in the bath for a while and play (ie: soak off even more grime), keep them occupied with bath toys. There are myriad choices on offer – from foam letters that stick to the bath sides, to boats and squirters. Bubblebath also works a treat.

6. It might sound strange, but when I was young and growing up in minus-degree winter temperatures in the country, my mother used to leave a washer (called a flannel in some parts) in the bath. I would wet it with the warm water and place it over my stomach or upper back. It would stay warm for quite a while, which helped me stay warm as well.

7. As soon as your child is out of the bath, wrap them in a cosy dry towel (if it’s been warmed on a heated towel rail, even better!) and give them a big cuddle. Nothing warms like a squeezy cuddle!

8. Concentrate on drying your child’s hair first, especially if your child has long hair – wet hair can make them feel cold for longer even once they are clothed again. Using a hooded towel may help to dry the hair initially.

9. Sit them by a heater while you totally dry them off, where possible, ensuring that they don’t get too close to any part of the heater that may burn them.

10. Once they are in their PJs or clothes, pop on some socks or slippers, too. Just like us, when our feet are cold we feel cold. Finally, give your child another big squeezy cuddle and breathe in deeply. There’s nothing like the fresh soapy smell of a child just washed.

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