I didn't know it was officially called "co-bathing" but since the term "co-sleeping" is so common I thought I'd google it. Turns out it's a term.
Anyway so our son is now 6½ weeks old and we have mostly been bathing him sponge bath style in a little plastic baby tub we bought. He hates it! He's very good for diaper changes but really does not like being sat in that blue tub and getting wet.
So the other day I rinsed myself off a little under the shower then filled the tub a little way (a few inches) with warm water (not hot like I usually make it for just myself) with no bath salts or any of that other usual stuff. Then I had DP hand DS to me and I bathed him up that way. He loved it! I never let him go under past his shoulders (but got his hair with one hand while I held with the other) but let him "float" a little while holding him securely and he really seemed to enjoy being in the water. He was giggly and smiling and I felt like it was a good, albeit quick, time for daddy/son bonding. When he was clean I handed him back to DP and then went ahead and filled the tub with hot
water, dropped in the salts and finished my bath while DP dried him off. Other safety tidbit of note: there was a soft non-skid mat in the tub so he was never over a hard porcelain surface.
We talked about this a little after, DP said she didn't trust herself to do the same (mostly as she is not as strong as I am to hold him) and we thought maybe when he is a little stronger that this might be a really bad idea. So many warnings to the effect of "your child can drown in one millimeter of water in one nanosecond" being so frightening. At the time I suggested it I thought it was under the "don't try this at home" category.
Then I googled it. Seems there's credentialed folks that actually encourage this. One Dr. Sears
Originally Posted by askdrsears.com
Here's how we have enjoyed bathing our babies. Take your baby into the bathtub with you. Get the water ready and undress yourself and baby. Hold her close to you as you get into the water and then sit back and enjoy the warm skin-to-skin contact. If your baby still protests, sit in the tub first and show her how much you are enjoying the bath. Then have someone else hand your baby to you while you are sitting in the bathtub. ... When bathing together in a tub, take special precautions to avoid slipping. While you are getting used to bathing with baby, it is safer to hand baby to another person or place her on a towel as you get out of the tub.
I really enjoyed our bathtime and DS seemed to really enjoy it too. I felt like I was able to get him cleaner than we can in his plastic baby tub and I got to listen to playful giggles instead of distressed screaming. I see many people thinking about getting their infants involved in "swimming lessons" as early as a few months of age and though most of what I find on the Internet easily that encourages this point back to Dr. Sears I at least feel comforted knowing that some experts don't think co-bathing is insanely dangerous parenting.
I still really only would feel comfortable with the DP hand off (I wouldn't want to try to get out of a tub alone holding a baby!) and I'd want to keep it as safe as possible but I think I'd like to try to do this "co-bathing" thing a little more often.
Thoughts on pros/cons/things to keep in mind?