Are you wondering if a bath will help your baby sleep? I’ve got good news for you!
Not only can baths help at bedtime, but a good bath can be a helpful tool for navigating many situations that may pop up throughout your day.
Let’s talk about it.
Should a bath be part of the bedtime routine?#
A bath is a great addition to any bedtime routine. Research tells us that a warm bath before bed actually promotes good sleep! Here’s what happens: When we soak in that nice, warm water, blood rises up to the surface of the skin in a process called vasodilation. Once we get out of the bathtub, our blood vessels are still open causing our core body temperature to drop just a bit. This slight drop in temperature helps prepare our bodies for sleep. That means that baths CAN help babies sleep.
Additionally, when we bathe our little ones in the evening followed by a bedtime routine, the repetition of these nighttime activities cues baby’s brain that bedtime is near and it’s time to wind down for sleep.
Does a bath HAVE to be part of the bedtime routine?#
It’s totally up to you! For some families, a nightly bath is an enjoyable part of the evening routine. For others, daily baths simply aren’t feasible. That’s okay! Do whatever works best for you and your baby. Taking the bath out of your nightly schedule won’t make or break your bedtime routine. Consistency in what you do after the bath is the key!
Not sure what to include in that bedtime routine? I have a whole blog packed with bedtime routine tips and examples to help get you started in creating your own unique bedtime routine.
Can I use a bath to calm a fussy baby?#
Warm water can be very calming for cranky babies. (Who can blame them?! A good bubble bath always calms me down too.) When my little ones were fussy, I found that putting them in the bathtub was a good way to help them unwind and calm down. When they were really little, I would climb in with them for a little skin-to-skin time. This can be so relaxing for both you and baby!
If you have a fussy baby and don’t have time for a full bath, let me share one of my favorite tricks. Wrap your newborn in a swaddle and turn on the faucet. Make sure the water is good and warm, but not too hot. Once the temperature is just right, allow the warm water to wash softly over the top of baby’s head. You’d be surprised how quickly this can relax your little one and help her calm down. Watch me try this here: