Bath time with your 4 month old

May 24 / Jessie Jones

Your baby has entered the golden age of baby hood, filled with laughter, smiles, games and conversation ✨ Most babies this age love baby swim lessons and bath time and it becomes a real highlight for them to look forward to.
During the next 3 months your baby is really learning to reach out and manipulate the world around them. They’re mastering the use of those amazing tools, their hands and they're discovering their voices. They love different textures and toys they can easily hold and bring to their mouth. This is a stage filled with some very big milestones for your little one, both on land and in the water 💦 
After completing the Welcome to water course and free lessons your baby will move up to your swim schools next level of baby swim lessons. Around this time your baby may have their first underwater experience during their swim lessons. If you are both relaxed and baby is showing good signs of responding positively to the breath control cues you may be ready to gently guide her and enjoy this first time experience together. Learning to assist your baby to submerge confidently and happily by responding and reading her cues will build your bond together and create a beautiful base to learn and grow together.

Emerging Developmental milestones and bath activities  for your 4 Month old:

Raises up on her arms when placed on her tummy ~ Tummy time, fill the bath with only a little bit of water, lay baby on her tummy and support her under her armpits in case she gets tired. Let her practice pushing up and bearing weight on her arms.

Keeps her head level when propped in a sitting position, notices differences in colour shades ~ Seated buddha , seat baby in the bath with waist deep water and support her under her arm pits.  Give her a few different textured and coloured wash cloths, sponges and tea towels (new ones just for her) to play with. Water play with sponges and cloths is a great way to help her develop her fine motor skills as she learns to squeeze the water out, be sure to make them small enough for her little hands to handle and use successfully.

Bears weight on her legs when held upright ~
Monkey monkey - Stand her upright and practice holding onto the side of the bath, monkey monkey across in each direction for a bath toy.
Lizard jumps - In the shower lay her face down over your fore arm and place the other hand securely on her back. Bring her feet to touch the wall and say 'jump' as you help her to push away from the wall. Repeat this activity giving her a chance to engage her muscles and jump off the wall by herself. This activity is great for build her leg strength and teaching her cause and effect of her own movements.

Babbling will start to include more vowel and consonant combinations, laughs out loud and coos in conversation ~ Massage and chat, fill the bath up to just above your waist when seated. Lay her back against your chest and give her a little foot massage while singing "This little piggy". Turn her around to face you, lay her on your drawn up legs and practice making sounds like ga-ga-ga, ba-ba-ba in different tones and pitches and give her a chance to mimic them.
 Breath control:
Continue to build on your baby’s breath control with the following activities in the bath and at your baby swimming lessons:
Seat baby on your lap to one side, so you can see her face. Watch her reaction to the cues and for any signs she has had enough.
Wet cloth: Cue baby "Name, ready go" Wipe baby’s face from top to bottom. Practice this a few times each bath, Let baby recover and watch for their breathing to come back to normal between each turn.
Cup of water: Cue baby "Name, ready go" pour on the forehead with a water shot. After the baby becomes familiar with this activity and responds positively for a few weeks, progress to an extended 2-second and then 3-second pour on the forehead. Practice this a few times each bath, Let baby recover and watch for their breathing to come back to normal between each turn.
Shower: Cue baby "Name, ready go" Start with momentarily under the shower.
Progress to 2 seconds and then 3 seconds under the shower. Practice this a few times each shower, Let baby recover and watch for their breathing to come back to normal between each turn.
Read and respond to your babies cues and stop the activity if your baby has had enough for the day or isn't enjoying the activity. This will build trust and communication between you and ensure that baby is happy to try again next time knowing you will respond to how she feels.
Continue to bath and swimming together regularly, it’s the perfect time for you to both connect, bond and look forward to through the week.
These fun bath time activities help form a great base for baby swimming lessons together. From here keep learning together on a force free introduction to water, sign up for your free online baby swimming course & baby swim lessons at your local Welcome to water provider. Your baby can start non submersion swimming lessons from 3 months of age at your local welcome to water provider swim school.
Thank you!
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