Saturday, July 12, 2008

At long last, bath time is fun time!

Caring for Sonny can feel like building sand castles in the surf: Any progress made keeps melting away as though swallowed by the tide. One day, for instance, his feeding habits will seem to have stabilised. Or his sleeping schedule. Or even the cycle of his moods. Then the full moon shines, or maybe the wind changes, and we start from scratch again.

Looking back over the 11-odd weeks we've spent with Sonny, however, one towering achievement seems to have slowly arisen, proof against the ebb and flow of caprice: Bath time seems to be increasingly something that he truly enjoys.

It wasn't always so. As we whined about in 'Seeking the bath time breakthrough', perhaps a month and a half ago, Sonny used to alternate between phases in which he appeared to enjoy being half-immersed and times when he would struggle and fuss from the moment his booties were removed. Even three weeks ago, in our 'Top Ten Babycare Tips (Part I)', we were still advocating 'guerrilla bathing' - whereby we would wait till he was in a pliable mood before hurriedly whipping out the bath cloth and baby soap.

Of late, however, Sonny seems to have turned into an out-and-out bath aficionado. Indeed, Pa now prescribes a bath when Sonny is especially cranky. That's right: Some tub time actually calms him down and leaves him in the mood for a snooze. Not that we're not doing anything new, as far as we can tell. The key ingredients are still a bucket of nice warm water, enhanced with soap - then a little scrub-a-dub and splish-splash, with a vigorous towelling-off afterwards. Sonny might still fidget when his clothes are being removed. But he very quickly regain his composure and positively relaxes when lowered into the foamy water.

Admittedly, he doesn't start hatching giggles and laughs once he's half-submerged. He doesn't even look particularly alert, preferring to gaze about amiably the way spa-goers submit to the ministrations of skilled hands. We've heard that his half-floating in warm liquid might remind him of his time (still so recent) in the womb. Or perhaps the temperature is just right for a relaxing soak, once he became used to this twice-daily routine (and did he ever struggle at first!). We don't really know, but we certainly aren't complaining.

We're now looking out for other tangible signs that we are making our mark with Sonny. Hey, little validations that we aren't complete flops as parents go a long way towards propping up our morale. Hopefully, bath time won't be the only chance we have to make breakthroughs.


Shirley said...

At last you can bathe your sonny w/out the neighbours knowing! Luckily for me, after stumbling through the first couple 'o days, muffins(my current nick for her) decided that she liked bath time enough that she'll go thru it w/out much fuss. It was only when we took her out that she felt that we were depriving her of something. The wails and kicks would start and make dressing and diapering even more difficult. Recently, she seems to have adapted to the fact that bath time doesnt last 4ever and that she has to tolerate the cool wind after the warm bliss. Phew! I can hear the neighbours heaving that sigh of relief with me too!

Cloudsters said...

Our neighbours may not know when we're bathing Sonny, Enchanted, but they are very familiar with his howling by now. Luckily, the other three households on our floor are all dealing with very young babies. So there's no finger-pointing.