Baths 2: Should a bath be part of your child’s bedtime routine then?

| May 16, 2013 | 2 Comments

Should a bath be part of your child’s bedtime routine then?stockvault-splish-splash-i-was-takin-a-bath-2101762

Studies show that a bath is helpful because it lowers the body temperature, which helps trigger the release of melatonin and strengthens the pressure to sleep. Dr. Greg Hanley, a behavioural analysts, suggest that giving your child a very warm bath before bed is not going to aid sleep. He suggests doing the bath much earlier in the evening so the child has time to cool down after or adjusting the temperature of the water so it is a bit cooler.

Pro:

  • For infants under 6 months old, the bath may wear them out or relax them so they fall asleep easily.

  • For older babies and toddlers it can be a nice way to wind down from a busy day.

Cons

  • Some children get more stimulated from a bath

  • Many families have a hard time fitting the bath in early enough in busy schedules

  • May result in putting child to bed too late or too tired

  • Some families will do the bath every second night – doesn’t offer consistency for bedtime routine.

Many children will only relate the few activities right before going to bed so the bath may not be important. You can get around the issues we see with baths at bedtime if you plan to give your child a bath before she is showing signs of being tired or earlier in the day. If a bath is part of your bedtime routine, try to offer it consistently each night.

For the child the bedtime routine can be quite simple and include just a few things such things as story, drawing curtain, brushing teeth, nighty night words, prayer, songs or tuck in.

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Category: Babies & Toddlers, Kids

About the Author ()

Andrea is a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach, Child Sleep Consultant and Postpartum Doula. She has extensive training and in her 8 years of practice has helped over 2000 children and their families get better sleep. Andrea and her team work with families throughout Canada and the US providing individual consultations, workshops and in-home support for families with children infant to 6 years old.

Comments (2)

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  1. Cassandra Preston (Casey) says:

    I have two children with eczema and they say not to give too many baths …. would 2-3 days give enough time in between?

  2. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I was told with my first that he had to have a bath every night to aid sleep. However later with my other children I was told not to since it tends to dry out their skin too much. I also never found that giving them a bath helped them get to sleep better.

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