Monday, October 17th, 2005
From Baby Bath to Baby Shower
Little Miss gave up baths when she was 14 months old. She enjoyed sitting in the tub, but became a wailing banshee when it came time to rinse her hair (pouring a cup of warm water over her head). On a lark, Mom tried giving Miss a shower.
It wasn’t implausible. We have non-slip decals covering the tub. Miss began walking at 11 months and has great balance.
Turns out, Miss loves the shower. She stands next to the faucet and has fun putting her hands under the running water while Mom or Dad washes her. When it comes time to rinse, we switch on a handheld shower head and let her play briefly in the water, then rinse. She sometimes whines, but doesn’t launch into a full crying fit like with a sit-down bath. Other times she plays along, leaning her head into the water stream.
I have a sneaking suspicion that standing up also makes poop-in-tub incidents less likely, but only time will tell. (See thDad’s recent poop pondering, A New Kind of Art.)
Last week we upped the ante by installing a no frills suction cup shower head holder for hands-free operation. The holder is about 3 to 4 feet up the shower wall, low enough to let Miss walk into the stream, but high enough that she doesn’t grab the shower head. She plays a bit in the water, we step her away to wash, and then let her go back into the water.
We picked up the holder at Target, but similar holders should be found at any good hardware store. I had a tough time finding a web store selling these holders, but here is a groovy Mobile Shower Head Holder that allows you to move the shower stream without picking up the shower head.
Another product is My Own Shower [product page at OneStepAhead.com]. A plastic cartoonish blowfish emits a soft spray (reportedly softer than a normal shower head). The fish head is mounted with a suction cup, so the shower can grow with your child. This product requires installation of a diverter valve between the shower arm and head.
Update: Read my review of the SHUC shower head holder, the holder we now use in our home for my daughter.