Recently, I have been having all these fuzzy baby thoughts. (See my recent posts here). Perhaps it is because it seems like all my friends are welcoming their bundles of joy, or maybe the fact that only now, am I enjoying motherhood. See, I am a Postpartum Depression (PPD) survivor, which means this monster took away my most precious moments, leaving me dazed as the fog descended on me heavily. Even then, there were precious moments that I cherished and looked forward to: bath time.
I remember how, on arrival from hospital, I admitted to mommy that I was scared about bath time: what products I would use, how I’d bath him, what I’d do when the temperatures plummeted to single-digit values… and the list went on. First things first, mommy said. Choose the right product – a baby specific product. Secondly, bath time is key for baby’s proper development and third, there is such a thing as half-bathing when it is cold (Anyone else hoping the sun comes out to play soon?!)
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Suffice to say, mommy did bath my son those first few weeks. He was so tiny and looked so fragile, I was afraid he’d slip from my hands. When it was cold, my son got a half-bath from his granny. It always amazed me how fast mom was. She’d place the water in a basin and set it ready, all the while singing and playing with him. She’d then undress him in turns. First it was his upper body where she’d start by wiping his eyes then his face.
She’d then proceed to his hair (curly baby hair – someone take me back to those days, now it is all kinks, LOL) using my favorite brand of baby wash, Johnson’s. She’d then finish off by cleaning the diaper area, using some warm water or baby wipes when she was time pressed. I watched her do this seamlessly, and promised myself once I get the hang of it I would make sure I enjoyed it.
It wasn’t long after that when she resumed work and I had to take up bath time all by myself. Part of me always looked forward to bath time, simply because it was calming. Calming for both baby and I. Away from the dreary motions of depression, bath time provided much needed relief from the intrusive thoughts that plagued my mind. For him, it was an opportunity to play in the water. His bath toys always fascinated him and he’d glee, stimulated by the vibrant colors.
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I treasured these moments, because they were always the highlight of the day, smack in the midst of depression. I look back with nostalgia at all the bath time fun, the songs and games. He is grown now, and if there is anything I learned while he was still young, is that you got to make the best of those moments when they are still young and cuddly – and not running around the house butt-naked, trailing tissue paper right behind them! Lay a foundation for proper bonding later on as they cross their milestones.
I cannot overemphasize the need to choose baby products that are gentle on your baby’s skin. Johnson’s baby range of products is gentle and mild for your newborn, so you need not worry about their skin reacting. More importantly, bath time is meant to create new memories that allow baby to develop healthily. I find it amazing that, despite the lost memories thanks to depression, memories of bath time still linger in my mind to-date. Warmth, cuddles, pure love – bath time.