The Perfect Luxury Bath

Ahh. The phantom bath. The refuge from the mom-bomb on the other side of that door. Simply lock the door, turn on the tub, and you're enjoying bubbles, oils, loofahs, wine, the world's best book and some quiet time. Your cramped tub with the shower glass almost feels like a deep, relaxing tub that the water company admires for its massive destruction of your bill. But who cares? You're alone. In a tub. That's the phantom bath. Perhaps it will be real someday. Be ready.

Stage 0: Preparation is the Great Wall Preventing Adult Baths

If it’s you: 

Pro-tip #1: Get that tub ‘cleaner’ or ‘cleaner-enough’ to fill.  Some Lysol wipes will do the trick. Or, sprinkle the tub with baking soda and squirt down with vinegar as you scrub away all the ancient oils and grossness preventing you from doing this a long time ago. A bubbly science experiment of bubbles reminds you of science fair volcanoes of yesteryear. Rinse, rinse, rinse.

Pro-Tip #2: Fill it at the right temperature. A trick is to fill it halfway full, 30 minutes prior at hot temp. Then, temperature adjust as you get in, by adding water.

Pro-Tip #3: Cheesecloth. If you have a bath bomb or salts with petals or other floaty items, put inside of a mesh or cheesecloth bag so the soft soaking salts come out, and debris that gets clogged in the drain stays in.

Feeling glamorous? Slice cucumbers for the eyes, noise cancellation for the ears, scrumptious oils for the water, glass of your favorite water for the hand, moisturizing face mask for the boredom, a book, and maybe a razor for the legs.

Feeling extra? Warm two fluffy towels in the microwave or dryer you glam-bather, you!


If it’s your baby:

Your baby’s tub and supplies should all be in one place and easy to reach, as you won’t leave a baby unattended. Fill part way with warm to the wrist water (100.3 Degrees).

Stage 1: Carefree Undressing

If it's you: Undress lightning fast. Then, act natural. This is happening! You are going to take that bath.

Consider setting a timer from the time you get in the tub, until the time you plan to get out. Give yourself that peace of mind, and that moment.

If it's your baby:

Undressing your baby takes time. Keep it as smooth and jerk free as possible. Use extra time for eye to eye contact. Talk to your baby. Let him know what you are doing. Support his head and body as you re position him to remove his clothes. Gather fabric in an accordion style near the opening(s) so that you can slide clothing off over the head, arms or legs, more easily. Use two hands for removal to avoid any tugging or jerking.

Stage 2: Self-Doubt of Temperature and Slips

If it's you: Set the insecurity aside. You’ve passed the self-doubt of, “is it too hot or too cold?” because you’re a parent. You filled your adult tub in stage 0. Likely while holding or entertaining your little one.  

If it's your baby: Concern over the water temperature, and concern for a slippery baby are both valid. Before he even gets in, it’s best to immediate loosely swaddle so he stays warm. And, if he is a newborn or young infant, try keeping him loosely swaddled with an open front swaddle during the bath. This is called swaddle immersion bathing and keeps him womb like and happy. Swaddle bathing also prevents a slippery baby.

Stage 3: Self-Help Talk

If it's you:

Restart the warm water and add your favorite baby bath product. It’s the same one you have learned over time is not irritating to your baby. So, there is no worry. Or, perhaps it’s the bath soap that IS irritating to your baby. Because, you are wasting nothing.

Remember. This sheer 10 minutes of personal ‘me time’ will make you a better parent. You will be relaxed. Act natural. Or, just act. Starring role:  shameless lover of luxury. Mental wellness time. Climb in.

If it's your baby:

Use this time to talk and sing to your baby. Studies prove this is the beginning of language development. 

Stage 4: The Actual Bath; Recognizing Your Uniqueness

If it's you:

Get in and breathe out. Relax. Put on a hydrating face mask. You might be the only busy mom of all time to pull this off. Well done, self! If you have in fact included an acrylic glass of wine or LaCroix, you are off the charts at ‘doing you’. Love your uniquely undone fingernails and toenails on your loving hands and feet. Flip through your book. Read the trashy magazine. Feel uniquely you. Until you can’t. Then, out you go!

If it's your baby:

End with the hair, but otherwise, moving head to toe is advised.

Stage 5: The Dramatic Exit

If it's you: Is someone needing you? Or, can you saunter in and out of the bath with no dramatic exit at all? The water is probably losing its appeal by now. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse, and actually get out. Grab that towel and your new lease on life, and mom or dad it up the best way you know how. Your way! Drink water. Hydrate. Get ready to keep calm and carry on.

If it's your baby:

Pee in the tub? It happens. Get a good grip, and remove your baby from the tub. It is time to move to a counter bath or towel bath.

Dramatic tears? Consider what worked and what didn’t. Maybe it’s time to try a different approach. A swaddle bath for warmth. The addition of a feeding just prior. A warmer room temperature.

No tears? Excellent. The moments of bonding.

Remember: there is no perfect bath. Keep yourself and your baby warm and let’s hear your tricks!


Sarah is a birth mom, adoptive mom, wife, working mom and optimist. She is the founder of Hummingbird Infant where warm, loving, calm baths are made into a reality. Sign up for our free confidence-boosting weekly Baby Buzz email for insights to help you in your parenting journey in all facets of the first years of parenting.