Mix up bathtime for variety: 11:00 A.M. on a rainy Saturday, 4:00 P.M. on a snowy Thursday, or 2:00 P.M. on a hot Sunday—heck, why not take a bath right now? It is “wacky” to do something off schedule in the eyes of a child; it borders on illicit, and thus might make it more enjoyable. Play up the fact that there are no other kids bathing at this time.
Don’t call it bathing—call it swimming. Run the bath extra deep. Offer goggles and water wings to willing participants. Teach your child to blow bubbles, practice the doggie paddle, and float on his back. Research shows that the bath is an excellent way to get infants acclimated to water, increasing the likelihood that they will swim when older. New babies can float on their backs and practice frog kicks, with your support.
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