Hey Mama's! Let's talk about something that seems like an easy thing to do, but can be one of the hardest parts of our day. Have you ever heard of Mama's saying they just want to take a shower? Or they've gone a few days without showering? Or showering is so hard? It's true! I never understood that until becoming a Mama myself.
I know this seems like it should be a simple task but it's something I've struggled with since Johanna was born. Some days I manage to shower when she is still sleeping or during her naps but more often than not, it is a struggle.
The reason is because Johanna doesn't exactly agree with Mama's shower time. Something about that part of my day throws her off and throws her into a fit. I've come to realize over the last year that it's because she can't see me.
Do you Mama's find showering hard because of the same issue? I also think that we are just so worried about not being able to see them behind the shower curtain. Maybe they feel our anxiety and form anxiety of their own? Maybe it's because they literally need all of our attention and it's hard to do anything let alone take a shower.
Obviously, the routine has changed a lot since her newborn stage but I've learned a lot of tricks to keep her calm while I shower. Some days those tricks don't exactly work like I think they will or hope they will. Who knew that something so simple could be so hard on a Mama?
When Johanna was a newborn, I stuck her bouncy chair in my bathroom. Sometimes I showered with the lights off just so I didn't disturb her sleep. Sometimes I let the hot water run for a bit so the bathroom would be steamy and warm for her. Luckily, the sound of the water running never woke her up. This could be because she sleeps with a sound machine that plays running water (kill 2 birds with 1 stone, right Mama's?). I was able to swaddle her, nurse her, get her to sleep and put her in her chair. That left me with a good amount of time to shower and actually feel clean and accomplished. I never thought I would have to prep this way just to take a shower but I needed to make sure that my girl was comfortable before I did anything. I know there are Mama's who can relate to this!
As time went on and Johanna got bigger and more alert, this method stopped working. Sometimes I put her in the shower with me. As you can imagine, some days this worked and some days it didn't work at all! On the days it did, I would wash her first. I'd always have a warm towel waiting right outside the shower and I'd keep the bathroom door closed just to make sure it didn't get too cold. After I washed her, I would wrap her tightly in the warm towel and put her in her bouncy chair while I washed, quickly. On some occasions she fell asleep like this. Others, she cried and I failed! At least that's how it felt. I've learned that some things are literally trial and error. And some of these trials and errors have to be repeated over and over again!
During our trial and error days I did A LOT of things to attempt to wash myself but make her comfortable too! I played music, sang to her from the shower (as terrible as my pitch is sometimes it worked), I played white noise, I nursed her in the shower with me (imagine washing and nursing a baby at the same time), either put her in the shower or took a bath with her, gave her a bottle while I showered. You name it, I did it!
Once Johanna got a bit older and was able to stand up, I swapped the bouncy chair for the standing bouncer. Needless to say, she hated this chair and not just when I was showering. Perfect, right? I also used the jolly jumper that you hang in the doorway but that just freaked me out. I was always scared that she would bump into the wall and I'd be soapy trying to rescue her, slip and fall, drama, drama, drama. This is what happens to us when we become Mama's. We think up the worst case scenario!
Most recently, I swapped the standing bouncer for a pack 'n' play. Full disclosure, I'm not a fan of pack 'n' play's. I'm sure you guys are thinking that I'm nuts but truly, they freak me out. There are many reasons why and since I like to be open and honest with you guys I'll admit them all even though I sound ridiculous!
For one, I honestly don't think they are very safe. When Johanna is in hers and walking around in it, it's so loud. I feel like at any moment it's just going to fall apart. I also don't like the thought of Johanna being confined. Here's the thing, she can walk (kind of) now. So when she is walking around in the pack 'n' play, I feel like she's trapped. I know! I'm dramatic. But seriously, have you ever wanted to get somewhere and not been able to? I always wonder if she has that feeling while she's in the pack 'n' play. I like to let her explore. It's perfectly normal that babies and toddlers get into things. That doesn't really bother me. I just block of dangerous stuff and let her play with things that aren't harmful. I hate the thought of her being confined.
Now, I agree that it's great for travel purposes but how comfortable can it be to sleep in?! It's rock solid on the bottom and I swear she can feel the rods through the ½ inch thick mattress…. I didn't get a cheap one either! I got a graco 3 in 1 with the changing table and bassinet built into the top. I loved this part of it when she was a newborn and definitely used it all day, every day.
Now that I've exposed some more of my insane brain, don't judge me! All Mama's are different. If you like the pack 'n' play and it works for you, great! I still use it when I'm showering, I just don't like it any other time than that!
During my shower times, while she's in the pack 'n' play she has plenty of toys to choose from! I'll also give her a bottle or something that I know will definitely occupy her and keep her focus off of me. I'll admit, some days I shower with the curtain open so that she can see me. I have conversations with her while I'm showering just to get her laughing so she knows it's okay that I'm in the shower. Recently, I've found it beneficial to play toddler music on the Alexa. She dances and sings and it works out great!
Let me just say that all of these things have worked at some point. However, some things only work once or twice and others have worked for weeks or months. Things change all the time and as your baby develops you have to improvise and find new ways to make things work. I'm not one for just letting her scream while I'm in the shower. I can't let that happen. It just doesn't sit with me well. I'd rather go through trial and error and fails and successes while I figure things out!
If any Mama's have tips for showering when babies become toddlers, I'd love to hear them!