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Bath time with your deaf baby or young child

Published Date: 23 Jun 2020
Photo: Father smiling at his young baby.

Bath time can be a confusing experience for a deaf baby or young child. However, it can also be incredibly rewarding and an opportunity for you to bond. Here are some of my top tips for making bath time a positive experience.

Getting them ready for bath time

Getting your child into the routine of being bathed from an early age will stand you in good stead in the long run. Make sure you have taken out your baby or young child’s hearing devices, if they have any, before having a bath. Make sure to keep them nearby as you will need to put them back in soon after, unless you plan on your child sleeping afterwards. As you have taken your child’s hearing devices out, it’s important that you’re visual throughout their bathing experience.

Make it a positive experience

Position yourself to the side of your child with your hand on their back for support if needed. Be happy, smile, and laugh. Bath time should be a fun and engaging experience for both parent and child.

Introduce toys into the bath and yes, there’s likely to be some splashing! The sound of water running or splashing is difficult for some deaf children to hear, if they can at all. Splashing and pouring water is an experiment for them. Foam and bubbles are also interesting if your child can tolerate them.

Bath time is a great opportunity for engaging the senses. Use a washcloth to clean your child or even a brush to play with. Be careful with scents and soaps though, your young child’s skin may or may not be able to tolerate these yet. Make sure you use baby-friendly products to be safe.

Mark Lowes, Early Years Programme Officer