When I wrote “Staying In A Hostel…“, an article about staying in a hostel with children, I mentioned that during your traveling career, there may be a few times when you are required to give an infant a shower instead of a bath. There may not always be a bathtub or large sink around, and if you are by yourself, this is even more tricky.
The last time I stayed in a hostel was in Subotica, Serbia, when my youngest daughter was about 7 months old. I stayed there with my two girls while my husband stayed back with the main group, sleeping in sleeping bags on the church floor. We were on a four day mission trip, and my girls were totally exhausted and in need of a bath. My oldest daughter is a pro at taking showers because we haven’t lived in a place with a bathtub for most of her life, so that was not an issue. However, when I went to bathe my younger daughter, I realized that I was used to having Travis around to help me during this very slippery procedure. But, she needed a bath, so I decided just to go for it. It wasn’t the most elegant moment in my life, but she was clean. For your traveling pleasure, here is a run down of how to give a baby a bath when you are by yourself, in a room that is not equipped for this task.
-Devise a quick plan of how you are going to support their weight while washing them off.
-I recommend if you are doing serious traveling and you won’t be around a lot of bath tubs that you look into buying one of these, or something like it. They are light, and they make bath time in the shower SO much easier. They are also easy to pack and don’t take up a lot of room. If you don’t have one of these, you might consider putting one of the large towels provided in the bottom of the shower, so your baby has a slip proof place to lay down.
-Look and see if the shower head comes off so you can use it closer to the baby… this will shock them less than the far falling stream, and you will end up less wet by the end of the process.
-If the shower head does come off… proceed to lay your baby down on the towel after you have tested the water, wash with one hand, and rinse with the other hand. Tada! You have a clean baby ready for pajamas and bed!
-If the shower head does not come off… prepare to hear crying. You can try to stop up the plug with a towel so you can do a really quick bath, or you can just go for it with the regular shower on, lay the baby down… wash them quickly, and plan to get wet yourself.
If you have someone around to help, you can give the baby a shower while you are in the shower as well, and then hand them off to the other person for drying. But please be careful! Babies are soft when dry, but very slippery when wet, and you wouldn’t want to drop your precious little one. Keep one arm completely around their little body at all times.
Remember, think of these little roadblocks as mini adventures, and you will be able to laugh about it later. Traveling wouldn’t be half as much fun if you did everything the same way you do things at home. I promise, if you have this attitude, it will carry over into your children, and your trip will be a fun adventure and memory for all.