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What on How

January 25, 2013 - Jen Zbozny
When we had Eve I had read scores of books on how to raise a child and how to develop a predictable routine so you and your baby didn't lose your minds. They were helpful. They all said sleep when the baby sleeps. Not one of them said, "when your first baby starts needing actual food, you will freak out because you haven't cooked three meals a day EVER!" None of them said, "Here's how to get a shower without panicking about your baby." None of them advised me to cherish my time alone in the bathroom before i gave birth because it would be years before I could expect privacy again. Pretty much, I had to relearn how to bathe and feed myself when I was learning how to bathe and feed a baby. Someone should give up the straight dope about those things.  Maybe it's me.

Herein lies my best advice about how to take a shower when you have a tiny baby.

1. As soon as any other human appears on your doorstep, insist they come in. Hand them the baby. Run, do not walk to the shower. Skip shaving. Keep in mind that the mailman comes daily. Order lots of packages to be delivered to your home if there's a day you definitely need a shower.

2. As soon as your baby appears to be sleeping, run to the shower. You won't hear him crying while you shower, should he wake. Keep in mind you could end up with permanent post traumatic stress syndrome from this because the first time you come out of the shower and you hear your baby crying, you will feel terrible. This rotten feeling might stay with you forever so that every other time you come out of the shower you have guilt. And anxiety. Hmmm... This may explain why some people appear to have stopped showering all together...

3. Get a clear plastic shower curtain and a bouncy seat. Put the curtain on your shower and remove the beautiful decorative thing you had before your decor included Elmo. Bring the bouncy seat into the bathroom and affix your baby to it. Now baby can see you and you can sing to your baby the whole time you shower. That's my best advice.

Otherwise, just resign yourself to washing up in the sink, and using that dry spray shampoo that is customary in hospitals. I don't think it works but you will feel as though you made an effort.

Lastly, keep in mind no matter how often you shower, when you have an infant, he will find a way to alter the way you look and smell - for better or for worse, so just persevere, or tackle that mailman!


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