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How to Take a Shower

Apr05

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It sounds like a wacky bit of new-mom hyperbole, except that it totally isn’t. Finding time to take a shower after having a baby is HARD. It requires planning. Multi-tasking. ACCESSORIES.

It’s not so bad at first, when they’re teensy and immobile and generally just lie around like a burrito, or when you have PEOPLE with HANDS around to HELP YOU. But then everybody goes home. Your partner goes back to work. Maybe you go back to work, but then your partner starts leaving the house at 6 a.m. to “go to the gym” or “beat the traffic” or other things that are code for “not being around to help you get up and out the door in a efficient and hygienic manner.” Maybe the baby gets bigger and more wiggly and waaay more opinionated. Maybe waiting until he/she goes down for a morning nap means waiting later and longer each day. Maybe the phrase “morning nap” is the funniest thing you’ve read in a long time.

There were (many, many) days when my husband came home to find me still in my pajamas, unwashed. And more often than not, those were (very, very) bad days for me.

I’ve talked with girlfriends about the shower thing, about how easy it is to become some kind of stereotypical cliche of a slovenly housewife, as we have to think really HARD about whether we brushed our teeth that morning, and find we have to plan for shaving our legs at least a week in advance. And then we all talk about the solutions we’ve MacGuyver’d up to allow us to shower in peace with a wide-awake baby. Solutions we really should be passing along to the next generation, as imperfect as some of them are.


Things I’ve Used To Take A Shower In Peace, SO FAR:

1) Bouncy seat. The obvious choice, especially in a small bathroom, though both of my children needed me to extend a dripping wet leg out of the tub and give the seat the occasional manual bounce.
Pros: Small, portable, safety straps, music/lights/vibration.
Cons: Very short time frame of use, still mostly stationary, requires batteries, your baby probably hates it.

2) Travel swing. Our bathrooms have always been too small for those big cradle swings, but I was usually able to get our smaller Fisher Price Take-a-Long swing set up and rocking. If your baby loves his/her carseat, Graco makes a collapsible swing frame that most infant bucket seats can snap into.
Pros: It’s a swing that fits in the bathroom. Duh.
Cons: Getting it through the door can still present a challenge, requires batteries, your baby probably hates it.

3) Baby bath seat. If you have the tub/shower combo with a bit of space at the end and a baby who can sit upright, get a small bath seat with suction cups or some kind of grippy bottom — in a style that your baby can’t (yet) escape from. (Something like an Aquababy or the Tummy Tub.) Angle the showerhead down and give your baby some bath toys while he/she enjoys a little sauna and naked mommy show.
Pros: Great for a baby who *ALWAYS* wants to be with you, two-for-one bathtime.
Cons: Getting out of the shower and dried off is a little more complicated with a slippery naked baby, and one day you’ll rinse the soap off your face and find that surprise! Your baby has figured out how to get out of the seat and is making a very wet break for it.

4) Doorway jumper. Another option for the slightly more antsy/mobile baby is attaching a Jumperoo to the bathroom door frame.
Pros: Worked GREAT in our old apartment, where the door opened away from the tub.
Cons: Did not work AT ALL in our house, where the door opens toward the tub, thus completely blocking Ezra’s view, causing much woe and wailing the instant he couldn’t see me.

5) Baby-proof the bathroom. Bring in toilet and cabinet locks, outlet covers, extra bath mats or blankets and some toys and just let your kid have the run of the room.
Pros: By far, the number-one choice of Ezra the Fearless Wonder Toddler.
Cons: Don’t forget to remove the toilet paper from the holder. And move the plunger outside. Clear everything off the counter if your baby can stand up. What did just find behind the toilet? Oh, God, this is the SHORTEST SHOWER EVER.

6) Fake it. Some days, it’s just not going to happen, or it’s going to happen so quickly that you’re still going to feel like a mess afterward. Invest in some good dry shampoo (I like Ojon and Oscar Blandi) and ask your hairstylist to recommend bedhead-type styling/scrunching products for your hair type that can make messy, air-dried hair look purposeful (I like salt sprays and Bumble & Bumble’s Curl Conscious Holding Foam). Some spray shine (Bedhead Head Rush) works great to mask the dullness caused by dirt and dry shampoos. Use a body deodorant spray (I use an unscented one by Crystal). Aim for washing your face and brushing your teeth and get some good makeup shortcuts. Good foundation fakers include Dr. Brandt Pores No More primer, Laura Mercier’s Undercover Pot, and Benefit’s Some Kind-A Gorgeous. Swipe on mascara, some blush or bronzer and lip gloss and you’ll totally look like you MEANT to look like this.

 

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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48 Responses to “How to Take a Shower”

  1. Natalie Apr 06 at 12:42 pm Reply Reply

    We’re a fan of #5. I actually leave my daughter to wander until she gets annoyed, then I bring her in with me… Makes life easier. When she was really little, the noise of the shower actually calmed her down, so I’ve always been able to shower. Thank GAWD.

  2. Crabby Apple Seed Apr 06 at 12:46 pm Reply Reply

    My daughter has been coming in the shower with me since she was four months old. Now that she’s sixteen months old, it is considerably more complicated, as she insists on diving face-first into the shower before I’m ready to pull her in, and she’s much more mobile in general, but it’s still a guarantee that I get showered every day. And in the end, that is really all I care about.

  3. Ally Apr 06 at 1:06 pm Reply Reply

    I got a Y membership for the sole purpose of taking a shower alone…oh and the work out part is a nice perk!

  4. Corie Apr 06 at 1:07 pm Reply Reply

    Or…shower at night. I’ve been doing it for years so I can avoid blow-drying my hair when I want to straighten it. Once you get in the habit, it’s so nice to crawl into bed clean. Plus my hubby will be home from work by then (if he’s working again when our son is born) so he’ll be able to watch the baby while I get clean.

  5. Leslie Apr 06 at 1:21 pm Reply Reply

    Wow. Yeah. This.
    So far, I’ve tried getting him to sleep in his crib (HA!), the travel swing, the bouncy seat, and even letting him just lay on the rug and kick the tub to make noise. (He’s 11 weeks.) The travel swing in the hallway actually works better then in the bathroom itself, I think because our two cats randomly wander by and he can try and grab a tail. ;-)
    Speaking of the tooth brushing– I went in for a cleaning at the dentist last week and got yelled at for not FLOSSING. Dude, I don’t remember WHAT DAY IT IS, only manage a shower every third day, and am lucky to BRUSH my teeth every day. Lay off.
    I have found that a dry erase marker on the bathroom mirror helps me remember, though. Last week, I managed my contacts AND brushing my teeth every day!

  6. Amanda Apr 06 at 1:26 pm Reply Reply

    The easiest way I’ve found so far is to shower at night. Either I get all ready for bed before I put my son down for the night if my husband is home, or I race for the shower the minute the kiddo is asleep if I’m on my own. My son is extremely grabby right now, so the hair is going up in a ponytail anyway. If I need to be a bit more presentable, I just stick my head under the sink in the morning. So far, I’ve only missed one shower in the last 9 months, and that was because the hot water went out.

  7. Kathleen Apr 06 at 1:43 pm Reply Reply

    I opted for “just carry the kid in with you” for a long time… as soon as he was allowed to shower until he was old enough bathe on his own. You can’t really wash your hair with an armful of baby, but you can at least get pretty clean. Just leave a towel outside on the floor to put the kid on, accept that he’ll probably pee on it before you get dry, and all is well.

  8. Bill Apr 06 at 1:54 pm Reply Reply

    Great advice – as a stay at home dad, I’ve used 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 (well, just not showering, not actually using those things) myself! Because I DESPISE not showering.
    You can also put the pack and play right outside the bathroom. My daughter wouldn’t stay in there too long, but she could move around (unlike the bouncy seat type solutions) and she was able to see/hear me.
    And it’s amazing how fast you can shower when you have to.

  9. sls Apr 06 at 1:55 pm Reply Reply

    I am going to cry when the morning nap goes bye-bye. It’s my only chance to shower!! Guess I’ll have to get up at 5:30 or something ridiculous while my husband is still home… *weep*
    In my most desperate non-napping moments when we had appointments or coffee dates or other cleanliness-required engagements, I would keep the bathroom door open, put her in the Bumbo, place the Bumbo inside the Pack N Play, and turn the TV toward her so she could stare at Baby Einstein for 10 minutes…. It was an awful lot of stress and work and calling out “I’m right heeeerrrree” for a quick shampoo (no conditioner) face/body wash, quick towel off…but it worked!!
    I’m tired just remembering it! :-)

  10. Mariana Perri Apr 06 at 2:04 pm Reply Reply

    The only time I attempted taking a shower while Alice wondered around the bathroom, the outcome was her slipping on a tiny little drop of water, banging her head on the floor, me running out of the shower covered in soap and shampoo trying to figure out if it would be necessary to take her to the ER for a complete body scan!
    As for those other funky and useful toys… never got them, no space to keep them!
    My only option was to hope for a visitor to come play with her while I showered or just go showerless for the entire day, until daddy came home, when I could take a relaxing 2 and a half minute shower before she started screaming because daddy did not have BOOBS! Or, if I was lucky, she would actually remain calm, but he would start screaming because, OH DEAR LORD, POOP!!!!

  11. Stefanie Apr 06 at 2:22 pm Reply Reply

    My daughter is one of those who hates all baby-wrangling equipment and never wants to be away from me. She also hates baths, but loves the shower. When she was very small, I would bring her in with me and put her on one of those baby bath sponge things on the shower floor. Then I could quickly wash myself and then pick her up and wash her too. To dry off, I would wrap her up in towels and put her on the bathmat. Now that she naps I shower when she’s sleeping. Sometimes she wakes up, but I’m now more comfortable letting her fuss for 5 minutes. Love the jumper idea, though! I’ll have to try that one soon. She loves to jump.

  12. Kati Apr 06 at 2:24 pm Reply Reply

    I think I cheat.
    Since I’ve been able to start working out again I bring Kennedy with me to the Y and shower after my work out. She’s in the kids play area and totally looked after.
    When I do have to shower at home I shoot for before she wakes in the morning or just know that it’s not going to happen for me that day.
    When she was smaller I did 1, 2 and 4. We’ve tried her sitting in the shower with me, but one-leggedness on my part and her mobility are not great combos.

  13. zchamu Apr 06 at 2:29 pm Reply Reply

    As I stand here unshowered, in my pyjamas, and yes, having to think really hard about whether I brushed my teeth, thanks for this, lady. The bouncy chair worked for a while until she figured out how to flip out of it. But I just realized she’s still trapped when she’s in the neglectosaucer. Hmmm.

  14. kate Apr 06 at 2:31 pm Reply Reply

    You know, you can always put the kid in his crib for 10 minutes. Throw in some toys, turn on some music, and keep the bathroom door open or bring in the monitor just to make sure all is well. He may fuss a bit, but it’s really not going to hurt him. I promise.

  15. Jen Apr 06 at 2:35 pm Reply Reply

    What an incredibly useful article about a subject I certainly didn’t give much thought to BEFORE I had my son. I was a fan of the bouncy seat in the bathroom up until my son could pretty much bounce right out of it. Then I tried putting a bunch of his toys in the bathroom and letting him play, but he was much more interested in flushing the toilet (BRRR) or standing up against the tub, pushing the shampoo bottles into the tub, and holding the shower curtain open (a la Norman Bates, OMG) to watch me shower, thus spraying water all over him and the bathroom floor. Sigh. Thankfully, just as he was learning to walk, my husband’s work hours changed, and now I can shower ON MY OWN, IN PEACE (save for occasional pitiful toddler door knocking), and oh, what luxury those 15 minutes are every morning. I really never knew how much I valued a shower until it became so challenging!

  16. Nanette Apr 06 at 2:40 pm Reply Reply

    Sometimes I find myself taking a shower at night, after dinner when my husband is home and the baby is down for the night. That way I don’t feel rushed to get out, and it’s a nice way to unwind from the day. If I have somewhere to be the next day, I’ll take the time to dry and straighten my hair. (It still looks fine the next day.) If not, then I’ll let it air dry or go to bed with my hair wet and then just wear it up the next day.
    Also, when my gal was still old enough for the exersaucer, I’d drag that to the opening of our small bathroom. She’d happily play there and I could still see her from the shower.

  17. Samantha Apr 06 at 2:41 pm Reply Reply

    In early months we used the bouncy seat. Once she got bigger – I started taking showers at night after she went to sleep. It works for me and I can take as long as I want.

  18. Sugaree Apr 06 at 2:45 pm Reply Reply

    I’m one who usually waits for the nap to shower. I have a high tolerance for going without (touring with the Grateful Dead in my late teens helped a lot)!
    That said, since our playgroup is usually in the morning and my son doesn’t usually nap until afterwards, without fail I usually end up feeling like the grubbiest, sloppiest, smelliest mom there. All of them seem so freshly made-up and put together, even the ones with TWO kids under 2. I’m constantly leaving in awe wondering how they did it. I guess your column has taken away some of that wonder, although I’m still skeptical as to my own ability to pull it off….

  19. ras Apr 06 at 2:48 pm Reply Reply

    We went the bouncy seat route for the first couple of months with each of my kids, and it worked well. With my first daughter, the next step was a jumperoo set up in the open doorway of the bathroom, so she could bounce and watch me shower.
    With my second daughter, who hates being immobilized, the jumperoo wasn’t going to cut it, and the exersaucer we borrowed from a friend lasted barely a week before Death Wish learned how to wiggle out of it. So we set up a pack and play in our bedroom. We chuck a whole bunch of toys in there with her, and (because I am an excellent mother) usually I turn on the tv. I figure early exposure to Blue’s Clues is worth my sanity. It turns out a shower is an absolute non-negotiable for me. If I’m not clean, I am Not a Nice Person.

  20. Laura Lou Apr 06 at 2:49 pm Reply Reply

    I tried all of these things at some point, and each worked for a bit. My most common strategy though was just to put him in his crib and let him be while I took a shower. He did not appreciate this most days, but I couldn’t hear the screaming over the shower and it gave me 15 minutes of desperately-needed me time. As much as I hated just letting him cry for a bit, he was safe and I was a much happier mommy when I felt clean.

  21. Therese Apr 06 at 2:53 pm Reply Reply

    As a brand new mom with baby blues and stress and all of that, I found taking a shower and getting dressed, including make-up, is one major thing that helped me make it through each day. I didn’t feel so “trapped” if I was clean and dressed. So, I had to figure out quickly how to make that work with the baby. I tried to time for early morning nap but yeah, that didn’t always work. When my baby was small, the bouncy seat was perfect (I could turn the vibration thing on and he was good). Now that he’s bigger (11 months) and mobile, the exersaucer is our trap of choice. I do have to occasionally poke my head out and make a face but he will generally keep himself entertained in that long enough for me to shower and put on make-up. He usally starts getting fussy about the time I need to dry my hair. Thankfully, he thinks the hair dryer is just hilarious so that helps. I should mention that I’m back at work FT now so most of my week-day showering I do prior to him waking up. That is, except for those mornings when he decides that waking up with Mommy at 5:30 is a good idea. Then I’m usually late…I’m also worried about what’s going to happen when he’s no longer entertained by the exersaucer. I like Amy’s tip of babyproofing and letting them go. I should add to remove the garbage can from the bathroom as my child things that is a wonderful plaything!

  22. Jen Apr 06 at 2:56 pm Reply Reply

    I did the bouncy seat thing when she was a teeny baby, but once she was crawling/walking, I began plopping her in the pack-and-play in front of Baby Einstein int he living room (making sure, of course, that NOTHING was in reach from inside!) and it gave me TWENTY. WHOLE. GLORIOUS. MINUTES. to shower, shave my legs, EVEN SOMETIMES PUT ON MAKEUP. I was blessed with a kid who never, not even once, tried to climb out of her crib or pack-and-play (and I can safely say that now because she’s in a Big Girl Bed and I won’t jinx myself, ha) so it worked well for us.
    I love Baby Einstein. It may not make my baby smarter, but it sure made Mommy smell better.

  23. Di Apr 06 at 3:00 pm Reply Reply

    Good ideas – I bathed with my daughter all last summer. We’d come home from the park, all sweaty and it was very refreshing to jump in the bath or shower together and clean off.
    I also opt for #5 most of the time now. I shower after the kids go to bed, and then touch up in the morning.

  24. Liz Apr 06 at 3:11 pm Reply Reply

    I’ve been using the bouncy chair in the bathroom with me, and that works great until he gets too hot and loses patience. But he’s 4 months and kind of outgrowing the bouncy chair — I have no idea what I’ll do! Maybe bumbo sitter, but his patience level with that is much shorter than with the chair. Maybe the play on the floor idea will come next.

  25. Erin Apr 06 at 3:53 pm Reply Reply

    I’ve tried all of the above with my oldest (now 4 1/2) and youngest (6 months). One thing I learned, with my second child — nothing REALLY bad happens if they cry for a few minutes. So, if I REALLY need a shower and it’s not nap time, I put the baby in his crib or swing in the other room, make sure the house is locked, and take a quick shower. When my oldest was a baby, I would take the monitor in, and usually jump out, wet and soapy and such, to run across the house to make sure he was alive. Now, not so much :) Big kid is at school or playing or watching TV, baby is hanging out, maybe fussing for a few minutes. That said, I normally don’t do this. I rarely get a good shower in the morning. I usually get clean by jumping in the tub with my 4 year old and bringing the baby in with me at night–my husband helps wash the baby and we all get clean. THAT, by far, is the best and easiest way to make sure we all get bathed at least twice a week (oh the shame). Now, my occasional lone shower or bath seems almost luxurious. On another note, I have read about people using baby carriers, slings, etc in the shower with a baby who just won’t tolerate being put down . . .
    Erin

  26. Alissa Apr 06 at 4:04 pm Reply Reply

    I am a HUGE HUGE fan of independent playtime. Like, in the pack-n-play. In a room. BY HIMSELF. With the door closed. EVERY DAY. It is a miracle. He loves it. This is when I currently shower. Or I shower at night, when I probably still wake up the baby (bathroom is right next to his room) but I at least know he will go back to sleep. Showering during nap time won’t happen til we get a bigger house!
    It does mean that I often go to play dates smelly, as I haven’t had time to shower yet. But hey – if they don’t like you smelly, they don’t deserve to be your friend, anyway.

  27. Monica Apr 06 at 4:32 pm Reply Reply

    As soon as Marielle was old enough to sit up and not drown, I just sat her in the other end of the shower. Knock two things off the to do list at once.
    She still showers with me every morning and she’s 3! Got a few more years until that gets creepy, right?

  28. Caitlyn Apr 06 at 4:42 pm Reply Reply

    I mostly wait and shower at night before bed, but we have a mesh ringsling (http://www.attachedtobaby.com/TaylorMade-Water-Mesh-Baby-Sling-P111C63.aspx) and it works wonders – I just put her on me in the sling and lean back into the water. I can’t get a long hot shower that way, but I can wash my hair. It’s also the easiest way we found to wash the baby.

  29. Sara M Apr 06 at 4:54 pm Reply Reply

    I also used the bouncy seat for a short time when both boys were small. Then I went back to work and was able to get ready while they are still asleep. The weekends however were another story. If my husband worked, I would use the walker. Either that or they go in their crib.

  30. Angela Apr 06 at 5:13 pm Reply Reply

    When I was on maternity leave, J would wake up to eat at about 6ish and then we would both go back to sleep. I would wake up again at about 8 or 8:30, shower and blow dry my hair, and then J would wake up again around 9 (gotta love that 3 hour schedule). I do remember always having the monitor in the bathroom and compulsively listening for him to make a peep the entire time I was in the shower or watching the red noise bars while I had the hairdryer on. A few times, he woke up before I was done, but he didn’t get too fussy while I finished up. When the timing didn’t work out, I used the bouncy seat. I know it is silly, but I was so proud of the fact that I showered every day I was on leave.

  31. eva Apr 06 at 6:10 pm Reply Reply

    When my daughter was a newborn, I’d shower with her in the portable bassinet right there in the bathroom and think “how easy this part of mothering is!”
    As she got older, I did the bouncy chair, but she kind of always hated it. I’d put her on a blanket on the floor with some toys, or drag in the baby gym/arches thing so she could watch stuff. And sometimes I’d just let her cry.
    Now that I work full time, i wake up before her usually, around 6:30, shower and get dressed, then get breakfast (instant oatmeal) ready. This works great when she sleeps appropriately long, but falls apart when she has an early wake up day. Recently (she’s two now and I’m insane) I’ve just showered while she has run of the (somewhat childproof-ish) house. Not ideal, but hasn’t killed her yet!

  32. Sierra Black Apr 06 at 6:24 pm Reply Reply

    It’s not fair, but it works: I make my husband take care of breakfast every day while I shower. Of course, it took us five years to master that system…

  33. Abi Apr 06 at 6:48 pm Reply Reply

    With my first child, who is now five, I tried all of the above, but now I have a whole host of other challenges… TWINS! If I’m home alone with them I hate using the time while they are napping to shower… somehow always seemed like a bad use of my time.
    So I’ll sneak in a quick shower when I have the babysitter here (when I should be WORKING), or I’ll wait until the evening when my husband can hand in one baby at a time to me in the shower. He gives me a 5-6 min headstart to quickly shampoo my hair and get it up in a ponytail, and then he’ll hand me a baby and wait for me to holler that I’m ready to switch. This weekend I actually braved both babies in the shower with me at the same time (they turn one on Thursday), and it wasn’t so bad. you just have to be careful not to trip…

  34. Ellen Apr 06 at 7:18 pm Reply Reply

    I thought this was going to be about how to cover up your nipples with your elbows so they don’t get hit with the water stream :) That water HURTS those first few days!!!!

  35. kiki Apr 06 at 7:53 pm Reply Reply

    Having twins, when I decided to grant myself the luxury of a shower every third day or so, and I had to accomplish it without the cover of a nap (because jeezus, naps are when I NAP, or at least lay on my ass for a good hour or so) I would often put one in an exersuacer (special bathroom one that they never usually saw so it was NEW and entertaining for 10 minutes) in the bathroom, and one a pack and play in our bed room with the TV (Gasp! before they are 2, neglectful Mommy… YES I use TV) on. Most days I decide that a shower is SO overrated.

  36. dcfullest Apr 06 at 8:13 pm Reply Reply

    We both work, so both of us have to shower daily (at least on weekdays, let’s not talk about Saturdays, thanks). Anyway, what we do is get both babies up and fed (we have 6 month old twins), then while my husband is dressing them in clothes I picked out, I shower. I can now manage to wash and dry my hair in 12 minutes. The key to this is not complaining when my husband puts my daughter’s clothes on backwards or puts hot pink socks on my son.

  37. HereWeGoAJen Apr 06 at 8:46 pm Reply Reply

    When my baby was small, I’d shower with her strapped into the bucket infant carrier, in front of the glass shower door so that I could see her. She learned how to use her arms in that thing, smacking at the hanging frog toy.
    Now I just take baths with her. It gets both of us clean at once.

  38. Maggie Apr 07 at 8:36 am Reply Reply

    Amen to the Baby Einstein comments. They should be subtitled Mommy’s Shower Time Soundtrack. With my first, she just sat in the bouncy chair and then a rocking chair until I was done. Now with two, it’s a whole new game. The 1 year old sits (if you can call thrashing around, pulling the shower curtain and screeching) in the rocking chair while I shower as fast as I can, praying the 3 year old is still watching the movie in the next room and not climbing out the windows or writing on my walls or eating my makeup or something worse I can’t even think of. But I have to shower before I can function. I don’t drink coffee, but boy, don’t talk to me until I’m clean.

  39. Simone Apr 07 at 10:33 am Reply Reply

    Oh god–this is so timely. I went back to work after 12 weeks and my morning showers were enabled (in order) by the crib mobile, the bouncy seat, the exersaucer, and now by a babyproofed bathroom. But my intrepid 14-month-old daughter is now tired of the bathroom and either sticks her head in the shower or just stands by the door and screams (or, lately, opens the door–yes, we need to get those little door handle covers). So now I feel like my necessary pre-work morning shower may end up being enabled by a screaming toddler stuck in her crib because that is the only way I can get through the whole thing without her getting soaking wet or wandering off into the other room. It’s a dilemma.

  40. Liz Apr 07 at 10:56 am Reply Reply

    When my daughter was a baby, I’d put her in her the vibrating bouncy seat (which she thankfully loved) and keep it in the bathroom with me. After she outgrew that, I put her in the doorway jumper and let her go crazy. She could see the dogs on the bed and I’d pop my head out of the shower to say “Hi!” When got too big for that, I just put her in the crib and showered quickly if she was upset. But at least I knew she was in a safe place.
    Now she’s almost 2 and I either shower while she’s napping (late-morning napper) or wait until nighttime. It depends on what kind of mood I’m in and how sweaty I feel. Although not that I’m 35 weeks pregnant, I have been showering twice a day lately–both at nap time and before I go to bed. I am so hot these days. But that also depends on my motivation. Some days I just need to lay down and don’t care.

  41. Crystal Apr 07 at 11:45 am Reply Reply

    Bouncy seat–worked until mine was 6/8 months old…but mine is also a teeny teeny peanut who fit into it at 8 months and my best friend’s son grew out by 3.
    nap time…worked until she dropped the morning nap at a year
    Now a days I either shower at night, bring her in with me and hope she doesn’t get soap in her eyes, try to shower when she does take a nap or just….hope for the best (ie that I WILL shower at some point that day)

  42. Cheryl Apr 07 at 1:25 pm Reply Reply

    My son is 14 months old, and we’re currently fans of “letting him get into all the drawers and towels while we take a marathon 2 minute shower” plan.
    Actually, I’ve found that moving all of the “dangerous” stuff out of the bathroom drawers and filling them with his toys gives him something to do and allows me to even shave my legs once in awhile.
    Of course, the cabinets are locked up, the doors to the toilet and the closet are closed, etc. Heaven help us when he figures out how to open doors…
    Any bets on what Plan B will be this time next year, when I have a 2 year old and an 8 month old to corral?

  43. Eamon's Mom Apr 07 at 2:06 pm Reply Reply

    I figure it’s a good time for my 15 month old to catch up on his sign language videos. I pop him into the playpen (where you keep toys that live in the playpen, so it’s always exciting and a treat because he doesn’t get to play with them any other time), turn on the sign language video, and viola! 20 minutes to shower, dress, make-up, etc.. And I like to think he’s a little smarter and I’m a little cleaner afterwards (note: we’ve been doing this since he was about 6 months old).

  44. Shannon Apr 07 at 4:12 pm Reply Reply

    usually my husband helps in the morning so I can get a shower. But when that’s not an option, I put my 10 month old in his highchair with cheerios and a bead racer toy that suctions to his chair. If I’m going to be quick I place him right outside the bathroom door which I keep open. If I need a little more time I put him in front of Barney. I know, No TV before 2 but a few minutes can’t hurt right?

  45. margie Apr 07 at 9:41 pm Reply Reply

    My best trick these days with my daughter who just turned one is to get her going on breakfast, eat mine super fast, then pull her in her high chair into the bathroom to finish her breakfast while I shower. It helps that the main bathroom is right off the kitchen. This approach works well for now, though I only manage to get it done about every other day :)

  46. Julie Apr 08 at 12:35 pm Reply Reply

    Thirteen mo. old twins. I usually shower at night after they have gone to bed and do my hair if I’m trying to avoid looking like Medusa in the morning while my husband cleans up the dinner mess. In the morning while I am dressing one for the day, my husband takes the other baby with him and puts him in the Bjorn Babysitter (fancy pants bouncy that works for older babies with a wooden toy bar) while he showers (glass doors so the boys can see Daddy). Some peekaboo and all is golden. I’ll switch out kids to get the other dressed. Key is a 100% involved father and team work.

  47. a Apr 10 at 4:02 pm Reply Reply

    Showering? Geez, peeing can be a challenge sometimes. The answer for us is scheduling.
    I’m a work-at-home (ha!) mom, my husband has a slightly-flexible-schedule office job. Our current solution is that he gets the kid out of bed and gets some quality time with him in the morning, while I get some quality time *without* him, which has greatly cut down the amount of midmorning crying (from me, that is). As a trade-off, the kid is generally in bed before my husband gets home from work; that’s actually been OK. We get a grown-up dinner together and some money-earning time for me in the evenings.
    We’re continually adjusting this, as the kid grows up and his sleep schedule shifts, etc.; as he’s starting to eat solid food, for example, we’re going to want family dinner together. The key, though, as far as I’m concerned, is to block out mom’s shower-and-breakfast time as a non-optional part of our family’s daily routine.

  48. Heather Apr 16 at 10:26 pm Reply Reply

    I used to take a shower with my son and just set him in his baby tub, quickly wash my hair and then use the baby wash for myself and my son. That had to stop when my son learn the pincher grip. He started pinching my nipples!!!! Now I shower at night.

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