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How to Bathe a Baby on a Boat

Perhaps I should title this post, "How bathe my baby on my boat," because there are a lot of ways to do this and every family and every boat is different. In our case we don't have hot water onboard. This means I have to heat water every time I need to bathe Cora. This also means that every time I bathe Cora the boat looks like an alchemy project. I briefly mentioned the challenge of washing this little one in my post on what it's like to have a baby on a boat.

Okay, let's get started.

Step 1: While nursing Cora during her first morning session, channel your inner Laura Ingalls Wilder and get ready for the upcoming bathing fiasco.

Step 2: Turn on the diesel heater because it's a little chilly and you don't want your baby to get cold during her bath. It will take awhile to heat up the boat so you can start on other things once this is on.

Step 3: Head out to the finger and fill a large pot of water. For the wash pod, fill it about 1/4 full. Bonus points if you spot the owl in this photo!

Step 4: Heat up the water you need to warm the rest of her bath. Contemplate what it must have been like for our ancestors to bathe their children. Remember how Laura Ingalls Wilder explained how bathing day worked for her family. On Sunday they would heat up a huge tub of water and first the children were bathed, then the mother, then pa would go last. Be glad you aren't actually Laura Ingalls Wilder, or her pa. Ewwwww.

Step 5: Reach for your plastic pitcher so you can easily pour water over Cora's head, but then remember that you are using it to hold the beautiful flowers that Eric brought you last week. Think about what a kick ass husband he is and make do with a different pot.

Step 6: While everything is warming up, set out what you'll need to bathe your babe.

Step 7: This is an important step. Strip your little one down and let her kind of sit for a bit without her diaper (pictured here with her diaper because I'm sure she'd kill me later if I posted a pic of her totally naked). This is her chance to poop or pee before going into the clean water for her bath. Cross your fingers that she doesn't poop or pee in the water that took so long to heat up. So far, so good.

Step 8: Mix up the hot water with the cold water in the wash pod and get that baby in her bath. Cora loves it in here. She never cries and if she is crying prior to going in, she instantly calms in the pod. So wonderful. They say these pods recreate womb-like conditions. She is incredibly sweet during her baths.

Step 9: This is the only part where she cries, when she is pulled out. Dry her off real quick and then get a clean diaper on her and clean clothes.

Step 10: When you are done you will have a very sleepy and/or hungry baby, depending on when you started after her last nursing session. Inhale her clean-baby-smell and rejoice in the five minutes you will have of a clean baby before she will inevitabley puke, pee, or poop all over herself.

Step 11: Hang out all the wash rags and towels but remember to bring them in by sunset so the dew doesn't re-wet them in the evening.

This entire process takes about an hour from start to finish. Whew. Pat yourself on the back for getting your baby clean and don't feel bad too bad that you only get her bathed every 5-7 days.

Reader Comments (6)

I love how blissed out Cora looks after her bath! I shall have to see about this pod- looks cozy!

October 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCidnie

Hi- It wasn't so different when Eric was little....infants are lots of work!!! She looks darling....

October 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Kopp

Look at that happy baby! I hope you take a nap with her post-bath!
I love the product reviews you're doing. I have a little bookmark called "baby gear" and I'm slowly adding things (boat and baby-useful things). great to have pre-baby showers.

October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

Too cute! I love her bath tub! She sure looks like she don't mind a bit!

October 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Brings back memories of bathing Maia aboard our first boat. My favourite bathing memory happened on the dock though. She was 9 mos old and had discovered blueberries--so fun, so messy. I had no idea how I would wash her so I put her on the dock and started spraying her off with a hose. Maia thought it was hysterical, my neighbour though thought something very different. A few days later we were gifted with a little bath tub and a stack of bibs:)

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdiane

Diana, that is hilarious! I've already thought about hosing her down on the dock when she's older. Heck, my parents did that to us in the yard. We had a blast!

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

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