I use to take having a shower for granted. Now, I'm lucky if I get a shower everyday. My baby doesn't like to be on his own for more than a few minutes. I don't believe in letting him cry when he is lonely, so I need some suggestions for how to keep him happy while I shower. Lately, I have been putting him in his exersaucer and bringing it into the bathroom. If I leave the shower curtain partly open, he can see me and is usually okay for about 10 minutes. But, some days this does not work and I spend the entire shower trying to soothe him while I quickly get washed up. This makes the shower very stressful for me and him.

Any suggestions for how to keep your baby entertained so you can take a stress-free shower?

asked 10 Dec '09, 03:30

cat_g's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

A few strategies to consider (they may not all be to your taste, but they are a few ideas):

  1. Change your shower time. Get up earlier than him and enjoy a long shower, or shower at night instead after his bedtime, or just do it opportunistically whenever he takes a nap. Maybe the compromise is WHEN you take your shower.

  2. You say he can be occupied in the room for 10 minutes. Golly, that seems like a quite reasonably long shower to me (though I'm pretty conscious of water use, in a drought area). Maybe the compromise is to be satisfied with a 10 minute shower.

  3. I know you said you "don't believe in letting him cry when he is lonely." But it's just as reasonable not to believe in letting the parents get stressed to the breaking point because they feel like they never get a few minutes to clear their head and attend to their personal needs. If a nice shower makes the difference for you to be a relaxed, attentive parent the rest of the day, you may, on the whole, be doing a better thing just letting him cry for ten minutes so you can get be refreshed. And in the process, it may be an excellent opportunity for him to learn to self-soothe.

On that last one: It's hard to suggest it, but trying to prevent them from EVER crying or having any negative experiences is not always the globally optimal path. Sometimes you need to worry less about whether they are happy minute-to-minute and think about the day-to-day and month-to-month big picture, which includes the parents being in good physical and mental shape.


answered 10 Dec '09, 07:02

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

+1 for great recommendations.

(10 Dec '09, 09:24) Emi

+1 for multiple reasons, including "an opportunity for him to learn to self-soothe."

(10 Dec '09, 23:38) Jeff

+1 for using the phrase "globally optimal path"

(29 Apr '10, 12:25) digiguru

I used to shower when it was nap time. At a young age they nap often so I found it easy to jump in the shower with a monitor on the counter while she was napping. Now that my baby is older I shower while she eats breakfast in her chair so that she is safe, secure, and distracted.


answered 10 Dec '09, 15:10

nikjoyce's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%


+1 For the highchair / feeding chair recommendation. I did that too and it worked well.

(10 Dec '09, 17:07) Emi

I wouldnt leave them alone in the high chair whilst eating just incase they choke on food.

(13 Dec '09, 08:44) Phil Seller

In a pinch, I tried showering while my daughter was eating breakfast the other day. It worked great. She didn't even notice I was gone and was happily still eating when I got back.

(14 Dec '09, 02:15) Tammy ♦♦

This is a toughie. When I've had to be alone with the baby and shower or do something away from the child I've scheduled it for nap times when possible, and otherwise let them cry it out. The issue is that it doesn't matter what I distract them with - what matters is that I'm either there, or not there.

Over time I've tried to train them to understand what I mean when I say, "I'll be right back!" with one finger up (ie, "just one minute") and as they get older they appear to understand and accept that I'm going to leave them alone, but I'll return. Once they get past the idea of me leaving, it generally doesn't matter if I'm gone for one minute or five as long as there's a few things around to amuse them in a safe place (ie, playpen, crib, etc). This usually starts the same way peek-a-boo does. "I'll be right back!" disappear around the corner, and then immediately come back, "Here I am!"

But that doesn't work until they're older (though you have to start practicing when they are younger), so if she's used to you paying attention to her most of the time, then you're likely going to struggle with this until she starts exploring away from you on her own.

Wikipedia indicates that at 12-24 months children 'enjoy object hiding games' - it isn't really until then that they understand that something might exist even though they don't sense it, and feel comfortable alone for more than a minute of distraction.


answered 10 Dec '09, 03:51

Adam%20Davis's gravatar image

Adam Davis
accept rate: 31%


+1 I agree with the emphasis on I'll be right back totally.

(10 Dec '09, 09:23) Emi

It seems self-evident when you hear it, but shower when your spouse can watch him. It's important to the family unit as well as the marriage that the 15-30 minute effort be made. If your spouse is unable to make that sacrifice, invite your mother or mother in law or friend or family member over to help out.

If you do adopt a cry free experience, it's important to include many people in your life in order to ease the heavy burden (of time) that all that attention can take. This may be a good "excuse" to ask someone for help.


answered 10 Dec '09, 07:26

DarwinsMom's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%


Unless your spouse has to get up and leave the house before you get up in the morning. In that case, you have to be willing to get up while they're still there to perform this valuable service. ;)

(10 Dec '09, 11:32) Scott ♦♦

I always forget I'm a bit weird - I shower/bath in the evening :)

(10 Dec '09, 16:29) DarwinsMom

I don't think its wierd, :) after becoming a mother, my regular "morning wake up showers" became less frequent while the number of evening "now its time to relax showers" went up!

(10 Dec '09, 17:11) Emi

Why not take him with you? Some answers to this question could help in that regard.


answered 10 Dec '09, 03:53

Matthew%20Jones's gravatar image

Matthew Jones
accept rate: 18%

I take him into the bathroom with me. But, I can't shower very well while holding a squirmy, slippery baby.

(10 Dec '09, 03:57) cat_g

I do occationally take him into the shower to wash him instead of a bath. But, I can't wash myself at the same time without feeling like it is too dangerous.

(10 Dec '09, 04:00) cat_g

It's difficult, but can be do-able. If they can sit up they might be ok on the floor of the shower when you can't hold them, especially if it's large enough (ie, a bathtub shower) and you have a few water toys. Takes them awhile to get used to the frequent drops and sprays of water...

(10 Dec '09, 04:08) Adam Davis

Get yourself a clear shower curtain. This way you can shower, the baby can watch and if they get bored you can play games while you clean up like peek-a-boo and funny faces and things. Singing in funny voices also works wonders. This worked like a charm for us.


answered 10 Dec '09, 13:47

dreamerisme's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

I know that letting the television act as a babysitter is looked down upon, but those baby mozart videos would give me the 15 minutes I desperately needed to myself to be the best mom my children needed the other 1,425 minutes of the day.


answered 16 Dec '09, 21:50

Chickerific's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I sometimes take her bouncer seat with me into the bathroom and let her play in that while I'm showering. This way I can hear her, know she's happy/entertained, and I don't have to worry that I'm missing her "I'm unhappy" cues. She also enjoys watching her mobile and soother, so sometimes I put her in her crib to watch those while she's calm.


answered 15 Dec '09, 16:20

Fun2Dream's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 10 Dec '09, 03:30

Seen: 8,474 times

Last updated: 16 Dec '09, 21:50