This is our latest article in our parenting series with our partner Stokke, the Scandinavian brand whose unique products help bring families closer together, encourage healthy development and transform everyday experiences into precious memories.

Bathing your baby is a perfect time to bond with your little one. From sponge baths to infant tubs and finally into the big bath, you’ll make sweet memories and have soapy fun. We spoke to Dr. Alanna Levine, a NYC-based pediatrician and mom of two and author of Raising a Self-Reliant Child, about tips for properly and safely bathing your child, as well as advice about how to take advantage of this quality time together! For more, check out the video below!

Talk in a Warm Tone
When your child is in the bath, they’re in a perfect position at eye level for you to sit and have a chat—well before they can actually respond. “Talking to your baby in a sweet, calming voice is one of my favorite ways for parents to interact with babies,” says Dr. Levine. What you say doesn’t really matter, as long as your tone is soothing and encourages interaction. Not sure what to say? Read a book!

Ask Questions
As mentioned above, encourage your toddler to respond (even if they’re pre-verbal) by asking them questions. When they “respond” with babbling, keep the conversation going! Once they can respond, you can create stories together. “Singing songs together is another wonderful bonding opportunity,” says Dr. Levine.

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Use Age Appropriate Bathing Practices
Keep them safe and comfortable by making sure to follow your pediatrician’s instructions. For instance, a newborn will receive a sponge bath until the umbilical cord falls off. Always test the bath water with your elbow before putting a child in, and set your hot water heater to 120F or less to prevent burns.

Focus Fully on your Child
This is probably the most important advice of all—always leave your cell phone in another room and give your child all your attention while bathing. Never leave a child unattended, even to answer the phone. Not only will you keep them safe, but you won’t miss that short, perfect window of bonding time!

Enjoy the Routine
A bath is a perfect way to wind down after a busy day of fun. “Add a gentle massage after bath, a bedtime story, and a sweet cuddle, and your child should be relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep,” says Dr. Levine.

This post is sponsored by Stokke.

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