When in doubt, bathe

The other day, the moms in my Chelsea New MOMs series were talking about evening routines, and one mom mentioned that she likes to get into the tub with her baby.  It’s kind of a brilliant way to do some multi-tasking — you get your baby clean, you get yourself clean and you get to relax in the tub at the end of what was undoubtedly a long day.  

And apparently there’s even more to it:  a new study has found that soaking in a hot bath is helpful when you feel lonely or isolated:

Warm physical experiences were found to significantly reduce the distress of social exclusion, said the study published in the psychology journal Emotion.

"Findings suggest that physical and social warmth are to some extent substitutable in daily life," the study concluded.

"The lonelier we get, the more we substitute the missing social warmth with physical warmth."

Isolation can be a problem throughout the course of parenting, but especially strong for new mothers in those early weeks.  The best investment you can make in your own sanity is to reach out to others by making real, deep, personal connections with likeminded folks.  That’s what mothers’ groups and parenting classes are for.  Ideally, the moms you meet at a new moms’ group become lifelong friends who share each others’ lives through the ups and downs.  

But I know it takes a while for those relationships to deepen, so in the meantime, how about a nice bath and a cup of tea?  Warming yourself helps, and when you’re helped, you’ll be able to do more, get out, and begin to feel even better.   

Note — if you’re taking a bath with your baby for the first time, do it with someone else at home.  The tricky part is getting used to transferring a wet baby out of the tub while you’re still in it.  It’s easiest, at first, to hand the baby off to your partner, and then get out by yourself.

Full article here.