Finding Time To Shower When You Have Small Children (yes, even when you have a newborn)

Yes mama! You can find time to shower when you have small children. It feels crazy that I would even need to type that.  But I do.

As a mom of two young children (11 months old and 4 years old), I have spent a great deal of time in forums and Facebook groups with other moms. One thing that I read often is this:

  • “I haven’t showered in 6 days.”
  • “I am wearing the same milk stained shirt I was wearing last Sunday.”
  • “I am surviving on dry shampoo and baby wipes.”

No mama. No more. You HAVE to take care of yourself.

And I know what you are thinking (because I thought the same things):

  • I just don’t have time to shower.
  • I can’t leave the baby to shower.
  • My priority is to take care of the baby. My needs can wait.

But here is the thing. Even in those first few weeks postpartum, it is so important that you take care of your most basic needs. You need to eat. You need to sleep when you can. And you need to shower.

Let the house get a little messy. Order in for food. Let the texts and emails go unanswered. But take care of yourself.

Here is the tricky thing about self-care. As moms, we often (ok, almost always), put the needs of others before our own. But when we feel dirty, exhausted, so, so hungry…we begin to feel less than human. I have been there. When you have a baby attached to your boob 24-7, you aren’t sleeping regularly, your body is changing. You just don’t feel human. You may feel like a milk machine. You may feel touched out. You may just feel numb.

In order to be able to give your energy, love and time to your family, you have to make sure that you are filling your bucket first. Otherwise, you will have nothing to give. A shower can take just 10 minutes, but it can be really renewing. And taking just a bit more time to get dressed and blow dry your hair can leave you feeling like a new woman.

Disclaimer: I have had to shower with a tiny audience for the last four years. At some point, you just get used to it. And the kids think nothing of it. At this point, they hardly pay any attention to me. Here are my favorite strategies for finding time to shower with newborns and/or other young children.

Newborns:

  • Leave the baby with your spouse/partner/parent/friend/family member while you shower. I promise, you baby will be just fine. And you are not burdening anyone by asking them for 15 minutes of their time.
  • If you are a single mama, or need to shower when nobody else is home, try placing your baby in a rolling bassinet or pack n’ play while you shower. You can place a bassinet just outside of the shower, and you can have eyes on your baby at all times. Plus, the baby often enjoys the sound of the running water! I have used this bassinet and this pack n’ play for both of our boys.

Older Babies:

  • Use a pack n’ play filled with toys either inside of the bathroom (if your bathroom is larger), or just outside of the door.
  • If your baby is a bit older, try an exersaucer. Place it just outside the shower. The baby will have plenty to do while you shower, and you can keep your eye on them!

Toddlers:

  • Here, again, I recommend the pack n’ play, filled with toys. Try playing some music too, to keep your baby entertained! I like to use the Pandora app on my phone, and choose a toddler station.

Preschoolers:

  • Create a little activity basket in your bathroom, and purchasing a small beanbag chair. In the activity basket, add puzzles, interactive books, even some crayons and coloring books. These activities will be sure to keep your preschooler busy, while you get ready for the day!

As your children get older, you can find new and different ways to keep them busy. You can  shower when you have small children..  Just make sure that you are taking time for self-care each day. You might feel guilty at time, but consider what you are teaching your children about the importance of hygiene and taking care of yourself. And consider the impact that self care has on your ability to be the best mommy you can be.

What have you tried, and had success with? Comment below with your best tips!

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About Me

Hi! I am Amy, the creator of RunawayTeacher. I am a mom to two boys, and I married to my best friend. I love mom life, crafting, and blogging. Read More.

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