I have a problem with timing. My goal is to give LO a bath every two to three days, whether he needs it or not. LO is currently six and a half weeks old. I believe I've given him three baths total. (Okay, so it's not quite that bad. I think it's four).
There are several reasons why I'm currently in the running for Mother of the Year, Hygiene Edition. Really, it all comes down to my problem with timing. I refuse to wake up a sleeping baby to give him a bath, particularly when that bath will cause him to scream at me. So that nixes about 16-18 hours out of every day from being happy bath hour. Okay, so we've decided he needs to be awake. But generally when he first wakes up he's hungry, and heaven help the mommy who tries to place a bath in between LO and his food. So, okay, we've got to wait until after he's eaten. This is actually probably a good idea, in that LO is as messy an eater as his mother. (As a matter of fact, I would claim that he's messier than I am. I might get an embarrassing dab of tomato sauce or salad dressing on my sweater, but I've never had rivers of food running down my chin and onto my neck. But I'd never say anything to LO. No need to embarrass him). So you'd think that after a meal would be the perfect time for baby cleaning. Unfortunately, there are two problems with this plan. The first is the fact that LO slips into a food coma after eating (the only exception to this rule is the 10 pm feeding--when I would most like him to sleep because it's bedtime for the rest of the B family). This takes me back to the sleeping/bathing conundrum. The second post-meal problem is the fact that LO has been having some problems with determining when he is done. Apparently, the tank does not register as full unless and until it is overflowing. So even if LO is still awake after a meal, the jostling necessary for a bath would probably cause him to become Pukey McPukerson. This, of course, negates the entire point of the bath.
Basically, I must bathe my son when he is awake, alert, not hungry, not too full and not already screaming. There are approximately 17 minutes per day (non-consecutive) wherein all of this is true. And since I like to play with my smelly little boy when he's looking at me with love and wonder rather than put him through the torture of a bath, that is why J came home last night and said, "Dude, the baby smells."
Well. Yes. There is a slight eau de sour milk clinging to LO. (See previous note regarding Pukey McPukerson. And messy eating.) I probably have not noticed it because I spend my time sniffing LO's head--he still has that lovely new human smell--and because I am also often the target for LO's experiments with the projectile motion of liquid. Between the spit-up on me and my continuing issues with the timing of meal delivery not necessarily coinciding with LO's meal eating, I, too, have a slight odor. (I, at least, wash on a daily basis. You would think that LO would have just a little more self respect).
Yesterday was particularly bad. After a bad spit-up, I usually at least try to redress LO with clean clothes, even if the baby himself is still stinky. But it happened three times in one sitting, and I decided I'd let the kid finish up on the same onesie rather than dirty another and another... Then I decided it was past time to wash the kid, so I'd wait to change his onesie until after he was clean. And of course, then I had the problem of timing.
Now, before you start calling child services, I do use wipes for clean up after anything leaks from either end of the child. Today, when he wakes up for his usual love and awe session, I'm going to bite the bullet and give him a bath. As I keep telling him while I've got him squriming in the bathroom sink, I really love having baths. He likes to do what I do, so maybe it'll start to sink in and he'll learn he likes bathing. (I've tried to teach him about reading in the tub being one of life's greatest joys, but he keeps dropping the book.)
We plan to go to the library and run some errands today. By then, I hope that LO will no longer be emitting odor rays visible to the naked eye. If he is, please, don't offer to fight me about it. The smell might rub off on you.