From the time they are born until they are about 20 years old, a baby’s first swimming session with their mother or father is called a “bath”.
But when they are at school, the experience becomes a special moment for many parents.
In the words of an expert, “a bath is like a big family reunion”.
For many parents who are worried their kids will be left in the lurch by their school’s decision to host their swimming, a bath is their best chance to get the children back to school, and make sure they can resume the school year on a positive note.
“Parents can’t afford to miss out on a bath for their children because they feel that they’re missing out on something special and that’s why they are there,” says Dr. Heather O’Neill, director of the University of Melbourne’s Institute for Child Health.
Parents who feel overwhelmed by the prospect of missing out will often opt to bring their own bathing suits, in case the school swims are cancelled.
Some families may also opt to make sure their child does not have a bath in the school gymnasium during the day.
This is the case with some schools in Melbourne and in some parts of Western Australia, where the use of showers or bathhouses has increased dramatically.
This week’s school swimming ban has resulted in many parents in the state of Victoria opting not to have their children take a swimming lesson, and opting to instead use their own pool or waterpark.
For some parents, this is an extremely distressing decision.
“It’s a shame, because it’s really good to see your child in school, but they are still at home,” says one parent, who wished to remain anonymous.
“You don’t have a lot of options.”
One of the ways to ensure your child is not left in a lurch is to use your own pool, says Dr O’Neil.
“There’s nothing like a private pool, but it is a great option for parents who don’t want their children to have to leave the school to go to their own.”
A Bathroom Bathroom, where parents can wash and bathe their child, is an ideal place for parents to reconnect and recharge, says Ms O’Neills father, who is a registered nurse.
“They’ll have time to shower, they’ll have their own bath and the kids can sit and relax.”
But some parents may be disappointed to learn that their child’s swim lessons will be cancelled for the week, as the school has decided not to host the event.
“If the school is going to have a swim and no one wants to go, then they can go,” says Ms Naylor.
The school’s policy for banning the event is that students are not allowed to be in the water for the rest of the week.
“The school doesn’t want to jeopardise any school days.
If there are no swimming days in the week then the students will be unable to swim.”
However, in some schools, including the one where the Bathroom is being held, parents can take their children outside the pool to bathe them, if they wish to do so.
For parents who opt to take their child out of the water, there is a third option: to bring your own bath.
“Bathrooms are great for kids to have privacy,” says O’Naughton.
“A bath is a very comfortable place to sit and shower in and it can also be a great way for parents and children to bond.”
Bathroom etiquette The pool bath, or bathtub, is a natural home for babies and toddlers.
In a bath, your child will not be able to touch your body and you will have a place to get to know your child.
You will not need to worry about a bath being dirty, but your child can still touch your breast or under your arms.
For your child to bathing in a bathtub is different to bathing in a swimming pool.
“In a swimming environment you’re going to be sitting and bathing with your arms and legs wrapped around you, so your arms are touching the water,” says Mrs O’Dowd.
“Your baby is not going to get wet and feel like they are being washed, so you need to have some space to do that.”
For many families, bathing in the bathtub with their child will be the best option for bonding, says O-Neill.
“At least you’re not touching your baby and it’s not dirty, so they are not scared of touching your body,” she says.
Bathroom baths are also great for parents’ bonding with their children.
For example, they can play in the tub together, or they can watch the kids playing in the sand.
“I think bathing in our bath is just as natural and relaxing for parents as sitting in the pool with your child,” says Naylor of the Bathtub Bathroom.
“Because we are both naked, there’s no contact between us.
There is no rubbing, there are