Aunty Hadassah and her newborn son, Yochanan, came to stay with us for a while, a few years ago. When she was getting ready to give him a bath, I noticed that she used water hot enough for an adult to bath with. And even then, that adult had to really like their water hot and not just mildly warm. I asked her about it and she said, ‘when you wash a baby with really hot water, then give them a massage, when you put them to bed, they sleep like they have never slept before. They sleep like a rock. They sleep really well.’ I remember thinking, ‘hmmmm, there’s a thought’.
Sometimes I treat my husband and I to go and get massages. I like to take a hot shower before the massage (I have OCD like that). Anyway, after the massage, the therapist usually says something along the lines of, ‘I’m done, you can get up when you’re ready. I’ll be back to show you to your dressing room’ or something to that effect. I’m usually too fast asleep to care.
So it makes perfect sense that that whole procedure should have the same effect on babies.
When Kendi was born, we didn’t test the water with our elbows like we’ve seen so many times. We simply mixed her bath water, more hot than cold, and dunked the baby in. She loved it, it relaxed her muscles. By the time we were massaging her, she was half asleep. The feed came at the REM stage of sleep. She was gone before we put her in her cot.
Fantastic this hot water business.