Thursday, September 23, 2010

Too good for NEJM, JAMA and The Lancet

THE EFFECTS OF WEEKLY MOTHER-CHILD BUBBLE BATHS ON STRESS AND BONDING*

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM:
Solitary bubble baths have been shown to reduce stress and provide relaxation in otherwise busy lives. Yet, when wild-type offspring are introduced, this usually signals the end of all things peaceful for at least several decades. It is unknown whether dual mother-child bubble baths decrease stress associated with child-rearing and increase bonding.

DESCRIPTION OF INTERVENTION:
A weekly mother-child bubble bath ritual was introduced in a chaotic home with a possibly hyperactive, high-needs child with an uncanny resemblance to a sumo wrestler. The mother, an occasionally stressed out professional woman with pores the size of Canada, herded the child into the bathroom during two random afternoons. A bubble bath was initiated and all parties were disrobed fully, including protective undergarments. Attention was paid to blowing puffs of bubbles into each other's faces and sticking the most amount of bubbles onto exposed body parts. Both were instructed specifically not to urinate during the intervention, and any gross violation of health codes or sanitation would require immediate evacuation of the tub. A one-time, re-fill with warmer water was permitted.

FINDINGS TO DATE:
Despite the near-abortion of the first bath due to an egregious urination episode, the first intervention provided a much needed stress release and increased mother-child bonding significantly. During the repeat session, these findings were reproduced nicely, and fortunately, no witnessed urination was documented. There was, however, submersed flatus on part of the sumo-child, and one can only assume there was plenty of other covert underwater pollution occurring. Water samples for toxic waste and sewage were not performed.

KEY LESSONS LEARNED:
A regular series of mother-child bubble baths can decrease stress and increase bonding. The main adverse effects were water/noise pollution, although not enough to result in tub evacuation.


*I just rediscovered this post study that I was first author on over 3 1/2 years ago when my daughter was 2 and wanted to share the results with the larger MiM scientific community. We here at MiM welcome submissions from MiM researchers conducting their own related research and would welcome publishing any such reports here.

4 comments:

  1. How wonderful!

    My kids and I spent half days in the tub when they were 1-2/3-4. I spent a ridiculous amount of money on tub tints, bubble bath, and foamy soap, but we had a blast. A long bath is a great way to keep little ones happy for an extended period of time, especially on a long winter weekend.

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  2. I love this! My favorite part was "due to an egregious urination episode". Haha!

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  3. Love it! I have to admit, though, my therapeutic baths tend to be a solo operation.

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