Let’s Make Bath Time Fun
For some parents and toddlers, bath time can quickly become a battle of wills. When your toddler hates getting into the water and you get stressed, it never ends well! But there’s no need to panic. There are lots of ways to make bath time easier for both of you.
Many toddlers are worried by new things and the bathtub can feel threatening to them. Similarly, warm water and getting their faces and heads wet may be stressful. As with all new things, the key is to allow your toddler time to explore and figure out ways to distract them while they get cleaned up. The solution? You guessed it – make bath time fun!
Let’s start with the basics.
Prepare the Bath
The bathwater should be warm enough to be comfortable but not too hot. As you probably already know, the water should be a decent depth for your toddler to sit up in and no deeper. Too shallow, though, and your toddler will get cold and grumpy! You should also test the temperature beforehand to make sure it’s okay. You’ll only need the bathwater for 15 minutes or so, so don’t worry about it staying warm for a long period of time.
A good tip for children who are scared of the bath is to let them play in it for a few minutes while it’s empty. This way, they get used to the environment a bit at a time. Adding lights may also help create a fun party vibe. The drain can be quite scary so putting a cover over it is a good idea.
If your toddler tends to kick and splash, make sure that you have bathmats ready so they don’t slip. While this sort of behaviour could be stressful for you, try to keep calm and let them carry on. Splashing can be fun too! Remember that everything is new for toddlers so letting them explore and react to new surroundings is a good thing. One of the best things about being a parent is watching your little ones grow so try to treasure these moments.
Teaching by good example works really well in most areas of life. If you want to show your toddler that the bath is fun and safe, it’s a good idea to get in and play with them. When they see you having a good time, they will quickly adapt and want to join in and play too. Older siblings can also help here and bathing two children at once might even save you some time. Well, it might…
Choose the Right Soaps
The right shampoo is essential. Many people have sensitive skin and require hypoallergenic shampoo. But what is hypoallergenic shampoo, you ask? Essentially, it’s shampoo made without any of the ingredients that might irritate your head such as fragrances, sulfates and even gluten. By switching to a hypoallergenic shampoo, your little one might be more inclined to let you wash their hair without a fuss.
Adding bubbles to the water appeals to most toddlers and, if we’re being honest, to most adults too. Bubbles are something that we humans just don’t grow out of! You can make bubble hats and beards, throw the bubbles around and let them splash and play. Make sure that you get a bubble bath that is suitable for toddlers and won’t sting if it gets into their eyes by accident.
If dying your bath water appeals to you and your toddler, you only need a couple of drops of food coloring to make it happen. With this quantity, it’s unlikely to dye their skin and, since it’s food safe, there shouldn’t be any problems with reactions. One fun way to incorporate color to bath time is to go around the house collecting lots of plastic bath-safe objects to bring in and play with.
Find Some Toys
Bath toys are ideal for keeping little ones occupied in the bath. Focus on the kind of toys that they can fill up and pour out so that they can get used to the water but don’t be afraid to branch out. Lots of their favorite plastic toys will happily survive the tub, just make sure you dry them off before putting them back in the toy box.
One great way to engage a toddler who doesn’t really want to get in the bath is to persuade them to give a doll a bath. This way, you can show them how bathing works and they can feel grown up as they do the same with their baby. There are endless variations with dolls such as teaching them to swim, rescuing them from the water and washing their hair.
If you don’t want to spend a small fortune on new toys every week, role play is always fun and there’s no reason that you can’t play pirates or mermaids in the bath. If you are really struggling to keep your toddler engaged, you can always resort to a bath time snack. Bananas are perfect for this though you’ll probably have to fish out the banana skin in the end.
Make Bath Time Fun
Toddlers are all about exploration, creativity and fun, which is why they cause merry chaos wherever they go! The good news is that the bath is the ideal location for some messy fun and there are plenty of products to help you out.
Bath crayons are great because they give your toddler something creative to do. In fact, you can even make soap crayons at home with just a few simple ingredients. The key is to use plenty of food coloring so beware that things will get messy in the kitchen! But what’s really great is that making crayons together means that your toddler will have a big incentive to want to get in the bath to play with them.
Singing songs always helps with bath time too. You might like to try adapting nursery rhymes, such as turning 5 green bottles into 5 rubber ducks, or making up your very own bath time song. If you’re not so musical, there are a few songs online that are easy to learn and fun to sing.
Keep it Short
While we might like lounging around in the bath, most toddlers won’t want to stay in for very long – unless they are having fun. This is completely fine and as long as you get to wash all the important bits, there’s no reason to prolong a bath beyond their attention span. If you have an anxious toddler, it might be a good idea to start with a super-short bath and then build up the time as they get comfortable.
Make sure you have a big fluffy towel ready for when they get out – preferably one that has been on the radiator so it’s nice and warm. This is especially important when it’s cold out. Once they are all wrapped up, use a second warm towel to dry their hair. Alternatively, a hooded towel is a great investment and if you can get a few with different characters, you can extend your play a little longer.
For many busy families, bath time is crucial for getting in some quality time together so don’t put too much pressure on it. While getting clean is the main aim, it’s still important to spend time playing together and giving your toddler an opportunity to get used to the water. Play games, listen to your toddler chatter and give yourself some time to relax as well.