cookieChoices = {};

Monday 26 October 2020

Making bath time something to look forward too.

For many families bath time is a daily stress filled event. The biggest mistake we can make is to consider bath time a chore that we need to tick off our daily to-do list. Rather take a step back and consider bath time a special time that you get to spend with your little one. Here are some ideas that will hopefully help make the transition to bath time and bath time itself, a more enjoyable and relaxing occasion.

Safety first

Remember that small children need to be supervised at all times, especially in and near water. Sometimes the big bath does feel scary for a little person and then to use a smaller inexpensive tub inside the bath will help them feel much safer. The bath itself can be very slippery and it is scary for both you and your child when they slip. A non-slip mat (or a towel) in the bath can help to reduce the chances of them slipping.


Do your best to make bath time fun. A mirror in the bathroom that is at your child’s eye level when they are in the bath is a great attraction and distraction. Painting with face paint or drawing with bath crayons will also help make bath time more exciting. Having different toys like small containers and spoons, a doll and doll clothes, blocks, toy cars, plastic animals, a small plastic teapot / jug with little cups, different sponges, foam animals, shapes, letters, boats, floating animals or small balls at hand for bath time, are all inviting toys that you can alternate during the week.

Use this play time to bond with your child. The more you speak to them, the more you enrich their vocabulary and language use. Name the objects that they are playing with, mimic the animal or car noises and describe what you are doing by using sentences like: ‘I am pouring tea into my cup’ or ‘let’s wash your blue car’. You can also count the toys, look at the colours and sizes, and do measurement activities while using sentences like: ‘Let’s fill up the cup’ or ‘Oh dear, now the bottle is empty’, to help build their Math’s related vocabulary.


If supper time is generally a chaotic time for your family, then consider planning for bath time to take place earlier in the day, if possible. When I found myself alone at home and rushed for time, I would put a large towel on the kitchen floor, with the tub on top of it and my boys bathed there (well honestly they splashed more than anything else). This allowed me to get supper going, while they were having fun getting clean and when dad got home, things were slightly less crazy.

Sometimes our little people have had a very busy day and we as grown-ups assume that a bath is just what they need, because that is what we love after a long day. But for a little person whose small body is still learning to digest all the sensory input from their day, a bath might just be the trigger for a complete meltdown. Never wake a sleeping child to bath them. You will definitely have self-inflicted war on your hands and it is really not worth it.

Think about their senses

Make sure the bathroom is not too cold, especially for your very small child. Consider having a candle lit in the bathroom, as the softer light will be gentler on their tired eyes and the flame will be a welcome distraction.

Minimising problems

Bubble bath is a great soaker for all the dirt, so that you do not always need to fight with them to use soap and a facecloth or sponge. One of my boys despised having his hair washed when he was small, but once he started wearing goggles in the bath, it became a much less traumatic experience for all us. Telling your child step by step what you are doing is very important. Once bath time becomes a predictable time, they will feel more in control. You can help to establish this routine by narrating the washing process with sentences such as ‘I am rubbing soap on the sponge and then I am going to wash your back’. This will also enrich your child’s body knowledge. And know that sometimes your best bath time strategy is to just sit quietly with them and play with the water.


When bath time is done, don’t just yank them out. Have a predictable three step routine, that is always the same, for when you near the end of bath time. This way their subconscious will know that bath time is coming to an end. Here is one example of such a routine that you can consider adopting:

·         Step 1: Let’s put the soap and face cloth in their places

·         Step 2: Let’s pack our toys on the side of the bath so they can dry

·         Step 3: Would you like to use your blue towel or red towel tonight?

And the bonus for getting out of the bath? They get to blow out the candle (and that might just become the best part)!

It is important that you don’t rush this part of the routine. Small children do not like to be rushed. Do your best to stay calm and stay present. Take them to their room after their bath to dry them and massage them as you rub cream into their skin, all the while talking gently. This will help to set the tone for the rest of your evening together.

Our children are desperate for our physical and emotional presence and because we live such rushed lives we often miss those ques. Bath time is a perfect opportunity to pause life, take a deep breath and just be with your child. They will chat to you and even if you don’t understand what they are saying, knowing that you listen to their small conversations, will lay the foundation for your relationship with them so that they will come to you later with the big stuff too. 

And as life with children are, even when you do all of the above, you will still have those absolute insane evenings, but hopefully with these tips they will become few and far in between. Enjoy this time. Our children grow up fast and then we can only return to these memories, wishing we had more.


No comments:

Post a Comment


    As parents, it is always important to remember that when it comes to our children, that we NEED to be on the same team, and that we ...