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Toddlers And Bath Times

A lot of parents dread putting their toddler to bed because they know that it is going to be the start of screaming, tantrums and a long night. If your a parent or carer and feel this way, don't worry, you are not alone.

Having a calm and consistent bed time routine for your toddler and using the stay in bed technique will help you to eliminate tears and tantrums and create a peaceful household.

However, despite how much you try, there will always be one part of your toddlers bedtime routine that they will not enjoy, and for a lot of toddlers, this is bath time.

Toddlers don't tend to like baths for a number of reasons:

  • your toddler doesn’t like water
  • your toddler finds bath time boring
  • your toddler doesn’t like shampoo as it gets in their eyes
  • your toddler is scared of water

There are lots of reasons as to why your toddler doesn’t like bath time, so here are a couple of tips that will help calm bath time time and make it a more enjoyable experience.

Give your toddler clear and repeated warnings that bath time is coming

If your toddler is happy playing, don’t just take them away from their game because it’s bound to put your toddler in a bad mood.

Instead, tell your toddler that in ten minutes they will be having bath time. Five minutes after that, warn your toddler they have five minutes to finish their game and pack away their toys as it is bath time.

Stick to what you say, and once their time is up (you really have to give them as long as you say, don’t just give them 30 seconds in-between warnings) start your bed time routine.

Talk your toddler through the bath time routine

Tell your toddler what you are doing and explain why you are doing it. You may think it’s obvious as to why you have to wash, but you have to remember it is an alien concept to them.

Make explanations fun and light hearted so your toddler relaxes and is happy.

Your toddler doesn't like hair being washed

How would you like someone rubbing shampoo into your hair, having it drip into your eyes, then have water tipped over your head.

It is easy to see why many toddlers don't like having their hair washed, so try out these tips for no more tears bath times:

Let your toddler wash your hair and explain why you wash your hair

This lets your toddler see that everyone else washes their hair (its not just as a punishment to your toddler). It also makes hair washing more fun.

Let your toddler put a flannel over their face

This means water cant get in their eyes. Make this into a game so you take it off and give them a kiss before covering them up and tipping more water on them.

Make bath time a family affair

Get in the bath with your toddler or wash siblings together - bath time is a lot more fun when you have someone to share it with.

Bath times, toys and bubbles

Make bath time more fun for your toddler. Allow your toddler to take some toys in the bath with them. Have lots of bubbles, maybe even change the colour of the water with special bubble bath. It makes a boring chore more fun and exciting and your toddler can enjoy their own little bath time adventure.

Your toddler has a fear of water

If your toddler has a fear of water, take them swimming. Take them at a time when they can see other people swimming, so your toddler knows its not as scary as it seems. Build your toddlers confidence in the water by holding them and letting them float. Bring some floats and splash around. Prove to your toddler that water is fun not scary.

Taking your toddler swimming is a great way to build trust between you and your toddler and allows you to increase and strengthen that special bond.