Bath time is an essential part of life, but when you have a child who is afraid of baths, it can be a real challenge to get everybody clean, much less teach your child how to love the bath.
If your child doesn’t like to take baths, these are a few things that might help them ease into the process a bit more. We’ve partnered with our sponsor, Tub Cubby to bring you these fun ideas.
1 – Make sure they have a lot of bubbles. I’ve found bubbles to be the make-or-break for bath time at our house. For the first few years of my son’s life I never bothered buying bubble bath because I figured it was non-essential and we were on a tight budget.
I have since changed my mind. Bubble bath is, in fact, essential. The kids hop happily in the bath when they know they are about to be overwhelmed with bubbles. Since most bubble bath is glorified soap, it also helps for kiddos who are not so keen on meticulously washing themselves. Everyone comes out clean and sweet-smelling after they’ve spent some time playing in a few inches of bubbles.
2 – Toys. Toys. Toys. TOYS. Bath toys can make or break bath time, especially for a more stubborn kiddo. The bath should be filled with all sorts of wonderful toys that they ONLY see when they are in the tub. This means, they have to agree to get in the water to have access to all the special and fun things you have for glorious water playtime.
If your child still doesn’t want to get in the bath, another way to ease them into the idea and lessen their fear of water, is to allow them to play with some of these toys from outside the tub. They can lead over the ledge of the filled tub and play with your supervision for awhile until they get used to the idea of being near water.
3 – Never speak negatively about bath time. Being afraid of, or hating the bath might seem silly to us as adults, but it can be a source of really big fears and emotions for kids. Never use their timidness or fear about the bath as a threat or even to tease. Use language that encourages them that baths are happy, helpful times and not scary throughout the day and most especially when it’s time to go to the bath.
4 – Organize the toys. One down side to a lot of toys is that they end up getting water all over everything OR just sitting in their wetness so they are gross to use for next bath. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than convincing your kiddo that they’ll have all their favorite bath toys waiting for them if they will only agree to get in the tub.
Using the tub cubby is the BEST way to do this. It hangs on the wall next to the tub and allows the toys to drip dry between baths so they don’t just sit and stay wet.
5. Inch by inch – Start small! You don’t have to put the bath on full blast right at first. Fill up the tub an inch while the child is in the other room. This will keep your child from being scared by the loud tub faucet. Starting with only a small, less-intimidating amount of water in the tub can help ease them into the bathtime transition as well. This can be a gradual progression from little more than a sponge bath in an inch of water, to eventually becoming more and more comfortable with sitting in a tub full of water, and hopefully even one day LOVING to play in the bath.
Have you tried any of these tricks with a reluctant bather? Tell us your bath ideas in the comments and don’t forget to check out these awesome tub cubby options for storing your tub toys and supplies!