Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rub a dub dub...

Bath time is a part of our daily bed time routine. We don't use soap and full out wash our little girl down every single night, but we do get in the tub every day. For us, it has really helped to have a set routine at night and our daughter goes to bed easily. Luckily, our little miss really enjoys her bath time. She loves it. However, in talking to moms/reading books I hear that many toddlers go through a phase where they don't like baths (even if they usually do) so I thought it might be beneficial to discuss.

I've heard that some toddlers don't like baths because they are afraid of being sucked down the drain or they are afraid of having their hair washed. If you think this could be the case at your house you could try getting your toddler out before draining the water. To make washing hair easier, try using a shower visor or goggles when washing your toddler's hair. Another thing that might work is using a detachable shower head if you have one or a damp cloth instead of running water. One mom I know solved her bath time troubles by allowing her toddler to take showers. Another thing to consider. Since our daughter was little, she has taken showers with us once in while and I think that has gotten her used to getting some water splashed in her face which may have helped.

We also have some fun bath toys that entertain our little girl. She likes her sponge letters and numbers, bath books, bubbles, rubber bath toys, and cups she can fill with water and dump out. The other day at the grocery store I saw tub markers which could be fun since many toddlers love to draw. They also had bath fizz that changed the water color (you could probably even use a drop of food coloring?). I've also seen washcloth puppets, bath mirrors, wind up bath toys, and boats.

Another concern with bathing a little one is keeping bath time safe. Some moms I know use rubber bath mats and/or have a cushioned spout to protect their kids from hitting their head. I've also heard it is important to teach your toddler not to stand in the tub. For some this is definitely easier said than done. For us, when our daughter stands up it usually means she is ready to get out of the tub. If not, we just redirect her to a toy and tell her she needs to sit down. My nephew loves to stand in the tub and my SIL is fine with it as long as she is right there to watch him.

What do you do to help make bath time fun and safe?

Does your toddler like to stand in the tub? What do you do about it?
How do you make washing your child's hair successful or do they not seem to mind it?
How often do you bathe your children?
What types of bath products do you use? What kinds of soap, shampoo, toys, etc?


Megan said...

I bath my son every other day. We have bath toys for him and enjoys playing in the water and splashing. He doesn't like getting water in his face, and luckily enough we have a detachable shower head which makes washing his hair easy. I do have problems with him standing up in the tub. We tell him to sit down and try redirecting his attention, and nothing seems to work. Does anyone have an suggestions?

Erin said...

Hayden gets a bath every night and it helps him calm down for bed. All he needs is a cup and he's fine. I suggested to him to pour water on his own head and that helps him get used to water in his face. He thinks it's funny when he does it, but not when we do it. He doesn't love getting his hair washed, but if we talk to him and ask him about what's on the ceiling (we have flower wall paper up there) he's fine. I think the most important safety guideline is to never ever leave the room when your kid is in the tub. Anything can happen in an instant. If you are there then you can help them to remember to sit down and catch them if they slip.

Jared and Delia said...

My son has almost always bathed infrequently because he suffers from eczema. For soap we use white Dove soap to help with the dry skin. On other nights we would just wash hands, face, and feet. He is now four and baths almost everyday since he gets way too dirty not too. He HATES getting water in his face. I almost bought one of those shampoo bathing visor things but then he learned to lay back in the tub and let me rinse his hair out that way. I know many toddlers don't like laying back int he water too... so I would just have him dump the water on his head himself. He seemed to be okay with that more than having us do it. He used to love showers but then one day he didn't so that option was out for us.

I have never worried about them standing in the tub. As long as they aren't jumping or getting out of hand and you are right there I don't think it matters too much. My son liked to put his foam letters up high and make little scenes...which requires standing. You can gauge if they are steady enough on their feet to handle standing in the tub I guess.

One tip. To help prevent water getting all over the bathroom when they splash... I pull the shower curtain almost closed and sit where it is open. It contains the water pretty well and makes after bath clean up easier.

Roeckers said...

From the time the belly button falls off to now my kids bathe daily as part of our night time routine. It has played a huge part in winding them down, and keeping them on schedule.

All of my kids have eczema, after conferring with a few dermatologists I have come up with a routine that doesn't affect their skin. We use baby oil instead of baby wash. Oil gets out more dirt and helps lock in moisture. (You have to wash hair first of course or you end up with greasy hair.) I use a clarifying shampoo (costly) to help with their scalp and lather them up immediately after getting out with Eucrine cream.

Honestly you have brought up a few things I never thought of...standing up I never thought of as a hazard, using the curtain as a shield, a distraction on the ceiling. I grew up with ziplock containers and Tupperware as bath time toys, and my kids love food coloring in the tub (a great science tool mixing colors to see what they make!). I am interested to see what others do!

Anonymous said...

Those are some great tips for keeping the kids happy in the bath! My kids have never seemed to have much of a problem and I've wondered if it has helped because we started them in the big tub since they were little. When they're infants we just laid a bath mat in the tub and filled it with just a small amount of water barely covering the mat. As they got older, we used a bath seat and bathed the younger one with older siblings. They ended up getting splashed by the older kids and adjusted to water in their faces quickly. We also would alternate between bathing (when we had more time) and showering (when we were short on time). Recently, one child decided that showering and getting water on her face wasn't fun. But changed her mind when she got to shower like a big girl with mommy, and realized that there wasn't anything to be scared about.

One other thought I'd like to share is in regard to the question of what bath products we use. I have recently made the switch to more natural bath products (i.e. less synthetic ingredients and chemicals). I recently found out about the popular baby products that tout themselves as "gentle" as actually having cancer-causing toxins. I made the switch, horrified that I had been slathering that nasty stuff on my kids for years. (Here is the link if anyone else is interested in learning more about it: ). I have found some great products now, that I actually know (and can pronounce) what everything is in the ingredients list. I have realized that what I put ON my body (or my kids' bodies) is just as important as what I eat and put IN my body, as the skin is the largest organ our body has. I've had some "aha" moments recently, can you tell? My family has had some good results with the switch-the awful rash that my husband had been dealing with for about a year suddenly cleared up when he started using a natural castile bar soap instead of a detergent bar soap (what most commercial bar soaps are made of today).

Good luck to everyone, though, with getting their kids to enjoy their baths!

Kym, Shaun and Riley said...

I bathe my son every other day and have done since he was born. I bathe him in the morning because that's what I do. I know some people bathe their kids at night, but I thought it would wake him up. I just use Johnson's baby wash and Baby Magic lotion. At night I do use a lavendar-scented lotion, but I don't know if it really helps or not. He's always been a pretty good sleeper.

Courtney said...

It is funny to look back and realize that I had all these same concerns/questions. We went through a phase of standing up. I just had to keep reminding my son to sit down so he wouldn't fall. I think I even gave the consequence of having to get out a few times... I love the blowup/plastic things that you can use to cover the water faucet. I am also a big fan of bath seats for the younger ones. I even let me oldest splash all he wants as long as the shower curtain is closed. We didn't invest a lot in toys it seems as though some plastic cups are fun enough! =0)

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