The bath might be bigger, but it doesn't necessarily make it easier. As your baby grows he will trade sour milk and sweaty cheese-neck for dirty nails, a grimy snot-nose and stinky feet. Your little dust-bucket might love taking a bath or act like you are attempting to dip him in boiling oil, but love it or hate it, the bath must both begin and end on a fairly regular basis. Some parents find bathing their kids as easy as pie, for those lucky few: "move along, there is nothing to see here." For the rest of us, here are 5 tips that hopefully will make bath time a little easier on you and your lovable little water spout.
1. Start with 2 inches.
The first couple minutes of your toddler's bath are the most important ones. Fill your tub to only about 2 inches of water, then lay your little mermaid in the tub on her back and give her a toy. This way you can conquer the hardest part of the bath at the very beginning: the hair washing. Take a cup and pour it over her hair, but away from her face, apply the shampoo, lather and rinse as fast as you can while still achieving cleanliness. The low water level makes the prospect of laying in the tub for a few minutes less of a stretch for your little squid, and can greatly simplify the process of hair washing. After the hair is washed, your little one can sit up in the tub, and you can take the washcloth to all of the parts (like behind the knees), that are traditionally immersed in water for the duration of the bath. After soaping your child up, turn the water back on. The rest of the bath, whether short or long is now safely designated as play time.
2. Splash-proof the bathroom.
It is a good idea to take toilet paper, magazines and anything else that you don't want to get wet out of the room for the duration of the bath. Try as we might to explain why mommy and daddy don't want water everywhere, we can't explain away the fact that splashing is fun. So, since splashing will probably happen no matter what we say, why not prepare for the worst? You can still try to encourage the bath time behavior you would prefer, without as much potential mess to clean up if your water etiquette rules are flouted.
3. Set a timer.
This is a good idea whether your little jellyfish loves the bath or despises it. If there is a set amount of time that the bath is to last, you will not be the one to blame for ending it. If your child has fair, or sensitive skin, this is also a good way to limit the length of your toddler's bath to help prevent a dry skin rash, or a flare up of psoriasis or eczema.
4. Have potty time first.
I think the reason for this is obvious, but it is hard to remember to do. If you include it as part of your bath time routine, it will be much easier. Also, if you can get your little marine biologist to sit still on the potty while you fill the tub, not only does that keep him out of your way, but the running water might help inspire some pee pee action at the same time.
5. Jump on in!
The most boring part of bath time is sitting there waiting while your little bubble blower splashes about having a grand old time. Every once in a while you should throw on your swim suit, or not, and jump in the tub with your toddler! You might be surprised what a fun and creative playtime you can have sloshing around the tub together. I love to play with my son at bath time, but bending over the tub, or kneeling on the hard bathroom floor makes it something I do less often than I would like. Jumping on in is the perfect solution, it really makes bath time more fun and less stressful for everyone.
Getting your sweet little tsunami clean can be such a chore, but it can be both easier and more fun with just a few small tweaks. Please forward these tips to any parents of toddlers you know if you find these tips helpful. As always, questions comments and suggestions are always welcome. Happy parenting!
By: Naomi Tripi