I remember bathing my son for the first couple weeks when we were first home from the hospital after his stump fell out. It was like we were bathing him in hot wax and sharp knives. We kept checking the temperature to make sure everything was fine. He began to tolerate the bath as he grew until we made the switch to the tub.
A lot of toddlers go through phases where they really just don’t enjoy the bath.
Ryan did not like the bathtub. He didn’t like the bathroom. He never really spent time in there before and suddenly he was there a couple times a week. The lights were brighter. The water was louder and there was way more of it. The tub was much bigger.
Ryan was scared and would cling to me. He wouldn’t let Daddy bathe him. He would scream until we pulled him out of the tub.
It became incredibly stressful. As parents, we’re so worried about the water as it is. I didn’t want bath time to not be enjoyable for us.
Bath time would ruin bed time. It was a constant struggle and it was constant tears. We did a few things differently that made all the difference in bath time. Here are a few easy tricks you can do when your toddler hates bath time.
Five Solutions When Your Toddler Hates Bath Time!
I was adamant about our routine to fit into my work schedule. When my hours shifted to a bit earlier, we shifted our night time routine. Bath time was now earlier and we were able to avoid a lot of tears by just moving bath time up a half hour.
It’s amazing how much one little change can do for your kids. That goes either way, too. This experiment worked for us. You may need to try a morning bath or some other time of the day as opposed to a night time bath.
We also shortened the bath time for awhile. We were in and out with a little playing. I wanted my son to get acquainted with the water and know that the bath wasn’t a scary place to be.
It was necessary at the time to get done with the business of bathing and get him out even though I really wanted him to love bath time. I didn’t want to force him to love the bath.
In addition to changing the routine, you could try bathing less until your child is better in the bath tub. You know your child’s need for a bath and can make that decision for yourself. We have stuck to every other day for our son because it works for us and is when Rion needs a bath.
You would think this would be a no brainer, but it wasn’t. I don’t know why. We had an incident as John attempted to bathe him so I could get some housework done. Ryan slipped and John swiftly caught him but the damage was done. Ryan was so scared of the bath from that point forward. The bath tub was an evil place to Ryan and he let us know every time we brought him into the bathroom.
Bath time was incredibly difficult before the shower mat. Trying to get a squirmy toddler to stay still was hard. It’s hard out of the water. Not letting him explore the tub made bath time less fun for him.
Ry wouldn’t be able to move in the tub without sliding and we needed an easy and fast solution to this problem so he wouldn’t slip and hurt himself. Amazon Prime to the rescue with this shower mat. This shower mat was a life saver. Literally.
Ry wouldn’t sit down in the tub making the shower mat absolutely necessary to bathing him.
After “the incident,” we also had this inflatable spout cover ordered as well. We never had an incident with the spout, but went ahead and ordered it to cover the bases we didn’t cover before.
Get In The Tub With Your Toddler
After the slip incident while John bathed him, I decided I would hop in the tub with him for the foreseeable future. Jumping in the tub with the toddler was a bit difficult in our small tub. We made it work until Ryan was comfortable in the water.
Bath time suddenly became my duty as the mom. Being in the tub with Ry helped keep him calm. Once I started to see that Ryan was enjoying the water, I sat on the edge of the tub with my feet in the tub just to let him know I was still there but that this was his bath time.
I no longer sit in the tub with Ry, but I am the one who does most of the bathing. John steps in from time to time, but the work we’ve put in to get Ry used to and happy with bath time makes it a seamless transition.
Water Level | Sponge Bath
We started giving Ry sponge baths in the tub to help get him used to the water before we purchased the shower mat. We had the water come out of the faucet slowly as opposed to opening the flood gates. Don’t fill the tub up completely! We let the small amount of water from the faucet be enough for our bath and out of the tub we went.
With me sitting in the tub, we put two inches of water in with us to get him used to sitting in water. He began to splash in the water and really started to enjoy himself.
We have kept the water level low at just a few inches for Ry. My eyes are always on my son and he enjoys a small amount of water as opposed to having it up to his waist.
Sure, there are plenty of bath toys. You could spend a lot of money finding the best bath toys for your kids that you think they will enjoy. I found that the best bath toys for us were the toys he was already playing with outside the bath.
We don’t stick anything in the bath that would get ruined. My son loves his Mega Blocks, so we have a number of blocks in the tub for him to build with. He loves cups so we have given him cups to play with in the bath. He also loves cars and has two bath cars.
Being familiar with toys in the tub can really turn around bath time. The toys are familiar and only the area in which he or she is playing in is different.
With these five changes, we were able to make bath time more enjoyable for Ry and for us. Bath time was daunting, but with patience and a few minor changes we have made it a happier time for everyone.
Did you have trouble bathing your toddler? What changes do you recommend when your toddler suddenly hated bath time?
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