Bathtime can be a delightful little full-stop at the end of the day. But it can also be stressful, and splashy, and occasionally tear-filled. Which is why we’ve pulled together some easy tips for making it an all-round better time. For everyone! Read on.
Create a routine.
Squirmy little newborns only need to be bathed 2-3 times a week, while bigger, grubbier kids can jump in the tub daily, if they’re whiffy or dirty (or have spaghetti in their hair). For some kids, bathtime can be more about routine than getting squeaky clean, and it can be an important (and relaxing) step in their evening wind-down. So, whether they’re bathing daily, or only when grubby, establishing specific days and times for baths helps to set an expectation, and avoid frustration.
Set the mood.
We’re thinking candles, and wine, and a good book... Oops, no! That’s your bath. Setting the mood for your kids at bathtime is all about keeping things light and easy. It might feel a bit tricky (impossible!), after a stressful day, to navigate tantrums and smile through seven straight minutes of being splashed in the face, but stay mindful that the more bathtime feels like fun, the more everyone can and will enjoy it.
Take the chill off.
You know what’s a fun time? Playing in a foam-filled bath! You know what’s NOT a fun time? Getting out of that toasty warm tub and into a chilly bathroom. Rough little rascals can be surprisingly sensitive to the cold, and not stoked about getting undressed on cool tiles. So, do a little prep! In the winter months, turn the heat on, if you can, and try to keep things snuggly by having a warm towel and cosy robe handy for after bath. It’ll make the transition from hot to cold a little more pleasant.
Make it fun. (And bubbly!)
Bathtime can be more than just a quick scrub. Try making the experience more enjoyable by including toys and activities. And mountains of bubbles, of course. Got a waterproof speaker? Bring it into the bathroom and play songs that the kids can sing along to. Or grab a sturdy bath book, and turn bathtime into an underwater storytime. Rotate toys (or simple kitchen items like a cup or sieve) to encourage water play and stop kids from getting bored. And if you need more inspiration, try these tips to lure your little stinker into the tub.
Pick your products carefully.
Baths shouldn’t be uncomfy for kids. But too much time in the tub can zap the skin of moisture, causing dryness and irritation. Ick! So, if your child has sensitive skin, try keeping the water temp lukewarm and bathtime brief (around 5-10 minutes is ideal). And when it comes to products, stick to gentle, non-soap cleansers that’ll calm and nourish their little bodies, and won’t sting their eyes.
Get prepped for bed.
If they’re bathing at night, stash a dry towel and a pair of PJs nearby, so as soon as your kid hops out of the tub, they can dry off and change straight into their pyjamas. (That is, if they don’t escape your slippery clutches for a bold living-room nudie-run.) Smoothly transitioning from bath to PJs right away helps to signal that bedtime is nearing and it’s time to wind the heck down.