On a scale of one to 10 (one being super-enjoyable and 10 being about as fun as a 20-minute tantrum in the middle of the supermarket), trying to get a toddler to do something they don’t want to do comes in at a solid 13.5.
Yes, they are very cute. Yes, they are very clever with tiny independent minds. But kids are also grubby and stinky and they have mud in their ears. Which is why they need to hop in the tub for a quick scrub. Every. Single. Day. (Why they seem to hate the idea of a rejuvenating soak in perfectly temperate water is anyone’s guess, but man, some kids just loathe it.)
Before you write off bathtime as just another part of parenting you roll with to survive, try these three tricks to get your stinker in the tub. We can’t guarantee it will work for every rough (stubborn) rascal, but it’s surely worth a try.
- Bubbles over no bubbles feels like a no-brainer. (And not just because we have a friendly, gentle plant-based bubble bath that makes mountains of froth.) Make foam beards, style up a shampoo faux-hawk, get your kid voluntarily slathering on suds because it’s not “bathing” it’s “making bubble pyjamas”.
- Add some colour to your bath to up the fun. Drop a few glow sticks in the tub, then dim the lights so your kids can rave (strongly suggest skipping the ‘90s techno beats if it’s close to bedtime). Or make your own puffy paint using shaving cream and food colouring. They can go all Monet on the walls with minimal clean-up required.
- Make getting squeaky clean a game not a chore. If your kid really hates the bath, start a timer and see if they can set a PB for their nightly speed wash. Or give them something to do while they’re soaking. Learn some dinosaur facts, build a story together, belt out some bathtime karaoke. (They won’t even notice that you scrubbed their underarms and elbow creases.)
Warning: A fun bath means lots of splashing. And lots of splashing will make for lots of water on the tiles. So once you’ve got the kids outta there, spray a bit of cleaner, towel it all down and HOLY MAMA you just cleaned the bathroom.