In all the baby books, the adverts and, let’s face it, our own ideals, the image of kiddies bath time is an idyllic, fun filled time. It’s all soft fluffy towels, clean joyous children, proud, calm parents and, wait for it… not a splash of water on the floor.
For many families, however, this couldn’t be further from reality. In fact, tears, tantrums and stress levels going through the roof is closer to the truth, and that’s just the parents! It seems that no matter how good our little ones are (for the majority of the time), bath time seems to present a particular challenge that seems set to test even the most mild mannered of parents, and there is no wonder that this time is often referred to as ‘The Witching Hour’.
Why is bath time such a washout?
There are many reasons why bath time can be a struggle; some children are genuinely afraid of water and getting their hair wet, others find that a bedtime bath fills them with a renewed surge of energy, turning the supposedly serene experience into a crazy splash fest, others quite frankly have better things that they want to be doing (don’t we all?!). But, for whatever reason that bath time is proving to be a problem, there is help at hand, with these top tips and innovative ‘tantrum deferring’ products.
Going in (without) a splash
Many children hate getting water in their eyes, not to mention soap, so investing in a specially designed hair rinsing jug will help reduce the chance of tears. Go a step further and let them wear their swimming goggles, the novelty appeal will certainly catch their attention!
Why not turn your child into the adult at bath time by giving them their own baby to wash. Encourage them to talk through the process to a ‘bath time dolly’, which, in turn will help alleviate their fears, or at least distract them whilst you attempt to wash their hair.
One foolproof way of making a child super interested in something is to make it out of bounds. With this in mind, make sure that you keep exciting new bath toys purely for bath time, so that the novelty doesn’t wear off (for a few weeks at least!).
What’s in it for them?
Sometimes it can feel like you are talking to the wall when trying to convince a child to do something, especially when there are a million other things that they would rather be focusing their attention on. That’s when reward charts come into their own. When little ones can see that their efforts are being acknowledged, it makes it a lot easier to encourage them to continue with the good behavior, especially if there is a treat at the end of it.