How To Bath a Toddler

Once you’ve mastered bathing your baby, it feels like a blink of an eye before they’ve become a toddler and toddler bath time begins!

In truth, we don’t always bath our little ones every night.

  • Sometimes they’re too tired and want to go to bed (not often but I see that as a win in the ‘tire them out so they’ll sleep’ game we play daily!).
  • Sometimes we get home later than planned from work and so getting them straight to bed is the only option; no matter how grimy they are!

Thankfully, the experts will tell you that kids’ coming into contact with germs is a good thing. This helps to improve their immune system! Phew! So you don’t have to bath them every night. If your kids are anything like mine however, drawn to messy play and grubby little urchins by the end of the day, we bath them most days. Bath time is also a big part of that all important bedtime routine and can help get them off to the land of zzzzzzz!

Here are our tips for fun, splashy toddler bath time:

  • Get everything you need close to hand so you never have to leave your little one on their own in the bath. If you do forget something, shouting your partner several times loudly seemed to do the trick for us! Either that, or scoop your little one in to a big towel and take them on the adventure to go get what you need! 
  • Keep electrical appliances away from the bath tub (it may seem obvious but in the inevitable sleep deprived state it can be overlooked, so worth a mention).
  • Fill the bath tub, give it a good mix and make sure it’s the right temperature before they get in (37oC is ideal).
  • Only fill the bath to a level that is their waist high when they sit in the tub.
  • Watch out for the faucets as they can be hot after filling the tub and your toddler is now able to grab at them. We always put cold water in last so itisn’t as hot if they do touch. 
  • Teach them to sit in the bath rather than stand as it’s safer. Have toys in the bath before they get in or in reach when they’re sat down. This way they won’t need to stand up to get stuff they want to play with. However, if your toddler refuses to sit down, a bath safety mat can be useful to stop them slipping.

Head to Toe Wash

  • Start at the top – use a wash cloth for their face (useful for those particularly grimy areas like behind ears, sides of their nose and their neck).
  • Then do their arms, body, legs and toes.
  • Then it’s time for their genitals and bottom.
  • A jug or something to rinse off the soap is useful too. In our case we use the largest of the toy plastic measuring cups the kids play with in the bath (once we’ve wrestled it off them that is!).
  • Distraction tactics (also known as bath toys or bath tub songs), are helpful to keep your little one’s in the bath tub long enough to get them clearn! 5 little speckled frogs is a winner in our house! 
  • Washing hair is always the part our eldest, Izzy, hates the most. We always leave this until last and only wash her hair 2-3 times a week. By leaving it to last (with a face cloth to hand) we can get it done and her out of the tub and dry swiftly after rinsing if needed!
  • 10-15 minutes is a good amount of time in the bath for a toddler (getting our 2 to do anything for longer than 15 minutes is virtually impossible, so this is ideal).

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