Mom Advice: Surviving Bath Time

Bath time fun, not for everyone!

Not all kids love the bath tub. I know shocking right? For my son, it’s a part of his sensory disorder. Sometimes he loves the bath tub, while others not so much. For my daughter it was a phase, a phase my son went through too, so we’ll start there.

At about 10 months both my kids boycotted the bath. Scream and scream and wouldn’t sit to save their lives. For parents who are going through this, I have found by about 13 months or so my kids just magically got over it. No rhyme or reason, but one day decided the bath wasn’t that bad. Unfortunately for this one, you’ll just have to ride it out. One trick that helped us get past this phase was using a booster seat in the tub. I would fill the water just to have enough that my daughter could sit in her booster chair and splash her feet. It helped her to feel secure while sitting and being up out of the water made the interaction with water on her terms. Be VERY careful if you choose to do this- We’ve found some seats will float and become unstable. Never leave a child unattended. I had a hand on her and the booster seat at all times and we did this for a very short time length in the tub, just enough to get the washing done. If you want something like this long term they do make bath tub seats but they are meant to sit flush with the bottom of the tub and will ultimately put your child into the water.

For my son, he has days where he enjoys the tub and could spend hours in it and other days that he can’t stand the thought. This is due to his sensory processing disorder and if you’re experiencing something like this it can be extremely frustrating. A few tricks we’ve learned with him are letting him select his favorite toys to come into the tub (granted they are ‘water friendly’). I ask him several times before getting in if he “likes the water” (this is our code for ‘is it too hot/cold’. He will reply with either situation if he feels one way or the other.). All these things can transfer the control of the situation to him which can make him feel more comfortable with taking a bath if he’s having an ‘off’ day. Another trick we’ve learned which helps is to run the shower super, super hot and make the bathroom all nice and steamy. Then go and fill up the bathtub with warm water. This helps make taking clothing off more appealing in the colder months. Also if we’re having an off day we use an egg timer to show him that it will be a quick bath. Most kids respond well to this sort of thing (and frankly I use an egg timer FOR EVERYTHING!). I simply tell him “it’s going to be a quick bath! Mommy has to wash you and then you can get out!” set the egg timer for 5 minutes and go to town!

Things to consider if your child is fighting you on bath time: water temperatures & bathroom temperatures. Obviously younger kids can’t tell you but you can find a bathtub thermometer and this will give you an idea if the water may be too hot or cold. If your child doesn’t care for water being dumped on their heads (which most don’t!) you can handle that a few ways. There are these nifty buckets for using in the bath with a soft section on one side. This is the side you put to the child’s head to help create a seal so water won’t spill in their face. Don’t have time to purchase one before your next bath? Try a washcloth and ask your kiddo to look at the ‘stars’.

If your child just can’t stand a bath tub, try a shower. My son happens to hate the shower more than the bath, but for some kids it might be the magic answer. There is this super neat stuff that turns bath water into a gel substance, I have mom friends who swear by it! Always remember that for most children the un-love of bath time is hopefully just a phase! Baths mats can often be help to ensure  kids feel secure. Bubble bath, bath crayons, bath pains can also be a big hit to distract your little one.  There is this super neat stuff that turns bath water into a gel substance, I have mom friends who swear by it!

Always remember that for most children the un-love of bath time is hopefully just a phase!

About the Author:  Pamela Ray is a 20 something, mom to two and wife to a U.S American Soldier. Over my 20 something years of life, I’ve learned a few things about kids and they way they function, or don’t function if your kids tend to be like mine! My beautiful babies are Jacob, who is 2 going on 23 and Aubree, who is a whopping 3 months old, she’s still shiny and new! If my two babies weren’t enough to keep me busy, I figured I’d make it real exciting and throw some more toddlers and kids into my house add one part toys, two parts hotdog and peaches, shake it all up and call it daycare! No, I’m not crazy :) There is never a dull moment around here. I’m excited to share my two cents on parenting and the survival of toddlers, newborns and turds…Oh, and everything else in between, which as many of us parents know, is a heck of a lot of stuff!




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