This content was provided by Kinderling, a Playgroup NSW partner.
Is there anything better than a warm, bubbly, relaxing bath at the end of a stressful day?
Bath time can be a great way to unwind for both adults and children. However, toddlers don’t always end up enjoying it. It’s common for toddlers to suddenly dislike taking baths, especially after experiencing a scary incident.
What can you do with a toddler who hates baths?
Chris Minogue, Mothercraft nurse, gives you three useful tips on how to rekindle your toddler’s love for bath time.
Before we get started, Chris reassures parents this is normal behaviour for toddlers. “It’s really common for toddlers, where they’ve been happy in the bath and then suddenly they don’t want to stand or sit in it. Then, it quickly turns into a tantrum,” she says.
Your child might’ve hurt themselves or experienced a scary incident, so they associate bath-time with a negative emotion, usually fear. In other words, your child feels unsafe in the bathtub.
Chris suggests three tips for an easy fix.
1. Avoid using the big bath for a while
Chris recommends not using the big bath at all for a month. Stay as far from it as possible. Your child needs a break from the b-monster.
Meanwhile, you can find other ways to wash them. For example, you can use the shower or a smaller tub (baby bathtub) instead.
2. Try the baby bathtub
If you still have your baby bathtub, give it a try.
Chris recommends to, “fill up the baby bathtub with an inch of water, put it in the shower or on the bathroom floor and wash your toddler that way".
If your toddler’s still against it, don’t force it. Take it slow. Chris suggests to, “wash their face and hands and move on”.
There’s no point in fighting your toddler on this, it will only set back your progress.
3. Jump in the big bath together
When you think your toddler’s ready for the big bath again, jump in together.
It’ll be their first big bath experience since their fright, so having a parent or a carer close by will provide the reassurance they’ll need to get over their fears.
You can also remind your child how fun baths can be. Throw in some bubble soap and water-friendly toys and have a bubbly blast!
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