For some parents, bath time is a fun experience filled with plenty of splashes and giggles. Others practically have to drag their children into the bathroom, and you might start to feel like you’re trying to get a cat in water with the way your child resists bathing.
Early childhood hygiene is an important milestone; it lays the framework for your child’s perspective on health and wellbeing for the rest of their lives. Age-appropriate responsibility and approaches can help you teach your kids about the importance of bathing and make it a fun and educational experience.
Have a Bath Schedule
Some children may need daily baths, but this could cause dry skin. Bathing every other day is optimal for most children. On bath days, get your kids excited about getting clean. Create and print a self-care schedule and post it on the fridge. This can include other important activities such as brushing teeth, flossing and combing one’s hair.
A weekly schedule can be a helpful tool to help preschoolers learn the days of the week. It’s best to use a whiteboard or something with Velcro that can be adjusted and reused. At the end of the week, let kids earn a small, health-oriented prize like a new bath toy or special towel with their favorite cartoon character on it.
Talk About Temperature
You should always check the bath temperature before you let your child in the tub. You should also talk to them about the faucet and explain that they should never adjust it on their own. You can also use bath time as an opportunity to explore the concepts of “hot” and “cold” by letting them drop some ice cubes into the tub with them.
Never leave your child unsupervised in the bath, even just for a minute. Small children may be able to wash themselves, but they can easily drown in a small amount of water or turn up the heat and scald themselves.
Water heaters can be adjusted in most homes and lowered for added safety. This can also be good for your skin as well! Bathing in water that’s too hot can actually lead to dryness, itching and irritation.
Bath time doesn’t have to be all business! Incorporate lots of waterproof toys for your child to play that make washing up fun. There are plenty of baby bath toys on Amazon that are perfect for having fun in the tab. You can also use dolls to help your child learn about different parts of the body and how to properly wash.
Lead By Example
Kids pick up just about everything they see in their earliest years. Make sure that you set a good example for them when it comes to personal hygiene. Brush your teeth together, talk about buying shampoo and soap when you head to the store and make your child feel included in their upkeep.
When hygiene is more of a conversation, it feels more like a choice than a requirement. Kids will never shy away from more freedom, and bath time is just one way to make them feel a little more empowered while developing healthy habits.