Updated: Oct 11, 2021
A warm, relaxing bath is a great way to get your child to wind down before bed, and I often recommend it as part of a bedtime routine.
Some children though, develop a fear of the bath, and bath time becomes anything but relaxing and calm.
If this is you and your child, here are my tips to help them find the fun instead of the fear at bath time.
Slowly does it - Sit your child in the bath without water, and give them a sponge bath, As they become used to this, add a little water into the bottom of the bath, gradually increasing the amount as they become braver.
Have a bath with your child - Sometimes having you in the tub too, can help your child feel safe and secure. Try sitting them in between your legs or on your lap, sing songs, play and make it as fun as possible with lots of praise.
Put the baby bath in the tub - This can be helpful for older babies who are transitioning into the big bath. It is a great way to help them feel secure.
Use a non-slip mat - Baths are slippery, and if you have an adventurous/wriggly baby or toddler, they will have no doubt slipped at some point. This may be the reason that they are now resisting bath time, so a non-slip mat will help.
Empty the bath after your child is out of the room - The sound of the water draining or the fear of them or their toys being swept down the plug hole is real, and if this is a problem, try emptying the bath once they have left the bathroom.
Use child-friendly shampoo and bubbles - Getting shampoo or bubbles in the eyes is not fun, and may cause a resistance to hair washing or baths in general. Using products that are specifically for babies and children will not only be kinder to their skin, but also their eyes. You could also purchase a bath cap, a hair washing jug or get your child to wear goggles!
Make it fun - There is a plethora of bath toys on the market now, but empty shower gel and shampoo bottles are great fun to fill and pour from. Singing songs, and letting your child choose their bubble bath are also fun ideas to make bath time fun.
If your child is still resistant, you could try using the shower instead. Again, a non-slip mat is a must and you may need to shower with them or have them sit on the shower floor.