Hi, my name is Brittany.
I have four kids and bath time has always been a NIGHTMARE, do you have any suggestions?
Hi Brittany. In your message you didn’t include the ages of the children who are having issues with bath time. I am going to respond with a few scenarios. I will also try to include scenarios for parents with one child.
I am firm believer in frequent exposure to bathing as early as possible. In my home, our children have bathed daily since a few weeks after birth. I have found with my children, if they “don’t know any different,” most likely a task integrated into a routine early will remain a non-issue. A routine allows a parent to set up nonverbal expectations so that those tasks become “routine.”
Health conscious parents may initially have a problem with the suggestion of bathing a baby daily, wary of stripping away the skin’s natural oils. Well, good news, you don’t have to soap them up. Use the water-only method or essential oils to clean your baby.
I believe bathing a baby daily has many benefits. I use bath time to signal bedtime. My children soak peacefully in warm water and dim lighting. They can go from crazy to calm in minutes with the soothing atmosphere. Also, my children reek. My baby is in diapers and poops and pees in them all day, she needs some type of bath to remove the vapors. I use a 50/ 50 solution of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar and water or a few swishes of 50/50 witch hazel and water and it cleans her up in all the important areas without drying out their skin.
If your baby is very young and is uncomfortable with the new bath scenario, add another child to the bath (see toddler section below). For those of you reading this article with one child, you can take a bath with your baby and even nurse them in the bath as needed. When my children were newborns, I nursed them periodically in the tub until they became comfortable. Bath time for my children is a delight now. My eldest often requests baths in the middle of the day with her sister. They “swim” around while I scrub the sink and toilet next to them allowing me to get some housework in! (The bathroom is small, I’m in arms reach of my baby)!
If your children (or child) has not been exposed to bathing regularly by the time he or she is a toddler, and now bath time has become an issue, here are some suggestions. Bath two children close in age together with dim lighting. The second child will add an element of fun and camaraderie, but the dim lighting with keep bath time calm. If you have a newborn and a toddler, there are many ways in which they can bathe together. Get the PRIMO EuroBath, which has the capacity to hold 2 children of different ages. The tub is truly amazing. It allowed me to be with both children at one time even though one was a newborn. My toddler loved her baths with “her” newborn baby. She would help me wash her, show her toys, etc. The bath is also cost effective. It’s the only bath they will ever need, fitting my eldest until she was 3-years-old! A larger child may grow out of it by the time he or she is 2-years-old but you would still never need another little tub. If a little baby tub doesn’t suit your situation, there are bathing seats. I used one periodically, but in our home we preferred the PRIMO TUB. If you don’t have more than one child, see suggestions in kids section or try bathing with your toddler.
If you have older children that are still hesitant to bathe, I have always implemented reasoning or allowed them a “reward” after the bath. My rewards are not bribes, but usually involve a restructuring of things I would normally provide. I suggest (all depending on age) gummy vitamins. In a household where treats are not the norm, many children cherish their daily gummy vitamins. I’ve never suggested using it as a bribe, but a mere mention will work.
The child asks for a gummy vitamin. You say ok, lets give you a bath first… done! The same outline can be used for video games, TV/ movies, desserts, etc. If this scenario/mention doesn’t work for you, or you would prefer not to use food as a motivator try a star chart. I have always rewarded weekly. My rewards do not include treats, but family bonding activities. My eldest cherishes getting her nails done with Mommy or other special activities like an afternoon out with Dad.
I am not the authority on any topic asked in this forum. For questions that may have medical implications, please consult your doctor or midwife. The purpose of this section of the site is to provide support, help, or a sounding board for individuals. Whether a person is going through struggles, would like to know they’re not alone, or find out which bottle worked best for my children, I will do my best to answer. There are going to be many ways to reply to all questions posted. I am merely providing my perspective. This forum is not meant for debate.