Thursday, March 3, 2011

Toddler Tactics: How do you avoid Bath Struggles?

There are days when they will be fighting for their turns to take their bath/shower, refusing to get out of the bath and there will be days when they just refuse to step foot into the bathroom. Those are days when I have to crack my brains to think of tricks to get them to cooperate with me. Attempting to shower a screaming toddler is fighting a losing battle. I've tried and after the shower, they are as good as not being showered with the perspiration they get from their screaming and crying.

So, here are some tactics I've tried and worked (but only for a while, I'm very lucky if I can use the same tactics more than 3 times):

  1. Bath Toys - Boats, Squirters, Rubber Duckies. 
  2. Bubbles - I got a bubble gun specially for this purpose as it's impossible for me to blow and bathe them at the time. The bubble produce enough bubbles to keep them entertained while I undress them.
  3. Alphabet/Number Foam - Those that you can stick on your bathroom walls with water works great to get them busy with their letter/number hunt.
  4. Shaving Foam - I spray them on the wall and they draw. 
  5. Change a bathroom - I invited them to my bathroom to take a shower. They are curious about the new environment.
  6. Bath Balls - The bath balls didn't dissolve in the bath, they were holding them so tight that I couldn't even get the plastic off them. They ended up throwing them around like a "ball". haha...
  7. Car Wash - Get them to get their dirty plastic cars in for a car wash. 
  8. Get them to shower their bath toy animals - I place their dinos, ducky, fish (rubber bath toys) on the floor and let them hold the shower head to shower them. 
  9. Let them hold the shower head - The toddler wants to be in control. Just be prepared to get wet. 
  10. Let them on and off the tap - At your command. 
  11. Let them bathe together - Get a sibling to join, the more the merrier. (or maybe you can join in but I doubt I will try.)
  12. Bribe Reward them after the bath - TV time or Stickers works for them. 
All the above 12 tactics are NOT working now. It's a pain trying to get them to bathe these days! I've just bought 2 spray bottles and they are going to be my tool for bath time tomorrow. Wish me luck. 

What other tactics have you tried to get your reluctant toddler to bathe/shower? Please share! They get bored so fast and I'm running out of ideas. 


  1. JDaniel would love a carwash in the tub.

  2. I just had to comment and let you know that is DOES get easier and they will play until they are pruney some day. My twin boys are almost four and I do remember the craziness.

    I don't have any great tips but I actually bathed them separately for quite a while and I think they enjoyed the one on one time with me. I'd put the other one in an exersaucer (although it looks like they are too old for those) or their crib with some toys.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Hi Becky,

    Thanks! I really need to know it will get easier from someone who went through what I'm going through now! :)

    I had been bathing them separately when they were younger, like you did, one in an exersaucer. But after they learnt to walk and could climb out of anything, AND couldn't wait for their turn, I started bathing them together. These days, they seem to want the one on one time like you said. So, it's back to one at a time.


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