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Is it difficult to get your infant or toddler through bathtime? Is bathtime something that they dread and fuss through? Here are some steps that make getting clean more fun for both parents and children!

Prepare for bathtime together. One fun thing to do is sing about taking a bath as you head for the bathroom. You can either make silly songs up and sing them to a familiar tune, or sing popular songs like “Splish Splash” or “Rubber Duckie”. When you’re filling the tub up add some bubbles, but practice caution, as some children can get urinary tract or yeast infections from them. Remember that with bubbles, a little goes a long way.

Once you have your child in the tub, give them some time to enjoy themselves. Toys in the bathtub will seem even more special if that’s where they stay. Have toys designated only for the bathtub, and every once in a while let them select some other toys to bring to the tub with them. It’s also fun for them if you keep a few empty baby bath and shampoo bottles for them to fill up and squirt! They can wash their dolls this way, or pretend to wash themselves. More fun ideas for tub toys include squirt guns, two or more cups to dump water back and forth, large plastic serving spoons and spatulas, pretty much anything that can get wet and isn’t a possible hazard to them.

After your child has had some time to play, and you have shared in the fun, make a game out of washing them up. If you have a child that despises getting their hair washed, you might want to try using the visor that is available at most stores that carry baby items. Other things that work are letting them hold a washcloth over their eyes or having them lie back while you carefully pour water over their head avoiding the face. Scrubbing up the rest of their body can go pretty quickly, and paying close attention to the tootsies usually adds a few giggles.

When your child is clean, give them more time to play, if they wish. They can hand you their tub toys one at a time to help clean-up. It is important to let the toys dry out completely to avoid mildew. They make nets that hang in your tub that are wonderful for drying and storing. They are also usually available at any store that sells baby items.

Baby oil can be squirted on your child after the toys are removed. This is something that also adds fun, because it is such an unusual and slippery feeling for them. If you prefer lotion, they can help put that on if you put a dab in their hand. They might not be very productive, but it helps them to feel like they have a little control, and it also keeps them busy while you grease the rest of their body up.

The final and best part of bathtime is next: wrap your darling up in a fluffy towel and snuggle up to them so you can smell their clean skin!