How to Convince a Child to Bathe

Whether you’re trying to get an energetic toddler into the bath or a less energetic teen to take a (much needed) daily shower, you can face a difficult struggle to keep your kids clean. Read on for tips – from real moms – to help everyone between the ages of two and 12 become flawlessly clean.

Use incentives

Whether you like it or not, every parent knows that rewards work. Obviously, the incentives you use to get your child to take a bath or shower will differ depending on their age.

For the smallest (up to ten years old, to be honest), it is difficult to beat the magic of bath bombs. There’s something kids love about these little soapy knick-knacks that come in all shapes and sizes, sizzle and leave the tub in a variety of cool colors. We have seen children between the ages of 1 and 11 become seriously addicted to them. Soap, toys, and bubbles are great for younger children too, but seriously, nothing beats bath bombs. Trust us.

Laura, a mom of two, says the Crayola Color Bath Dropz makes it easier for her to take the kids to the bath. By letting them choose a color, you add an element of fun and creativity to this sometimes monotonous task.

For young children who are not only hesitant to take a bath, but are actually afraid to go into it, you can introduce them to some books in which their favorite characters (for example, Elmo, Curious George, Five Little Monkeys) take a bath. Dove Mo Willems needs a bath! characteristically smart, sweet, and educational.

For older kids, a shower radio or waterproof Bluetooth means they can listen to music or podcasts while they shower. At some point, you may find it difficult to get your son or daughter out of the shower.

Some mums emphasize the opposite stimulus (some might call it a threat). “With my nanny, I tell her in the morning, ‘FaceTime, when you are not in the bath or I am not going home from work,’” says Andy, a mom of five and a half. daughter.

“No screen time until you’re cleansed,” suggests Marnie, a mom of two.

Make it really fun

Sometimes you can convince your (young) children that the bath is a game. Audrey, a mom of two, says that when she wants to get her nearly four-year-old to move, “we put on a race and see if we can wash the entire tub before the timer goes off, which I set to five minutes.”

“Sometimes we have a dance party in the shower — we sing and dance together in the shower,” says Sarah, a mom of a six-year-old daughter.

Make it a chore … and explain that one step builds on the other.

As every children’s book under the sun will tell you, it’s important to have a bedtime routine; but the value of the routine persists in early childhood and beyond the bath.

“Showers have always been part of the evening routine,” says Alexandra, mum of two of three children, ages six, eight and ten. “Dinner, then a bath (or shower), then a bed … they go straight into the shower and sort out one meal after another. Then there is downtime before bed. No negotiation, no discussion, no choice. It’s just established that this is how the evening works, ”she says.

“With my stepson (who just turned 12), we do natural consequences – which means you need to shower and then relax and watch TV before bed,” says Jia, a mom of two. “The longer you get in and out of the shower, the less time you will have to watch TV before bed. It works. It’s not really a reward or punishment, it’s just a reminder that there is X amount of time, and if he wants to spend it complaining about the shower, it will affect other things he wants to do before bed, ”she says.

For bookworms: “I can tell you that the longer you resist showering, the less time you will have to read books,” says Lisa, a mother of two children aged five and seven.

Talk to them about hygiene

As your children get older, it’s best to be honest and open about the importance of good hygiene and regular showering.

“As a teenager … for some reason they forget how to play with water,” says Erika, whose 17-year-old son. [they’re about] body hygiene and what happens when you don’t take a bath, and I guess they are so tired of hearing talk that they are taking a shower to shut you up. ” By this age, when children worry about how they look (and smell) in the eyes of their classmates, you will also be under peer pressure.

This story was originally published in October 2017 and was updated on January 8, 2021 to follow the Lifehacker style guidelines.

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