Make Bathtime Easier with These 10 Tips

make bathtime easierBathtime with babies and little kids can be many things: fun, relaxing, hectic, boring, etc., depending on your kid’s age, current mood, and general attitude toward baths. Have you developed any tips and tricks to make bathtime easier?

First, I’ll share a few things we’ve done at our house to make our son’s bathtime easier:

1. Cushion your knees with one of those squishy kneeling pads that some people use for gardening or other home chores, like these. (I may have even picked up ours in the dollar section of CVS.) They make kneeling on the floor in front of the tub much more comfortable! This product is even fancier and more functional.

2. For a kid old enough to stand when you get her out of the tub, buy a hooded bathrobe like this one. It’ll keep her warm without any effort on her (or your part) — when you’re getting out the hair dryer or whatever — and it’ll start the drying-off process before you turn to a towel.

3. Get a big mesh bag for toys, preferably with handles — if you have somewhere to hang it. Our tiled shower walls have a somewhat rough texture, so we can’t use the many toy bags/holders that attach with suction cups (and I doubt they work very well, anyway). Right now we have a beach bag like this one. Since it has straps, you do have to have somewhere to hang it from — we put the straps over the bottom of a shower caddy type of thing like this (but note that ours is hung on a very secure, sturdy wall hook that uses screws, not a nail). I can imagine some potential safety issues with our setup, but it’s worked well so far.

Here are some more tips from working moms to help make bathtime easier at your house:

4. For a toddler who may be too big for a baby tub and can sit up by herself, put her in a laundry basket in the bathtub so that she’s safely contained and can’t hit her head on the side of the tub. A laundry basket is also handy when you’re bathing a toddler and bigger kid together — that way the older one can’t knock over the smaller sibling.

5. Use a baby bath or bath cradle that lets your baby lie in the water rather than a platform tub or similar. Your kid will be warmer (and hopefully happier) by actually being in the bathwater. Here’s one with great reviews.

6. If your baby isn’t too steady at sitting yet, put a inch or two of water in the bathtub and have her lie down on a rubber bathmat — she might enjoy being out of the baby tub because of the extra room to kick her legs, etc. Obviously, keep your eyes on your baby at all times if you do this (not that you aren’t doing that anyway for that age!).

7. Get the right gear: bathtub crayons, foam letters, color tabsbath visorfaucet cover, baby bubble bath, etc. (Kat’s note: both of my boys have always loved a glowstick bath! We just bought this 300-piece pack on Amazon.)

8. Play some kid-friendly music, either calming/relaxing or fun/upbeat. (You can always try the classic “Splish Splash.”) For older children, put on something like Tumble, a science podcast for kids.

9. If your bath resister is old enough for it to be safe, let her take a shower instead.

10. “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”: Just get into the tub with your kid!

Share your tips to make bathtime easier! Does your kid enjoy bathtime? Hate bathtime? If you have older kids, at what age did they start bathing or showering by themselves? What’s your favorite bath gear? 

Picture credit: Pixabay

How to make bathtime easier -- if you dread your child's bathtime (the water! the mess!) we rounded up 10 ideas from working moms for how to have more fun at your child's bathtime.

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Comments

  1. Popsicle says:

    Popsicles. Obviously they have to be old enough and I get the no sugar added ones and they get them outside in the summer and blah blah blah, but this is my bribe and I will own it. The only place inside our house where a child can eat a popsicle is in the tub.

    They never complain about getting in the tub because they know it comes with a popsicle. They get to play in there and eat them while I clean up dinner (door is open and I can glance in at them easily) and then when the popsicle is gone or melted, it’s time for business. I come in to help with soap, shampoo, rinse, getting out. By then they’ve usually soaked in the tub long enough to get the stink off.

  2. EB0220 says:

    Wait, do any of you blow dry your child’s hair??

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      No.

    • Anonymous says:

      Definitely not.

    • Meg Murry says:

      My mother will blow dry my kids hair at her house if they take a bath there in the winter and then are heading home soon – but just so their hair won’t freeze into icicles. Or if they *ask* her to blow dry their hair – they think it’s a fun special thing at grandma’s house. But they usually only want it for a minute or less.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      Occasionally as a special treat in the winter I blow dry all of her (so just a little on her hair, but give her a blast of warm air all over her body). Like a toddler sauna. But otherwise no.

    • Famouscait says:

      Nope.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      Nope. My kid would lose her shizz if I turned on a blow-dryer within 5 feet of her.

      • Seriously. My son is almost 5 and only just now starting to accept me using an electric toothbrush.

    • NOPE. I have enough battles in my life, thankyouverymuch.

    • suburbia says:

      I do because he has a TON of hair and it’s impossible to dry it quickly. We do the bath then bedtime routine immediately so it has to be dry. It’s been way too cold to imagine it would dry in the night. He doesn’t really complain, especially if he can look at himself in the mirror while I do it and we both make funny faces.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mom of three and my biggest tip is to not feel like you need to bathe your kids every day. We do weekly, plus truly dirty days (playing in mud, food in hair, poo explosion, etc). Otherwise it’s just a wipe with a washcloth at teeth brushing time.

    Showering is much easier with little babies than a bath.

    Tiny babies I wash in the sink. Lay a towel down. So much easier on your back.

    Older but not sitting babies, do in the reclined tub but on the bathroom floor not in the tub. You don’t have to reach over the side, which is really where the pain comes.

    Bath mats for traction are your friend. Get the extra long that fill up the entire tub floor.

    With three kids in the tub, the whale faucet cover really is worthwhile (and I’m someone who eye rolled it for years).

    Skip the cute towels; they usually aren’t 100% cotton so they aren’t as absorbent. A regular towel works fine.

    We do baths in the master bathroom and set up a space heater in the master bedroom. Then we can corral all the kids in a warm, large space away from wet slippery floors.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Yep, I’m also on the “not every day unless there is mud or bodily fluids involved” bandwagon.

      One other thing to make it more pleasant for moms – once your kids are old enough to sit up in the tub by themselves and play with toys, those 5-10 minutes are a good time to put on a face mask or moisturizing cream of your own. Or file your nails or other grooming task so you can keep your eye on the kids but do something for yourself as well. Or you could clean the bathroom – but I’d rather indulge myself a little bit most days.

    • Yay glad I’m not the only one. We do weekly for my 4 and 2 year olds, unless there’s a food/dirt/poo explosion. Or they “fall in the toilet” like one fateful day.

      They bathe together, which makes it easy. Just get them both in, wash each one, and then let them play while the water drains. 10 min tops. We also have “bath tub decal stickers” plastered all over the bathtub to help them from slipping – it’s also our guest bath but who cares.

      We bought the Little People bath toys (a boat and an island. both with a character) and they’re obsessed. Bath crayons and glow sticks and whatnot were too much effort for the adults, so we “lost” those and stick to just a few easy-to-clean toys.

    • Me too, and I barely use soap – it’s a rinse, or a soak in bubbly water, with hair washing no more than once a week.

  4. Anon in NYC says:

    My daughter loves bath toys – boats, cups that she can use for dumping water, etc. We recently discovered that she hates bubble baths. She loves the idea of bubbles and gets so excited to see them in the tub, but the act of being in the tub with bubbles was too much. We just had our first no-bubbles bath in a few weeks and it was so much more enjoyable!

    Also, the cushion for your knees is a must!

  5. Anon Eagle says:

    My 3 and 4 year old daughters take a daily shower. While I’m starting the shower, they pick out their PJs. I brush their hair before they get in the shower to cut down on post-shower tangles. I play Disney music on my phone during shower time and we sing along. 2-3x a week I reach in there and wash their hair. Once a week I give them a good scrub down. On Sunday nights we play hair salon. I blow out their hair/put lip balm on them/trim their nails/let them play with my makeup brushes. Bath time used to be an utter nightmare until we started doing showers. Now I enjoy our time together. My children seem less stressed out, too.

  6. Bad Mom Confession – I didn’t bathe my child by myself until she was 9 months old. H and I did it jointly the first few times, then it became his thing. Baby HSAL is almost 18 months now and we’re just now getting out of a three-month phase where she was terrified of the bath. Big relief. During the Great Bath Rebellion of 2017, we were down to one screaming bath a week, but otherwise we shoot for twice a week. Last fall I wanted to go up to three times/week but her skin got really dry so we cut back. We might try it again this summer when she’s outside more, but I think a daily bath for babies is overkill. Faces and bums, that’s all you need to worry about.

    Has anyone found any good bathmats that will suction to slightly textured tubs? I’ve tried several with no success. For now we either go without or put a towel down.

    • avocado says:

      No specific mat recommendations, but with other suction cup items, I get the best deal with dry tub + slightly damp suction cups.

    • when husband is out of town, my kids dont get baths. confess away :)

      Instead of a bathmat, we found that textured tape worked better. X fasten anti slip bath tub tape. I shouldn’t say “we” found, bc see first line.

  7. avocado says:

    Instead of buying a kneeling pad, I used to sit on the step stool my kid used to reach the sink.

  8. We have a memory foam bath mat from Costco that is great for kneeling during bath time.

  9. NewMomAnon says:

    If you have a kiddo with sensitive skin (or a sensitive bum), skip the bubbles and use Epsom salts instead.

    My one tip for tiny babies, especially ones who HATE bath time – instead of keeping them cold while you dry them off, do some skin to skin while you dry baby. It warms them up faster. I was never able to manage a slippery wet baby in the shower but it’s my favorite way to get kiddo cleaned up quickly now that she is stable on her feet.

  10. Anonymous BigLaw Associate says:

    Wow, I had no idea bath time could be so complex. My husband or I just bathed our kids in the bottom of a bath tub with one of those rubber non-slip mats down, no toys or anything. It didn’t take long. Definitely not every day unless needed. No hair drying. Kids started taking showers on their own at about 3-4 depending on kid. My husband taught my boys to use the shower by showering with them several times first.

  11. Toddler bathrobe recs? All the ones I see are more for the 3 and up set.

  12. Mrs. Jones says:

    My 6 y-o still loves hooded towels, which work better than robes in my opinion.

  13. IKEA has a great, cheap hooded towel/cover up that we use a lot, particularly after swim class.

  14. Our two year old went through periods of screaming bloody murder when we tried to get her hair wet. Swim lessons (just parent-baby classes getting used to the water, not much actual swimming) seemed to be helpful here–jumping into the pool was so fun that she eventually dealt with having wet hair and a splashed face, and having a tolerance to that in the pool translated (somewhat) to the tub.

  15. My 2-year-old gets bathed every 2-3 days, depending on how much dirt/sand she gets in at daycare. I’m still loving the hooded towels that we’ve used since she was a baby. She always asks for her “hat” after bath time. Baths aren’t the issue for us; detangling her long hair AFTER bathtime is the part we both really dread. :)

    • Also, I totally use her bath time to clean the toilet/sink, or do my own grooming (file/clip nails, pluck eyebrows, wash off makeup).

  16. What are your favorite bath products for babies and toddlers? Mine are:
    – Aveeno Baby for body washes/lotions
    – Honest Co. shampoo and conditioner (pricey, but a little goes a long way)
    – Honest Co. detangler
    – I was obsessed with the smell of Mustela body wash when my girl was tiny. Also loved California Baby’s calendula cream when my son was a baby. It helped his eczema a ton. To do this day, smelling Mustela or Cali Baby takes me right back to those early days. :)

  17. I’ve got 2 kids (almost 3 and 18 mo) and life has gotten MUCH easier now that I can toss them both in the tub together. I use bubbles and color tablets just to keep it fun for them, and they have alphabet letters but mostly fight over possession of the washcloths. (It doesn’t matter how many are in the tub, they still fight for them.)

    I have tried to increase the number of baths they get per week, mostly because of my oldest daughter’s hair. They now get 2-3 baths a week. The oldest has rather curly hair, which has proven difficult to manage. I am currently using DevaCurl products and following the curly girl method except that I do use a heavier (silicone) conditioner after the wash. I give it a few minutes, then use a Wet brush to get the tangles out of her hair and rinse. I put on the DevaCurl conditioner and leave her alone, so it may or may not get rinsed out depending on how she plays in the tub after.

    I’ve got hooded towels, but they are getting small for the kids, and I’m tired of trying to grip wet slippery legs as I move the kids to the bedroom for lotion time.

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