Baths for mums are the ultimate pick-me-up; soaking in hot water, surrounded by bubbles is most definitely good for the soul. However, kids bath times can be a little more problematic.
When my boys (ages one and seven) had their first bath time together, I felt a bit emotional. It was something I’d always looked forward to them doing and they both really enjoyed it. Since then though it’s been a bumpy road.
There are lots of little things that can annoy them and sometimes it’s a one-way trip to tantrum city. Here are some handy tips I’ve picked up along the way that normally keep them happy.
Check the temperature
The recommended temperature for a baby’s bath is about 36 degrees and this can be tested with a bath thermometer. We used to use this rigidly, but both boys find it a little warm. It’s great once your kids can talk because they can communicate what they do and don’t like! My eldest runs it (it’s one of his chores) and we then check it ourselves, we also make sure the bathroom itself is warm too.
A jug will come in handy
One of the handy things about there being an age gap between my boys is that my eldest can show my toddler how to do things (although this isn’t always a good thing). I’d definitely recommend getting a flexible hair rinse jug as it makes washing their hair (and avoiding their eyes) a lot easier. My 7 year-old now washes his own hair and my toddler watches fixated. He’s no longer worried about it and regularly soaks his own hair too!
Get everything ready
Part of the prep for bath time is getting everything ready for when they get out. Towels on the radiator, fresh PJs, and a nappy for the toddler. When it gets close to bedtime, both of them have zero patience and with the cold evenings now it’s even more important to get them wrapped up and cosy the second they get out.
Make it a routine
When it comes to kids, one of the most basic rules is routine, routine, routine! Every night without fail we get the two boys into the bath straight after dinner. They both know what’s coming and it calms them down before bed. When my eldest was younger we weren’t strict about doing it every night and he whinged as soon as we mentioned it, now he knows it’s just part of his evening.
Toys are a must
Bath toys are key for keeping a smile on everyone’s face and their favourites include drawing with their bath crayons, building with their stacking cups, balancing their penguins, and having water fights with their squirters. Waterproof books are also great when you’re trying to keep things quiet. In terms of equipment, we also use a bath seat for my toddler, he feels completely secure but also like he has some freedom. When we tried to stop using it recently he had a complete meltdown. Of course, he’ll get too big for it soon, but we’ll fight that battle when we come to it!