Bathtime is so amazing and a critical part of a child’s day to day routine.
Not only is bath time obviously crucial for getting the day’s messes - porridge, sand, snot, you name it! - out of their hair, but it's also great for setting kids up for sleep, for developing fine motor skills, and even their emotional development.
But bath time can also be a lot to handle! I don’t know about you, but bath time is often 'get-dinner-ready' time in my house, and it can get stressful: keeping the kids safe in the water, making bath time fun, and (most of all) the post-bath clean up! (To be honest, it’s one reason why I was glad to find out that bath time doesn’t have to be a daily routine…)
But there is a better way! Gradually bath time is getting easier at home, and we’re finding ways to get the best out of it - maximising quality time with the kids, ensuring they get clean, and taking all the other fuss down to a minimum.
I’ve learnt that it’s all about 3 things: getting the prep right, getting the job done, and making it fun.
So without further ado, here’s 9 tips and tricks to get the best out of bath time without getting overwhelmed by it!
How to prepare your kid's bath
- First off, getting the water temperature right is not as scary as it seems. The reason people say to dip your elbow in to check it is because people tend to have particularly warm or cold hands, whereas elbows stay closer to your natural body temperature. So after a couple of minutes of the water running, dip your elbow in. If it feels comfortable, you’re in the right ballpark. Adjust as needed and remember that the bath will cool as time passes, so don’t start out too cold.
- A great bath starts with great bubbles. I’m not for having tons of bottles cluttering up the bathroom, so we just have two to hand for the kids: one is an all-in-one body and hair wash, and the other is some bubble bath (though even then, sometimes just the first bottle does two jobs). If you want to get your suds on, try to look for natural ingredients and consider a bath oil like lavender or orange, which can be super soothing and relaxing ready for bed time. This Child’s Farm one is a favourite.
- Grab the 5-6 essentials for the bath - and afterwards. While the bath is running - and before your kid(s) are in there - get a towel (or two - one for yourself/the floor), soap & sponge or brush, a couple of toys, moisturiser, and a nappy/clothes. Try and make sure the bathroom is warm, and the space where you’ll get your baby dressed is clear and ready. For toys and the lotions and potions, if you have the budget and are inclined, you could consider something like a bath subscription box - we came across Bubbles and Joy on Instagram and their curated products look beautiful.
How to wash your kids
- The task at hand is to wash your kid. But there’s no reason why you can’t kill two birds with one stone (or pebble 😏): this is a chance to let your kids practice their own motor skills and practice washing. It’s literally the reason we have designed the Pebbl bath time brush, designed for small hands to dispense and lather soap for a proper wash. Let your babe have a go at washing and encourage them by talking them through what to do next. A Funnybones-style song won’t go amiss!
- A great bath starts with great bubbles. I’m not for having tons of bottles cluttering up the bathroom, so we just have two to hand for the kids: one is an all-in-one body and hair wash, and some bubble bath (though even then, sometimes just the first bottle does two jobs). If you want to get your suds on, try to look for natural ingredients and consider a bath oil like lavender or orange, which can be super soothing and relaxing ready for bed time. This Child’s Farm one is a favourite.
Activities and toys to make bath time more fun
Waterplay is a sensory dream for kids! They don’t require a ton of toys, but ones that get kids pouring, sprinkling, sifting are great. Obviously, I love a multifunctional tool, so my (kids’) favourites are ones that either double up as beach toys, or provide extra stimuli like lights or music, or even a puzzle, like these:
Green Toys water pourer/ tug boat, £13.99
JL&P Bath squirter set, £12.50
Quut bath puzzle crocodile river, £27.99
- Bath time is a wonderful opportunity for catching up with your kid. Talk to them at their level - do some songs or nursery rhymes, read them a story, or simply ask them about their day. Check out the Laurie Berkner Band - catchy songs that tell funny stories - like The Goldfish.
- As kids get older, stories become more and more important. The environment of a bath provides new opportunity for imaginary play - let them make up stories with the toys and tools at hand, like giving a bath to the rubber duck. Our two sons are really close in age and bath together - they play games together and race boats. It’s amazing how much fun kids can make for themselves!
P.S. Remember, bath time is about more than washing
Central to the GRASP philosophy is that when it comes to raising kids, the task at hand is about so much more than the task at hand.
Treat bath time as an opportunity to empower your kids - from their motor skills and water confidence, to emotionally bonding with them by catching up on their day.
Bath time is about getting them clean, but also about settling them at home, getting them cleaning themselves, and inspiring their confidence - and your own!