Infants and young toddlers are too vulnerable to bath alone. Make sure your toddler only gets into the bath once you’re ready and able to stay in the bathroom with them. Once your toddler’s bath time is finished, empty the tub immediately.
Toddlers and young children’s have worse balance and the ratio of their head weight to bodily muscle strength (in particular their neck) means they are particularly prone to slips in the bath tub and accidents that they might struggle to recover from in a bath of water.
On average in the UK about 3 children under the age of 5 die from drowning in a bathtub each year. There are about 24 further serious non-fatal drowning incidents that require hospitalisation as well. So while it might feel removed as a serious incident, it is a very real and present danger for young children in particular. It’s not something to treat casually with your toddler. Taking to them about safety around water is a great place to start and making sure they are aware of the danger is important for their own development.
But sitting with your young toddler during bathtime doesn’t have to be a chore. While we might love to encourage their independence (we’re big fans of this at GRASP), independence doesn’t just look like leaving your toddler on their own. Spending quality time while you’re bathing your toddler and helping them figure out how to wash themselves can be invaluable as they grow older. Independence can involve being hands off in their development, while being very present and available to watch over them and talk to them.
We designed our Pebbl bathtime brush to give toddlers more independence at bathtime. The silicone scrub makes sure your toddler gets a thorough wash with soap that doesn’t just disappear down the drain. Pebbl has mildly exfoliating silicone bristles and is perfect for a toddler’s basic palmar GRASP development as foamy soap lather is squeeze through the brush onto the skin. Use bathtime with your toddler as an opportunity to start building their personal care habits from a young age while also encouraging them to build dexterity and better motor skills.
Making sure you don’t leave your toddler alone in the bath tub also means you have the chance for some bonding time. Make bathtime more enjoyable for your toddler by spending time chatting, playing and singing together. You could also use the time to read to them as they play in the bath. There are so many distractions in day-to-day life as a parent that can limit quality time with our children. Bathtime, with wet hands that you can’t use on your phone, is a great way to invest in quality time with your toddler.
Bathing toddlers alone is dangerous. Until your child is 6 years old, you should bathe them while you are in the same room. But using that time to teach them Independence and bond with them is a great way to use that time together.