If you’re anything like I used to be, you dread bathing your kids. Especially when you’re dealing with two toddlers who fight over toys, refuse to sit down (for the love of God sit down!) and splash water all over the entire bathroom.
You emerge from the whole sordid affair sweaty, pissed and in need of your own tub time. Like, why am I trying to force you two heathens into the tub when all I want is ten minutes in my own effing bubble bath?
Kids. Not wanting to get in the tub, not wanting to sleep when these are the only things I look forward to in this parenting gig.
However! Over the past year, after many belly flops, I have developed a routine that has us all looking forward to what we call Tub Time. I figured I’d share my tips and tricks with y’all.
Maybe you’ll be all, DUH. Bringing toys in the tub isn’t exactly a revelation, but I guarantee you’ll find something here that changes your tub time routine forever.
Here then are 10 Ways To Make Bath Time For Toddler Easy and Fun:
Tub Time Song 1 of 10The first thing you gotta do, like, pronto, is get yourself a Tub Time song. Preferably one you can march to. You gotta have some way to distract them away from Dora or whatever they're watching. I usually do a big sing-songy "TUB TIME! TUUUB-TIIIME!" Then the marching commences. "We're marching, we're marching, we're marching to the tuuuub!" Suckers fall for it every time and we all parade to the tub like it's Thanksgiving in New York City.
Fizzy Tub Colors 2 of 10On the off chance that the Tub Time Song just isn't working (maybe it's a particularly good episode of Dora wherein she finally delivers the epic beatdown that Swiper so rightly deserves) then it's time to break out the big guns, the Fizzy Tub Colors. On a whim I bought a tiny packet of these for a buck at Walmart and the kids went so insane for them they were demanding Tub Time! I went ahead an ordered a huge bottle of 'em off Amazon and it has been well worth my $8, I'll tell you what. Click here to check 'em out.
Photo credit: Amazon
Bubbles 3 of 10If the Fizzy Tub Colors don't get them running then your children are insane! But you can also throw the offer of a "bubble bath" onto the table but add the bonus of real bubbles! You know, the kind you buy and blow, usually outside? Combine these with a bubble bath and all the sexy bubble action is bound to blow their minds.
The Right Toys 4 of 10Rubber Ducky might have been enough for Ernie but it ain't cutting it these days. If you want to keep your kids busy while you stick a wash cloth in all the dirty places, pluck noodles from their nose and scrub sauce outta their hair you've gotta get the good stuff. Did you know they have bathtub markers now? Where was this stuff when I was growing up? I got a washcloth and a bar of soap to play with and if I was lucky I could bring in a cup from the kitchen. Good times. These letters and numbers are pretty cool for the older toddler set but I have to say the coolest tub toys we ever had, the ones that we've gotten the most play out of, are these turtle toys with shell shapes. Violet learned her colors and her shapes from these bad boys and she's STILL playing with them more than a year later.
Two of Everything! 5 of 10By the way, if you're buying toys make sure you get two of everything if you've got two kids. This is not the time to be frugal, people! Buying a toy boat? Buy two! Saves you from having to deal with the "I want to play with that!" fight that occurs every. single. time.
Tangle Teezer 6 of 10Dude. This hair + brushing would generally not be a good combo with a toddler. But! A good friend from the U.K. noted me bitching on Facebook about how difficult it is to brush out Violet's long, naturally curly hair. She promptly sent me one of these Tangle Teezers and I am telling you what, this thing changed my life. After washing Violet's hair I spray it with Aveeno's Nourish+Condition Leave-In conditioner (best stuff ever!) and then I wash Henry's hair. Then, while they're still playing in the tub I am able to comb out her hair in seconds with this thing and, most of the time, she doesn't even notice! And with that head of hair that's really saying something.
Night Time is the Right Time 7 of 10Maybe this only applies to my family but trying to bathe your kid(s) in the morning is just begging for trouble. Everybody's always rushed, other people want to use the bathroom, you know the drill. Keeping bath time at night helps the kids wind down and helps you not be so stressed and worried about getting to work on time or getting them to daycare/school on time. Plus it enables you to do the next suggestion, which is maybe the most important one on the list...
Tub Time Can Be Mama Time Too! 8 of 10Oh, she looks innocent but do not be fooled! She can be feisty. But! Play your cards right, heed my advice and set your kids up with fizzy tub colors and the aforementioned toys, you've got a good twenty minutes of Mom Time which is like, what? Two glasses of wine? Three? Bingo! Set yourself up on the bathroom floor with a glass of wine and the latest trash mags! The heathens get the giggles and wiggles out and you learn about TomKat's divorce! And hey! Don't forget you don't have to wash hair every night. Sometimes they just need a dip and they're good to go.
Distraction Technique 9 of 10Sometimes your kids hate the tub (hence the Tub Time Song and bribery) and sometimes they don't want to leave the tub, (especially after all the bribery) that's when the distraction technique comes into play, especially when you have more than one tubber. It works like this: start talking up their awesome toothbrushes and the tasty toothpaste (this works on my yahoos because we have electric toothbrushes the kids really dig but you may have to supply another tempting out of tub activity) so that the kids get jazzed about the new activity and are begging to get out of the tub. I pick one kid and dry them off and get them teeth-brushing which affords me the time and focus to get out the second kid. Now second kid starts brushing teeth while the first one is then moved along to getting dressed... See how it all works?
Bottom Line 10 of 10Relax. Your kid doesn't need a bath every day. Well, if they're anything like my dirtheads they probably do but you don't have to give them a bath every day. Hell, in the summer I hose 'em down out in the yard after they get out of the pool and I call that good to go. A nice warm washcloth can do the trick on those evenings you're too tired to tub and if you do manage do get them in the tub they don't always need their hair washed. Nobody ever died from going to sleep with a little spaghetti sauce in their hair, is what I'm saying. I mean, you did it all the time in college, right? Right! Oh and see how I did that up there? "Bottom Line." And there's a bottom line in the photo? I just wanted to make sure you know how clever I am because if you don't then what the hell am I even doing here?
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You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.