Making Bath Time Easier

Bathing can be a difficult habit to instill in children, but taking the time to bathe thoroughly is important to staying hygienic and healthy. Bath time is relaxing for some children, but for others it can be a stressful situation. There are many reasons that children may avoid bathing, but some of the most common reasons include a fear of bedtime (which commonly occurs right after bath time), fear of getting soap in their eyes or water in their face, fear of getting sucked down the drain, fear of slipping in the tub, difficulty transitioning activities, and sensory issues related to the texture, temperature, or sound of the water within the tub.

Communication is key to overcoming bath time struggles. Talk to your child about what the specific issue is to see if you can temper his fears. Most issues can be resolved by talking through them and planning how to improve them with your child. For example, if your child feels that the water is too hot or too cold, adjust the temperature. If he fears getting sucked down the drain, explain that the drain is harmless and cannot suck him down. No matter the situation, it is important to take your child’s concerns seriously. If they are upset, do not force the bath.

Making a routine can settle down your child and make it easier for her because she knows what to expect. Singing a special bath song or saying a silly rhyme when drying your child with a towel can make bath time a cooperative and fun experience. Incorporating special bath time toys, such as bath crayons or squirt toys aid in making bath time fun. Along with toys, use child friendly soaps and shampoos with a pleasant fragrance and a colorful towel to get your child engaged.

Regular baths or showers with mild soap, followed by drying off with a clean towel, help wash away germs and prevent illness, infection, and other problems. Along with physical health, showering improves mental and social health. Taking a bath or shower in the morning can be invigorating and help them wake up. In the evening, bathing can be soothing and help wind down from the day. Since bodies have odor, bathing is important to keeping smell under control, especially as your child enters puberty. An unclean appearance can also cause children to feel self-conscious or insecure. Once a child understands how to bathe or shower, it is good practice to wash up several times a week, if not daily.

Bathing doesn’t stop at the tub. Teaching your child the importance of washing his hands is also important to personal hygiene. Wash your hands under warm running water for at least twenty seconds with a mild soap, making sure to scrub the palms, back of the hands, and underneath the fingernails. Singing a song like Happy Birthday can help kids know how long to scrub.

Keeping your child well-groomed is important to health and happiness, which is why regularly bathing is so important. Your Goldsboro pediatrician can address any concerns you have about bath time at your next visit.

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