Many parents might have experienced this stage with their children:
They don't want to take a bath! You have to coax them into taking a bath! They refuse even more when scolded!
But after the bath, they are reluctant to leave, and if you try to use 'force,' they cry and make a fuss."
Today, I'm here to share the benefits of bathing and some little secrets to make children fall in love with taking baths~
As children grow up, they become capable of doing more and become more mischievous as well — running around, jumping, and touching everything. They often play so much that they have a dirty and sticky body. Therefore, compared to infancy, leads to more frequent bathing in children.
Compared to tender and adorable infancy, at this stage, children sweat more, which also means that bacteria grow faster. The interaction among children is also increasing, leading to a faster and more frequent spread of bacteria. This signifies that the cleansing effect of bathing becomes even more crucial than before!
On the other hand, bathing can stimulate overall blood circulation, providing positive stimulation to the child's skin. This includes increasing the skin's ability to perceive temperature and pressure, serving as specialized training for skin sensations.
On the other hand, during the bathing process, as the little one raises their arms, kicks their legs, and plays with water, their body stretches, enhancing their mobility and physical capabilities.
As children grow, especially after the age of 3, they no longer rely on their parents as they did in infancy. They become more mischievous, and communication between parents and children decreases.
What to Do When Children Dislike Bathing?
There's hardly a child who doesn't enjoy playing in the water!
However, at a stage, children might suddenly start resisting baths. For instance, around 18 months to 3.5 years of age, they might develop a dislike for baths and only agree to bathe with coaxing and cajoling.
So, what can you do?
In reality, there's just one fundamental approach: Make your child fall in love with bathing to ensure a better bathing experience!
Not Done Playing, Don't Want to Bathe?
A child's concentration is much stronger than that of adults. Everything is brand new to them. So, when we tell them it's time to take a bath, it's not surprising that they are reluctant to put down their current "task" and continue focusing on playing with toys.
Solution: Give your child ample preparation time.
We can try waiting a little while for the child to finish what they are doing. Giving them some time to prepare will make them feel understood, respected, and loved. Sometimes, when a child is playing with rubber toys, such as a beloved little duck, we can fill the water and then join them in the bath with the toy. We can also use our imagination to envision the duck's "wonderful life" in the pond...
If bath time becomes an enjoyable activity, the child naturally won't be too resistant to it psychologically!
Feeling Tired, Exhausted, and Unwilling to Move?
Solution: Use a Damp Cloth to Wipe and Plan Baths.
If your child is too tired or sleepy to take a bath, it's perfectly fine to skip it for a day. Skipping a bath once won't cause any harm. However, you can negotiate with your child to use a damp cloth to wipe their body instead, removing sweat and refreshing them.
Of course, if your child still has some energy left, as a parent, you can consider scheduling bath time a bit earlier. You can also play some bath-related nursery rhymes and songs to make the experience enjoyable. This way, your child can engage in both bathing and playing simultaneously.
Encourage a Relaxing Bath Ritual:
For times when your child still has some energy left, you can establish a relaxing bath ritual. Consider scheduling bath time a bit earlier in the evening, allowing your child to unwind before bedtime. Create a calming atmosphere by dimming the lights, playing soothing music, and using warm water. To make the experience even more enjoyable, introduce bath toys that can float and engage your child's imagination.
Let Your Child Choose Their Bath Toys:
To add an extra element of fun and excitement to bath time, involve your child in choosing their bath toys. Offer a selection of colorful and interactive toys such as rubber ducks, floating boats, and water squirters. Allowing your child to select their favorite toys not only makes bath time more enjoyable but also empowers them to make decisions. This sense of ownership can transform bath time into a cherished daily activity.
Engage in Playful Bath Activities:
While in the bath, encourage interactive activities that can make bath time more enticing. You can introduce games like "sink or float" with various objects, create mini fountains using water cups, or even use bath crayons to draw on the bathtub walls. Incorporating these activities will make bath time feel like playtime, keeping your child engaged and excited about the experience.
Create Positive Associations:
Lastly, create positive associations with bath time by offering small rewards or incentives. This could be as simple as reading a favorite story after bath time or enjoying a special treat. Positive reinforcement can help your child associate bath time with enjoyable activities, making them more willing to participate in the routine.
Remember, the goal is to make bath time a delightful experience for your child. By understanding their preferences, incorporating fun elements like bath toys and games, and providing choices, you can transform bath time into a cherished daily ritual that both you and your child look forward to.