Bath time should be a fun time for the child and parent and can be the start of wind-down time for the child. It can also be an opportunity to talk through the day together.
Make bath time interesting – put some clean yoghurt cartons or pouring jugs in the bath, use soap/bath crayons or shaving foam to draw mystery notes. Try not to show the child that you are in a hurry. Talk through the day or tell a story to the child.
If the child has difficulties with balance they may find sitting in a slippery bath being washed a scary experience. Try using a non-slip mat for getting in and out of the bath.
If the child likes specific TV or cartoon characters they often make shampoo bottles with the characters on them. This may encourage the child into the bath.
If the child has no concept of time in the bath, then use a timer so that he or she can see or hear when time is up and they need to get out.
If the child hates having his or her hair shampooed you could use a shampoo guard so that the child can sit upright with their eyes open. Suppliers of baby equipment often sell a “shampoo shield”. This is a foam rim which sits on the child’s head so water does not go into the child’s eyes.
If the child is fearful of getting soap in his or her eyes, there are several makes of shampoo that claim to be better for this, such as Johnson’s “No More Tears Baby Shampoo” and Paul Mitchell’s “Baby Don’t Cry Shampoo”.
Ask the child to help wash his or her own hair.