Asked & Answered: Bathtime

All responses taken from our Facebook groups: Foster Parenting Toolbox and Kinship Parenting Group.

Is bathtime tough for the children in your home? We asked current foster, kinship and adoptive parents how they make baths more fun and comfortable. Here’s what they told us:

“We bought a bunch of glow sticks at Dollar Tree and played a kids Spotify playlist of space songs.”

“Bath every night as a routine. That way they know what to expect and eases their anxiety.”

“Lots of toys. If they like to splash, have a clear shower liner that you can pull closed and keep the water in the tub and you can still see each other.”

“Water color changing tablets, blowing bubbles in the tub, goggles for underwater exploration/imaginary play, bubble bath bubbles, allow them to take their favorite plastic toy (that won’t get ruined by water) in with them, reusable foam letters or dress up characters/faces that stick on the wall, water flow and fill toy by Yookidoo, bath paint and crayons.”

“Desensitize the area…do they need to wear a bathing suit to be comfortable in the tub? Find things they really like (candy, hugs, bubbles, etc.) Give them rewards for successfully participating in bath time for a brief time and gradually increase the expectations.”

“Stop baths and move to showers! Complete game changer for our 2/3 now 3/4 year olds. We still do bath every once in a while but they took to the shower routine and gained more and more independence every night. They also started understanding the temperature control. This saves us an hour each night, they still play, and everyone is smiling.”

“If they’re scared of baths — work up to it. Sit outside tub and play with toys in tub, play in the bathtub with no water, dry tub with a bin of water, faucet running but drain open, add plug but just a little water.

If abuse happened in the bathroom, it may take a long time before the bath feels like a safe place. Showers at the pool, sponge baths, camp soap outside in the sprinkler — you may need to think outside the box if trauma is involved.”

“Bubbles, toys that pour — even empty shampoo bottles or plastic cups, toy boats and a toy razor have been a huge help at bath time here. Also, covering their faces with a dry washcloth when rinsing hair has been a game changer.”

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