8 Tips for Banishing Bathing Battles

Parker Barry

Kids have to clean and preen over and over again, so let’s help make it as fun as possible!

  • 1. Kid-size. Right-size your kid’s toothbrush, hair brush, soap dispensers and towels, and have safe step-stools and other items available that make hygiene functional for kids.
  • 2. Use tunes. Use a waterproof Bluetooth-enabled device in your bathroom so kids can sing in the bath or shower. Find catchy songs online to help habit basics stick in your kid’s memory.
  • 3. Create an in-home spa. Turn boring nail clipping time into a mani-pedi spa moment. Pretend that your kid is the customer and give them the royal treatment. They love the pretend fun and pampering!
  • 4. Make it fun. Apps like Toca Hair Salon 2 and Toca Hair Salon Me put kids in charge of the fun side of hair care. In the bathtub, create hair sculptures out of your kid’s sudsy hair and show them your silly work in a hand-held mirror.
  • 5. Empower kids. Point to acceptable options at the store and then let them choose their own toothpaste, toothbrush and other personal grooming products.
  • 6. Use routines as reminders. Established cues such as “First wash your hands, then come to the dinner table,” or “Before you change out of (or into) your pajamas, brush your teeth” make healthy habits predictable.
  • 7. Play in the tub. Safety first, of course, but there are ways to make bath time play time, too. Use special crayons that can write on tub surfaces, and bring in boats and a few other floatable bath toys.
  • 8. Give them a sign. Find fun signs (or make them with your kids) with picture reminders of healthy habits to hang in your bathroom. We posted an illustration of a boy with grumpy germs jumping off his hands in our bathroom to remind our kids to wash the germs away. The more natural promptings and ambient signs kids have, the fewer verbal reminders parents need to give.


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