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8 Tips If Your Toddler Won’t Bathe

toddler won't bathe

Every parent knows just how difficult bath time can be for toddlers as they will try their very hardest to keep it from happening. As their mother or father, you can help your child and yourself by following a few simple steps to helping them enjoy bath time. Although your first choices may not work, you are sure to find something your child will like to help them sit in the tub quietly while you gently wash them and get them ready for bed.


Bath time should be a fun and comforting time for your child, but let’s face it, it is not easy for everyone. To help your child feel more comfortable when they walk in the bathroom to have a bath, try decorating the bathroom with their favorite colors and maybe even purchase a shower curtain with their favorite cartoon character on it. Doing so will give them some excitement when they walk into the bathroom as they will enjoy the colors and theme which suit their little personality.

Bath Toys

There is no better way to help your toddler enjoy bath time than purchasing toys for the tub. Toys a toddler may enjoy are rubber ducks, squirt guns, tub crayons, or dolls designed specifically for bath time. To help them enjoy their newfound playtime, be sure to partake in playing and add an imaginative storyline with the toys as the two of you sit and play together while scrubbing up for bedtime.

Ease Your Toddler Into Bathing

Even on the busiest evenings, it is important to remember to ease your toddler into the bath, especially if it is not on their list of favorite activities. Instead of yelling out bath time and leading them directly to the bathroom, go with a different approach. Try giving them a 10-minute heads-up and be sure to make the process slow when placing them in the tub while talking to them in a low voice. Doing so will take away some of the fear or anxiety they may have about hopping into the tub and make it easier for them when the next one comes.

Songs and Stories

Every toddler loves stories and songs, so why not incorporate it into their bath time? By reading a book or singing a song, you will help take their mind off of the thought they are about to get bathed in their least favorite area of the house. Be sure to remember while you are using the song technique; you are also trying to get them to join in and watch as a smile starts to form on their face. To spice the situation up a little for the two of you, try looking up some new songs which involve hand gestures or the use of puppets or toys which will not get ruined if they become wet.

Positivity Matters

Frustration can quickly set in when a toddler refuses to take a bath, which results in you questioning your sanity. Before you are quick to become frustrated, it is important to remember your toddler has a legitimate fear of taking a bath. Instead of rushing and becoming irritated, take a moment to calm yourself down before bathing them and speak to them in a soft tone, which will reassure them. All young children need reassurance when fear enters there mind, and as their parent, it is your job to provide them with it.

Involve Your Toddler

During your toddler’s bath time, always make sure you involve them in the entire process. When playtime is over, and it is time to scrub up, be sure to hand them a washcloth and teach them how to wash their body properly. Even using a washcloth with an animal attached will add a little fun into their daily routine while washing away fear. For further involvement, you can even allow them to dry themselves off while helping to put away their toys and placing dirty clothes in the laundry.

Picking Out Pajamas

Before putting your child into their bath, allow them to help pick out their pajamas for when they get out. By allowing them to choose their PJ’s, you are allowing them to express their tiny but strong personalities with outfit choices. If you are looking to help ease them into being okay with bath time, sometimes allowing them to choose the outfit after will help them get through washing easier.

Bedtime Movie

After bathing your toddler, you can add a movie to their nightly routine to help ease their mind. To help them stay content during their bath, be sure to remind them they can pick out a movie to watch before they lay down to bed. Being able to have a choice in movies will keep their mind thinking about what they are going to choose instead of their bath. After a few evenings of watching a movie after bath time, they will start to jump with the tub with ease as there will be a reward at the end.

For a toddler, bath time can be the worst part of their day, and it is up to you as a parent to help. To ensure their fear is washed away along with the dirt, try a few of the tips listed above to see if it helps comfort your toddler. If the first few tips do not work, always remember to be patient and remain calm to help rid them of bath time anxiety. After a few times of trying different tips for bath time, you may just find the perfect one for your child. Remember, every child is different and has different needs and fears when it comes to taking a bath at nighttime.

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