Bath time. The mere word is enough to make you feel slightly more relaxed, isn't it? The chance to lie back in the tub, occasionally using your toe to turn the tap and add more hot water. All your worries melting away as the water caresses your tired muscles. It's your home's ultimate oasis of calm.
Bath time. Oh no, no, no! The splashing! The noise and the crying. The repeated false starts as you stop what you're doing to grab a rubber duck. No, not that one! The other one! The "no more tears" baby shampoo that's lying to you, just openly lying. The soaked floor, the slipping, the sliding.
These are two different experiences of bath time, and the truth is that they can both be encountered by the same person. If that person is a mother, then they can even be experienced on the same day. Because there's Mum bath time, and there's kids' bath time. One of them allows you to imagine you're in an Icelandic hot spring. One of them forces you to wonder if you're in a war zone.
So, here's the question: How do you make a toddler's bath time less like the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan? Easy! Well, not "easy." But Possible!
Ensure The Perfect Bath Prep
Preparation is essential when it comes to bathing young children. For a start, do away with all ideas of keeping everything dry. That's not happening. They will splash. So have an old t-shirt and a pair of jeans to wear, and lay down bath mats around the outside. Only fill the bath to a few inches deep - you don't need more than that, and it will make things neater and drier at the end.
Is Your Bathroom Toddler-Friendly?
One reason why children can be a little ... spirited ... at bathtime is because it's a little bit scary. By nature, baths are designed for adults and when a kid is in one, it can be overwhelming. Shower baths are generally a tad more compact and better for kids. Not only that, but when the shampoo or rubber duck gets away from you - and it will - then it's a lot easier to get back.
Compact Storage Will Be Your Saviour
You have, in all likelihood, seen those shoe caddy things that hang over the back of a door, right? Well, they can be bought in small sizes, which are perfect to hang off the side of a bath.
Why is this being mentioned? One simple reason. You have wet hands, can't move much from the spot you're in and need to keep your eyes fixed forward. So when you need to grab a cotton bud, a toy or a hairbrush in a hurry, having it right there without needing to open a drawer is essential.
After "Kid Bathtime" is over, you can store everything away easily on the back of a door. Except for the rubber duck, of course. Why should kids have all the fun at bathtime?