Three Tips for a Tear-Free Bath Time

A friend asked how to make bath times more fun and less traumatic for her two fabulous young boys. The question took me by surprise. Bath time in our house is probably the favorite time of day for all my children. I have a preschooler who is very disappointed if we miss a bath time, and a baby who will crawl into any standing water, any time. So, I really didn’t have an immediate response for my friend.

When I was a child, bath time was also my favorite time of day. I loved relaxing in the water, playing with the bath tub toys, and generally just playing with the water. Now, a long bath is my favorite way of spoiling me. Sometimes I’m even jealous of my children and their bath time. How would it be to have 30 minutes to just relax in nice warm water? Ah, daydreams.

But thinking back to how my parents handled bath time, and consequently how I handle bath time with my own children, I’ve come up with a few ideas I think make for a tear-free bath time.

Three Tips for a Tear-free Bath Time |

Tip 1: Bath time should focus on time spent together, not just getting clean.

From the time my children were babies, bath time has always been a special time to connect with them, one-on-one. When they were infants, I would often bathe with them. It was often the only way I would get a bath. Once they were older – able to sit on their own – I’d start bathing them either by themselves or with their siblings. Sometimes, I’d read to them in while they were bathing. Sometimes, I’d add bubble bath to the water. Always, I would talk to them, splash them, and play with them. Because of this interaction, when it came time to actually clean them, there really wasn’t much of a problem.

Tip 2: Bath time should include age appropriate toys.

My kids are very creative with their tub toys. But I have learned over the years, to make sure that the toys in the bath tub are appropriate for the ages of the children who are bathing. This means, don’t use toy cups or bath time tea sets for children who will drink the bath water (we struggled with this idea until my children understood the concept of germs, around age 5.) Also, make sure the toys aren’t choking hazards or drain clogging hazards. If it’s small enough to go down the drain; it will –and that’s an expensive plumber call. Honestly, my favorite bath time toys are from the dollar store. After about a month, I toss them and buy a new set. That way the toys never grow the yucky brown stuff on the inside.

Tip 3: Bath time should become part of the nightly bedtime routine.

Children will come to expect, and look forward to, bath time when it is part of the daily, nighttime routine. The warm water will help them relax, and the personal attention with their parent will help them feel safe. We usually have Daddy bathe the boys, while Mommy bathes the girls. After everyone is all clean and in their pajamas, then it’s a good time to snuggle together and read a bed time story.

Our baby chewing on her rubber ducky. Baths are so much fun!

By making bath time an expected part of the day, including age appropriate bathtub toys, and making bath time more about interacting with the children then about getting them clean, bath time becomes an enjoyable — even looked forward to — part of the day.

How do you make bath time an enjoyable part of your family’s routine?


  1. We’ve been using fizzy color tablets for the bath lately, and my three year old loves it! She already liked baths before, but she is over the moon in her pink or purple bath. Tub crayons are often a great incentive for reluctant bathers, and having toys that they can wash like cars or water proof dolls were always a big hit with my kiddos. I also let them do as much self care as they can as soon as they can. My three year old’s hair is fine if she shampoos it, and she does a pretty good job conditioning most of the time too. Feeling independent helps her bathtime go smoothly. Nice post! I completely agree with bathtime being great bonding time as well!


    1. Judith, these are great ideas! Thanks for adding to the discussion. I love the emphasis on self care and independence. Thanks for coming by and commenting. :)


  2. When I was a nanny for my niece and nephew, bath time was always loads of fun until rinsing off the soap began. Thanks for these tips. Toys are the best.
    Also, welcome to the Retro Re-Pin Party team! My name’s Julie and I’m a Mormon too. I look forward to getting to know you better as we all work on the party.


    1. I’m super excited to be part of the Retro Re-Pin Party team. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and look forward to learning more about how to do it. :)
      Thanks for stopping by, introducing yourself, and commenting.I appreciate the time you took out of your life to visit with me. :)

  3. Sarah

    My kids love bath time for the same reasons: time with Mom or Dad, fun toys, and are used to it as part of their daily routine. My kids are still quite young so two of their favorite bath “toys” are shaving cream and a hand mirror. The shaving cream is cheap but has tons of play potential. It is used as paint to draw on tub walls, it gets stirred into cups as pretend soup, is shampoo for Cinderella Barbie’s hair, and gets launched at toys by my son. Even though it ends up all over the kids, the toys and the tub walls, it washes off very easily. The hand mirror has been the best thing I have found to make hair washing enjoyable. My kids get lots of laughs seeing the different hairdos they can put their hair into once the shampoo has been lathered in.


    1. These are fantastic ideas! I’d never have thought of using a hand mirror to help with hair washing issues. Thanks so much for sharing these great ideas! And, thanks for coming by and commenting. :)


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