My son Justin loves taking a bath. He actually looks forward to dipping himself in the tub every chance he gets. Recently, though, it gets a little harder coaxing him to take his bath at the appointed time (that is, before I start working or after dinner time) because of so many distractions. Sometimes, he’s so engrossed watching Barney or Sponge Bob that you can’t make him go to the bathroom, let alone dislodge him from the sofa bed where he usually sits while watching TV. This is when frustration sets in. Justin taking his bath later than usual affects my work schedule. So, I need to quickly come up with solutions to this problem. Below are some of the ways that work for both me and my baby.
Have a toy ready. The idea of having something to play with while bathing is definitely appealing to the little ones. In Justin’s case, he would bring just about anything he fancies at the moment. His choices range from his pail and shovel to his miniature cars to his blocks, and to, just recently, his rubber duckie.
Do some sweet-talking. Raising my voice is usually my initial response when Justin does not budge from his seat when I call him for his bath time. This strategy fails most of the time. The more I raise my voice and show my frustration, the more he insists on having his way, most typical of a two-year old. I usually sweet-talk him into taking his bath by making little promises, which I keep, by the way, like telling him we’ll buy goodies from the convenience store downstairs or that he’ll watch his favorite DVD after he’s had his bath.
Keep distractions at bay. Switch off your TV set 10 to 15 minutes before bath time if you think your baby’s favorite kiddie shows are what’s preventing him from heeding your instruction. You can also keep his favorite VCDs/DVDs out of sight if you plan to give him a bath anytime soon. You’ll find it much easier to make him go to the bathroom. He might even be the one urging you to give him his bath pronto for lack of anything interesting to do.
Following these simple tricks helps put my schedule back on track and it allows both me and my baby to truly enjoy this activity, Justin’s bath time, as one of our best bonding moments.