There comes a time in your life when your five- year old will snatch the soap and say “I will do it!” while having a bath. Take cue and step aside. May be it is time for your child to bathe on their own.
Even if that does not happen, encourage them to do it as the idea is to make them self sufficient and independent. Make this happen with these baby steps-
- Get them their own soap, shampoo, towel, bathrobe etc to encourage them to do it on their own.
- If you are not sure they are ready for a bucket bath, start with a shower. This will make sure their body is rinsed in every part.
- Gently guide them through a routine. From face downwards to their arms, trunk, legs.
- Initially you will have to help them with their problem areas like the back, neck etc.
- Tell them about areas like under the arms, behind the ears which are easy to forget.
- They are still too young to shampoo. So that will remain your job for a few more years. Shampoo and rinse their hair and finish their routine.
- Do not leave them unsupervised.
- Check to make sure that they have cleaned themselves as per your instructions.
- Next teach them the after bath routine. Ask them to pick up the wet towels and hang them up on the racks if they are low enough. Put the soap, shampoo at the designated places. Show them where the soiled clothes have to go.
- Your child will feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Make sure you applaud it.
- This could be a good time to slowly teach them other related activities. Like brushing their teeth, combing their hair and washing hands when they use the toilet.
- Keep the bath time relaxed for yourself and your child. Do not fuss or lose patience.
- From time to time you might still have to take over the chore if they are tired or are not doing a great job of it. Also you will have to remind them about the problem areas as you supervise their bath. But persist on making them independent.
Having a bath on their own is the first step towards making them understand about personal hygiene. Enjoy the experience while you inculcate clean habits that last a lifetime.