Beat the Bath-Time Blues

Bathing your child is a necessity, but don't let it be a battle. Follow these 10 steps to make sure your child is happy and clean…without a headache for you.


  • Give clear, frequent announcements that bath-time is approaching. Children don't like to be surprised with activity changes. If they know the routine, there is less likely to be a tantrum.
  • Make sure there are mats on the floor to avoid slipping accidents.
  • Test the water to make sure it is not too hot or cold for your child.
  • Make sure you have everything you need nearby: shampoo, towels, soap.


  • Sometimes children don't like having their hair washed because they are afraid of water on their heads or faces, or shampoo stings their eyes. Use washcloths or small cups to pour water instead of the full shower head. Get a tear-proof baby shampoo. Help them protect their faces. You can also let them watch you wash your hair so they know what happens when they close their eyes.
  • Talk calmly through the bath-time process: "Now it's time to put soap on your back," or "now I'm going to pour some water, so close your eyes." Let your child do as much of it herself as possible.
  • Sing and play together with bath toys. Have fun!
  • Always supervise your child around any amount of water.


  • Give the clear announcements again on when bath-time will end.
  •  Have the child help you put away bath toys or drain the water from the tub, so she knows the clean-up routine too.

For More Information

Watch a scene from the TV show Supernanny, where a real mom learns how to keep bath-time under control.