Amid recent warnings that strains of bacteria may be “lurking in nurseries”, many parents may be dreading the return of the notorious “nursery nasties” this September.
As millions of children return to the classroom and flood back through the school gates, the bath experts at Showers to You have provided their expert tips on how to implement a good bath time routine for children and avoid the curse of new terms, new germs.
Defense against germs
Up to 1,000 species of bacteria live on our skin, but most of these germs are actually good for us. As children return to school, they are exposed to various germs and bacteria in the classroom and on the playground.
Bathing is our second line of defense against some of the nastier bacteria, so if children don’t regularly bathe and then touch their mouth, nose or eyes, they can risk being exposed to harmful germs. A proper bath time routine helps remove these contaminants and reduces the risk of illness.
Consistent bath time routines can make the transition from summer break to school smoother for both children and parents. It offers a sense of structure and relaxation, reducing the anxiety that can come with a new academic year.
A relaxing bath or shower can be an integral part of a calming bedtime routine. Warm baths before bedtime can help children relax, unwind, and sleep better, which is crucial for their physical and mental development.
Incorporating educational toys into the routine can not only make bath time more enjoyable but also create a valuable learning experience for your child. It’s an opportunity to engage their cognitive, sensory, and social skills in a playful and interactive way while ensuring that bath time remains a positive and enriching part of their daily routine.
Certain bath toys, like water wheel toys or pouring cups, encourage children to experiment with water flow and develop problem-solving skills. Bath books are designed to be waterproof and can be a fantastic addition to bath time. These books often have simple stories, vibrant illustrations, and textured pages, promoting early literacy skills.
Creating a relaxing environment for your child’s bath time can help turn it into a soothing and enjoyable experience. Use warm, not hot, water and consider adding some calming scents like lavender to the bathwater. Dim the lights or use soft, soothing lighting in the bathroom.
Playing gentle, instrumental music or lullabies in the background can contribute to a tranquil environment. After the bath, wrap your child in a soft, warm towel or robe. The sensation of a soft, cosy fabric can help children to feel relaxed and ready for bedtime.
Gentle washing techniques
Some children may have developed a fear of bath time due to past discomfort, such as the temperature of the bathwater, soap in their eyes, or slipping in the tub. Try using a soft washcloth or sponge to gently clean your child’s body and hair. Be mindful of their sensitive eyes and ears, using a tear-free shampoo when washing their hair.
Provide words of reassurance and praise throughout bath time. Let your child know that they are safe, and bath time is a positive and enjoyable experience. Positive reinforcement can help alleviate any lingering fears.
Consistency is key
Consistency is a crucial element in a successful bath time routine for children. Predictability is reassuring for children, so having a specific time each day for bath time can help children anticipate when it’s time for their bath, reducing any anxiety or resistance.
Create a sequence of activities that signal the start and end of bath time, such as undressing, washing, playing, rinsing, and drying. Keep the routine age-appropriate, adapting it as your child grows.