1.) Make bathtime part of a daily routine, during the evening around bedtime is good. Keep consistent by having a bath daily at the same time every day. This will help them to feel secure in the routine and be able to predict what’s next.
2.) Give a lot of warning time before the bathtime. Let children know there will be a change happening as they won’t like to just stop and start something without the warning. Repeat warnings and give time increments such as '5 minutes left before bath time’. Timers are useful.
3.) Make bathtime FUN! Bring in toys, games and activities. Allow enough time for kids to play and have fun as well as wash themselves. Most bathtimes are about 15-20 minutes.
4.) Prepare all the necessary equipment needed for the bath. Have it already in the bathroom especially the towel! Never leave child (of any age) unattended in the water. Put a floor mat near the tub and always help your child in and out of the tub to ensure safety.
5.) Some children fear washing their hair. Talk them through it and let them know you understand. Let them put the shampoo on and use a cup to pour water carefully to wash it out. Cover their face with facecloth to prevent water going into their eyes & ears.
6.) If a child is fearful to even get into the tub, use a gradual process and be consistent. Avoid being anxious as the child may feel the anxiety and feel insecure. Sponge baths inside the bathroom but out of the tub can be a helpful, gradual step. Try getting into the tub with the child too.
7.) Encourage children by making comments about how well they are doing. This helps them understand the expectation you have around bathtime and it keeps bathtime fun and positive.