15 September 2006

Plastic stool makes bathtubs less intimidating for toddlers

Given all the fantastic ideas you've shared with Karen Rani to help Troll Baby get comfortable in the bathtub, it was serenDIPitous (ugh, sorry, I'm a sucker for a pun) that Dave's tip just came up in my queue:

My daughter used to be very timid about the bathtub, it would take a soaked daddy and a crying baby to get her to sit in the tub instead of standing, and she sometimes fell down because she wouldn't sit.

We had previously purchased these little stools to help our daughter get on the potty. They're plastic with rubber feet, so I put one of them in the tub and she climbed right in the tub and was happy to sit on it.  After a little bathing and a little coaxing she would get down in the tub and play with the stool and put toys on it and move it around.  Now she's gotten comfortable with the bath so we don't need it anymore, but it was a great way to get her to realize that bath time isn't so bad.  Although somehow daddy still tends to get soaked.

The stools are really light and small, and she loves to carry them around by the handle and laugh when she shuts off the lightswitch and fan and things.  There seem to be a lot of stools like this, but these are the nicest I've found.


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I have been a Nanny for some years and a great idea thing that eases bathtub fears is to put the child inside a rectangular laundry basket inside the tub. The stool is a bad idea because of the amount of water you have to use in the tub, making it impractical and dangerous. Placing the child inside the laundry basket lets you fill the tub just a few inches, and the baby feels secure on all sides.

We talked about using a laundry basket in the bath a while back:


I'll try anything at this point - even the dog. Sigh.

Impractical and dangerous?
No way.
You don't submerge the stool, you just have it as a place for her to sit and splash her feet until she's comfortable enough with the water to sit down in the tub. My goal was not for the whole bathtime to be on the stool, just to have her splash and play and then eventually sit down in the tub and I take the stool out. Not so easy with the laundry basket. And the stool's rubber feet make it safe so it doesn't slide in the tub. The whole problem was that my little girl didn't want her butt in the water, so she would stand up the whole time. Again, a laundry basket wouldn't help me with that.

I'm happy to say she is now very comfortable with baths, and goes in without the stool anymore!

Now if we could just do something about that whole getting daddy wet thing.

As a side note, my sister came up with a great way to get past problems washing the hair (for girls). Cradle her neck in your elbow and lay her back in the tub and tell her you're playing "mermaid hair" and flow the hair through the water instead of pouring it over the head. Haven't tried it yet, but she bathed my girl and said it worked great.

Any hair washing tips for boys? I don't think 'mermaid hair' would work with my son's short crop. He's totally freaked out about water hurting his eyes, or soap (even though we use a no-tears kind). He keeps a dry washcloth over his eyes while I pour, and he's good about tipping his head back but it's a struggle to get him to that point. I'd love to hear what worked for someone else!

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