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How to Get Your Toddler to Stop Hating Bath Time

The following was syndicated from Quora for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at

How can I make the experience of washing my toddler’s hair go more smoothly for everyone involved?

My assumption with toddlers who have washing hair issues is that most of the time it’s about being immersed or dunked in water. Like circumcision, this is one of those things that just gets harder with age. Unlike circumcision, it doesn’t require something as scary as a knife near one’s privates. Here are some tricks to getting a kid acclimated to having water dumped on their head and face, and just being cool with getting clean:

Teach Toddlers How To Use A Shower

Showers are great for this. The moment you get in you’re getting hit in the head and face with water, so to a kid who isn’t used to it it’s kind of like being water-boarded, but they might also recognize that this is how mom and dad do it so it’s kind of cool. My kids go back and forth because we have a massive collection of bath toys, but they dig showering because it makes them feel independent and grown up.

toddler bath time

Make Washing Your Toddler’s Hair A Game

My kids don’t wash themselves with soap. They see how many bubbles they can make on their own body with super bubble-prone soap. After a kid is giddy at making you exclaim shock at their ability to produce bubbles, it’s easy to get them to make bubbles come out of the top of their head.

Make It Gating

My son likes that there are bubbles and colors in the bath, and digs the warmth of the water on a cold day. But what he really likes is playing with his bath toys. Unfortunately, he has an evil father who doesn’t put these toys in the water until he’s cleaned himself thoroughly, but with the washcloth and in his hair. He’s now become proficient because he has to keep doing it until he gets it right. The bath toys are beautiful and terrible at the same time. His favorite is this monstrous Hot Wheels track that is so engrossing he is useless after that; so if I forget and put it in the bath before his cleaning routine I’m FUBAR.

Jonathan Brill is a writer whose work has been published by Forbes, Time, and the Huffington Post. You can read more from Quora here: