There’s something about showers that toddlers just are not fans of – probably the water running down their face if I had to take a guess. Whatever it is, it can be a huge struggle for parents who don’t own bathtubs – myself included. Thankfully, my husband and I got creative and introduced fun activities and a few tools that helped our toddlers LOVE showers!
So, how do you get your toddlers to love showers? You create a safe play space that they actually enjoy. You also have to understand that toddlers are wishy-washy, one method might work one week and not work the next. It’s also a little bit about getting your toddler to understand WHY we take showers (lots of funny noises helped here).
Once our eldest loved showers, our youngest followed suit – which made breaking from the little baby tub ten times easier! Here’s the four easy ways we used to get our toddlers to love showers – and you can too!
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#1. Play Shower Games!
There are shower toys, then there are shower games. Shower games are simple little coloring games that we introduced using the washable shower crayons. Mostly, we followed what he was learning in daycare, and before that, I would draw on the shower walls and he would take the time to color my drawings during showertime.
An unseen benefit of this is that he loved cleaning up afterwards! He thought it was super cool that you could wash and redraw on the shower walls – when you can’t do that anywhere else in the house.
Introducing the game was the hardest part since he didn’t want to get in the shower in the first place. Luckily, after it was introduced and he loved it, we could ask if he wanted to “color in the shower” and he would be super excited! Our shower tantrums were reduced by at least half – now we just needed him to cooperate to get washed.
#2. Shop for Shower “Tools”
One of the biggest issues we had with our toddler taking showers is that he couldn’t stand water in his face. It was a big no-no. Without us washing his hair, he would manage to get every part of his body wet – except his head. Now, we couldn’t just skip over his hair and call it a day (although this did happen once or twice), so we had to find a solution.
We ended up buying a toddler shower shield (or visor) that he could wear that would keep the water out of his face! This helped him keep calm and stay comfortable in the shower. After a while, he wasn’t as anxious during showertime and we were able to easily wash his hair and finish up in the shower – something that would have been a “big deal” otherwise.
#3. Explain (and Show) WHY We Take Showers
This can be a little difficult depending on how old your toddler is and if they have any developmental delays. For example, our toddler is about a year or so behind in speech and comprehension, which made this a little difficult to just talk through. We learned that showing worked way better and really delivered the message of “we shower to stay clean.”
Since we live in a rural area, we tend to play outside a lot and with playing outside, my toddlers tend to get dirty – and when they rediscover our dirt driveway, they get VERY dirty. Each time they would play in the dirt, we would emphasize the visible dirt before going in the house and finishing up playtime. We worked on delivering the message that when we’re playing, the dirt is okay, but when we’re ready to go inside, we have to clean up.
He would start turning it into a game/activity to watch all the dirt rinse off in the shower. When he was younger, he would tell the dirt “bye-bye” and sing the clean-up song!
#4. Be Persistent About Showertime
A huge part of getting your toddler to love showers is to stay persistent and keep a routine. Toddlers thrive on schedules (not military schedules, but when they know what to expect). Knowing that showertime happens everyday around the same time of day can drastically improve how they receive showertime – and accept your other efforts to encourage them to love showers.
When you’re first introducing showers, give yourself a good breadth of time. You don’t want to force your toddler into the shower – but you may need a good 15 minutes to talk them into it. As they become more comfortable, you can reduce the time set aside.
Can You Really Convince Your Toddler to Love Showertime?
Yes, you can! My toddler didn’t love showertime to begin with and it was a very “get in and get out” situation that left me soaked afterwards. After taking a step back and looking at the “full picture” then implementing these four methods to get my toddler to love showers, it was a whole new world!
A lot of it is approaching it in different ways while continuing to make sure they understand that showers are needed and should be expected. Two years later and my toddler ASKS for showers he loves them so much. And, we don’t spend an hour in the shower – he plays, washes, and gets out in 15-20 minutes tops.
How does your toddler deal with showers? Let me know in the comments below!
Guest Post Written By: Mckayla @ Everyday She Moms
I’m Mckayla, a stay-at-home mom of three under four! I’m a freelance writer by day and a mom blogger for my website, Everyday She Moms, by night. I live in a very rural area, so our days are spent playing outside with our pup and spending time with friends and family. I definitely embrace the “mom loves coffee” trope, but I’m a big fan of hot cocoa and tea too – I love writing, gaming, reading, and spending time with my family