Non-debate - advice needed re: bathing toddler

Krista - posted on 09/03/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I could probably post this on WTCOM or elsewhere, but you ladies are sensible and I trust your advice.

I have a one-year old boy who has just learned how to walk, and he's absurdly proud of himself. He wants to walk all the time, which is totally understandable, and I love seeing him staggering around the living room, waving his arms around like he's leading a tiny, drunken parade of one.

But then bath time arrives, and that's when the problems start. He wants to stand in the tub. BOY, does he want to stand in the tub.

We have a mat down, but it doesn't cover the entire bottom of the tub, and I know it's safer when he sits. Trying to get him to sit, though, just turns into a battle. He stands up, I say, "Sit on your bum" and plunk him down. Repeat this, oh, about 40 times until he's crying and pissed off, and I'm sweaty, frustrated, and reminding myself over and over, "IdonotspankIdonotspankIdonotspank..."

Is this a battle worth fighting? Should I just buy a couple more tub mats and some grippy decals and let him stand? (I'd be holding on to him, of course.) Or should I keep trying to make him sit down?

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Amie - posted on 09/03/2010

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I've always let mine stand. They've never fallen or hurt themselves because of it. The novelty wears off and they sit to play with their toys again.

Lindsay - posted on 09/03/2010

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I remember this stage. It drove me crazy! ;-p What I did was that this was pretty much when I introduced or added more desirable tub toys. I would tell them that they had to sit to play. If they stood, the toys were removed from the tub and they would get them back when they sat down properly. They pretty much came to understand the "process" after a few days. Some days they cooperated and some they did not. If it was one of those days that they just would not sit down and didn't care about the toys, I just got them in and out as quick as I could. Someone else may have a better way, but this pretty much worked for us.

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Katherine - posted on 09/03/2010

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Yep, screw it. Kind of like when my 4yo insisted on going to school dressed like Snow White. Or going shopping in her bathing suit. There are so many things I've had to say, "Fine!" to. You know there will be a time, when they are in their teens when it will matter. You just have to pick your battles.

Krista - posted on 09/03/2010

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I do have a cover for the water spout, which is good. I like the idea of the tub crayons -- maybe I'll invest in a few of those.

Yeah, I think I'm going to concede this particular battle. Goodness knows there will be thousands more to fight, and I have to save my strength!

Sara - posted on 09/03/2010

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I agree with the other ladies, Krista. I think you're fighting a losing battle here. We went through this same stage and Rowan has lived to tell the tale. If you're worried about him bopping his head, you could get a cover for the water spout (they sell inflatable ones). And get him some tub markers or crayons...those are a big hit in our house!

Mary - posted on 09/03/2010

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I agree with Tara...he is going to keep on trying to stand, no matter what you do. Molly did the same thing, and bath time DID turn into a wet messy battle there for a while. I was constantly holding my hands beneath her armpits and saying " be careful", to the point that SHE started saying "careful" as soon as she was upright ;P ! Eventually the novelty wore off, and she was much more interested in her tubby toys again...particularly the washable tub markers.

Sharon - posted on 09/03/2010

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buy a dog washin kit where the soap goes in a dispenser attached to the special hose & shower head, a couple of sprays and a rinse off, he's good to go!! hahaha

Tara - posted on 09/03/2010

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Let him stand. You're fighting nature at it's finest; a newly bipedal human. :)

Riley is 9 months, he rarely ever has a bath, we shower together, granted our shower is a stall style with a plastic surround rather than a hard tub, but he stands like a big boy for most of our shower. It makes it easy to wash him too.
I know he loves to play in the water so to compensate we have a small plastic tote we put on the bathroom floor once in a while for him to splash around in and play. (plus the pool and the lake!)
But with my other kids, I just put more mats down and one across the tub side so if they went down that way it would save their teeth/face etc.
You can start teaching him to "be careful" rather than to sit.
Good Luck and remember parents spend the first 12 months of a baby's life anxiously waiting for them to walk and talk and then the next 18 years or so saying "please be quiet and sit down" lol j/k of course!

Sharon - posted on 09/03/2010

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wow I never had that issue. what about some new tub toys to bring his focus to the bottom? I usually used a bathtub seat or sat in the shower with them. With all the playing, I got nearly as wet any way. Alot of times I just sat them in the bottom of the tub while I got my shower. Our shower is on a long hose so I could sit in the tub with them, they really liked that.

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