As a parent of a pair of young toddlers, I have found that bath time can be an ordeal for both myself and cause plenty of tears for my kids. I lost count of how many times it became an argument and if your little one is particularly resistant or hates the feeling of water on their skin, tantrums and breakdowns abound!
After my own experiences, I've realized that the right toy can totally transform bath time into a fun activity that both my child and I look forward to each night. In this blog post I'm going to share with you the one bath toy that quickly became my kid's absolute favorite - and made bathing enjoyable for us both!
The importance of making bath time fun
The first obstacle that I tasked myself with overcoming to turn bath time from a nightmare into a bonding moment between myself and my kids is my own mindset!!
I realised that, after a few bad experiences, I was approaching bath time with dread. Far from being the relaxing, pre-bed experience that I had envisioned enjoying with my little ones, I was thinking about bath time as being a test I had to get through every night in a tussle between myself and my babies with a goal of survival and minimizing tears.
Do you think my approach was helping my kids approach bath time with excitement too? Erm, nope!!
It’s important to see it as an opportunity for a fun and interactive bonding experience with your little one and to have that in mind when we think about bath time so that our energy if reflecting that to our kids.
So, I went shopping to get a few items to help bath time be the fun experience I had always imagined. First I did my research and purchased a bath seat so that I would have my arms free and the best baby bath products like bubble bath, baby shampoo and baby lotion with no-tears formulas that I could find (check out the products I found to be the bets below).
One way to make bath time enjoyable is by incorporating toys into the routine. The best bath toy for babies that I found is not only entertaining but also helps develop important skills such as hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
By creating a positive association with bath time through fun toys, you are not only making the experience more enjoyable but also helping your baby’s development. So, next time you’re dreading the bath time routine, remember that it can be a fun and meaningful activity with the right tools.
The story of how my kid's favorite bath toy made bath time enjoyable for both of us
After spending a few days researching by asking my parent friends what toys they found to be effective, asking Mr Google and then readign a bunch of product reviews, I found a selection of toys that made it fun for both me and my little one.
As it was Christmas time when this transpired, I wrote a list of the top three toys that I found for children age 1-3 (I have a one year old and a three year old, and age three is a common cut off point for toy age suitability) and added them to my kid's lists for Santa!
Despite enjoying playing with all three of the toys, there was a stand out favorite that has since stood the test of time and is still being used by both kids at bath time every single day, almost eight months later.
The winner is......the Munchkin Gone Fishin' Rod & Reel bath toy!
As soon as my child unwrapped it on Christmas morning he started playing with it right away, no water needed! The toy includes a fishing rod and three colorful floating sea creatures that snap onto the end of the line.
One of his favorite games now, age 19 months, is to point at each sea creature in turn so that I can name it and he can attempt to repeat.
He's doing great with "fish" and "boy" but "octopus" is taking a little more time!
We would sing songs about fishing and try to catch the fish together, like one, two, three, four, five,
once I caught a fish alive!
six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
then I let him go again!
Why did you let him go?
Because he bit my finger so!
Which finger did he bite?
This little finger on my right!"
At which point, we of course, wiggle our little fingers around.
Now he is a little older he also enjoys using the reel, which is a sensory element to the toy in itself. The cranking of the reel is very lifelike and he loves to use his chubby little hands to make it go around now he has figured it out.
It is a shame to me that the rope doesn't lengthen and shorten when you wind the reel but I also get that he wouldn't know it was supposed to as we have only been real-life fishing a few times in his short life.
Whatever little games you come up with your little one to use the rod for, It makes quite the difference from the days of desperately clutching at your child, trying to keep their head above water as they flail and wail, I can tell you. Bath time went from being a struggle to something we both looked forward to.
Sensory Bath Time Toys for Babies
Bath time is an opportunity to introduce your child to toys that can help them develop and learn, in the guise of water play (in my humble opinion, the absolute best form of play!).
Toys such as the Gone Fishin' Rod & Reel have sensory elements as well as elements that help to tune fine motor skills. The hand, eye coordination needed to actually catch the fish on the end of the will help them to develop these skills as well.
After the fishing rod, the next favorite toys were Montessori-inspired toys such as foam letters and numbers. We got a foam person pack that both kids loved with two characters and various outfits for both. Initially we (I) became tired of having to pick the foam pieces up out of the bath every night but I soon realized I could be enlisted the kids help so we can bath toy our way out of cleaning with a game of it and a matching song at the end of bath time.
Another hit with my kids (less so for myself as the clean up was annoying) was bath crayons. My older child looked forward to playing with these most and would create colorful works of art on the side of the tub every night. In fact it sometimes made her stay there far past the water going cold!
I love the idea of these but they did fall apart quite easily. I was storing them dry but the color part still would crumble quite easily.
There are a wide range of toys available that can help your little one explore and use their senses during bath time while having fun, here's a list of some other recommended sensory toys for babies:
•Soft rubber animals
•Floating boats or submarines with lots of colors
•Interactive books that can be used in the bath, with lots of textures to explore
•Waterproof toys that squirt or spray water (another big favorite with my kids although I have to say, it did sometimes threaten to turn violent)
•Bubble baths with foam shapes for them to play with
Additionally, sensory toys like rubber ducks with different textures can stimulate a child's sense of touch. Other options include pouring and watering toys that encourage children to experiment with water flow and spout direction.
Choosing the right toy for your child's age and interests
Start by considering what your child enjoys doing and what kind of toys would foster their education and development. For example, if your child loves building and creating, they may benefit from toys that promote problem-solving and engineering skills. Or if they enjoy learning about colors, shapes and numbers, sensory toys that stimulate those areas of development may be the best splish tub toys.
You must be sure to read the age recommendations on the toy packaging to ensure that it is safe and suitable for your child's age. I find that a lot of toys list 3 years of age as a minimum due to small parts. I confess I do allow my younger child to play with these toys if I think they are suitable for him but i always ensure I am watching him, hawk-like from the side-lines (which we should be doing when our kids are around water anyway).
Whichever toys you choose, make sure that they are high-quality and sturdy so that your little one can enjoy them for a long time to come. You also don't want it falling apart and leaving small pieces that could be swallowed.
Other things to consider are storage, some toys fold down or deflate to make storage easier but I find it is still incredibly easy to build up a huge pile of toys very quickly.
Ease of being able to clean to avoid mold, green toys and cost as compared to your budget are also important considerations.
The right toy can help your child learn and grow while having fun, so take the time to choose wisely.
How to Clean a Baby Bath to Ensure it Remains Safe and Hygienic
Keeping a baby bath clean and safe is an important part of ensuring your child's health. Babies are prone to bacteria, germs, and dirt that can accumulate quickly in the tub. It’s essential that you keep it free from these things so your little one stays healthy.
When cleaning a baby bath, start by emptying out all the water first before scrubbing or wiping down with disinfectant wipes or a cloth dampened with hot water and soap. Make sure all areas of the tub are cleaned thoroughly – including any toys inside – as well as underneath if possible. After cleaning each area of the tub, rinse off any residue with warm water before drying it completely using either paper towels or cotton towels specifically designated for bathroom use only.
In addition to regular cleaning after each use, it’s also important to deep-clean your baby bath every few months depending on how often you use it. Start by washing down the entire surface area of the tub with hot soapy water, then use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to scrub away any dirt and grime. Rinse the surface off with clean water before wiping it down with vinegar and water solution (2 parts vinegar to 8 parts water). When finished, dry off the entire area using a fresh towel.
I am so happy with the Munchkin Gone Fishin' Rod & Reel bath toy that I had to let you guys know about it as I consider it one of the best bath toys for babies. If you want to see the other best baby bath toys I found from my research you can check out my blog:
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