How to get your pre-schooler to bathe willingly. No dragging needed.

Ever had a child that refuses to get into the bathtub? I have one.

Alexandria has so much fun after dinner I literally have to drag her to the bathroom to start bathing. Sometimes I would drag (pun intended) starting the nighttime routine because it involved her running away and having every excuse in the world.

Then I learned a little trick. Back then, she was really into firefighters and pretend play. So I turned our entire bathing scene into a firefighting scene. Starting from the living room, I would shout out "Oh no! The bathroom is on fire! We need to fight the fire!"

She runs up to the bathroom and proclaims "We need to get the firehose."

I suggest excitedly, "The firehose is in the bathtub. Let's get the hose. But first, we need to pee and take off our clothes!"

*Disclaimer: I'm not a real firefighter. Please do not learn how to fight fire using the techniques I described. This makes absolutely no sense in a real firefighting situation but it totally makes sense when getting a child into the bathtub.*

After peeing and removing her cloths, we jump into the bathtub and grab the hose. With a bath toy on the tub floor, I say "I found the fire! It's the bath toy on the floor!"

She grabs the shower head and we 'hose' down the bath toy. In the midst of this, she normally gets wet and I then apply soap on her. We find other items in the bathtub on fire (walls, soap dispenser, other toys on the floor) and requires 'hosing' down. And while she's hosing down the fire, she gets rinsed.

After bath time, the bath towel becomes a "fire resistant" blanket we need to wrap around ourselves and our hair. A fire resistant blanket in case there are smaller fires around the bathroom. As she moves around, she gets dried by the towel as water is absorbed into the towel.

We run back to the bedroom and changes into her new firefighting jacket and pants (aka pyjama). With a little more downtime, brushing teeth, reading and cuddling, we rest happily knowing we fought a fire that day.


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