How to Bathe a Toddler in a Full-Size Tub

By Susan Revermann
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A baby bathtub is handy when your child is small, but once she becomes a toddler, she’ll be too big to comfortably bathe in it. Bathing your child in a full-size tub isn’t too much of a drastic change, but you do have to be conscious of her hitting her head on the bath faucet or slipping around in the larger space. As long as you’re there regulating her movements and how active her bath time is, she’ll be safe and it’ll end with a squeaky clean kiddo.

Step 1

Plug the bathtub drain and fill the tub with approximately 6 inches or less of warm water. Always test the water temperature with your wrist before placing your toddler in the water. Hot water can burn your child’s skin, and cold water can make bath time unpleasant.

Step 2

Toss in a few waterproof bath toys to keep your kiddo busy and entertained while she gets clean.

Step 3

Undress your child, bend at the knees and gently lift your child into the tub. Have her sit in the tub, not stand.

Step 4

Pour some water over your toddler’s hair and head, using a plastic cup. Ask your toddler to close her eyes and hold her breath for a second while you do this. This way she doesn’t suck up any water or get it in her eyes.

Step 5

Apply a dime-sized amount of tear-free, fragrance-free kids' shampoo or all-in-one hair and body wash to your hand, rub it between your palms and disperse it throughout your child’s hair. Use your fingertips to gently massage her scalp and hair. Rinse the shampoo with water until all the suds are gone. Apply a kids' conditioner and rinse it out or use a spray leave-in conditioner at the end of bath time.

Step 6

Continue cleaning your toddler from the face down to her toes. Use a mild soap or all-in-one wash. Use a clean washcloth with only water on it to clean around her eyes. A washcloth should also be used to clean inside and behind your child’s ears. Usually this is all the attention those ears need, so refrain from using a cotton swab post-bath.

Step 7

Allow your toddler to enjoy the bath for a few minutes. Rinse any remaining suds from your child’s body and lift her out with a clean, dry towel.

Step 8

Finish bath time with clean pajamas, brushing the teeth and a bedtime story.