You spent a long time crouched next to your child to help them move on from diapers, and you succeeded. Now the time has come to teach them new hygiene habits. You’ll surely need more time to encourage them to brush their teeth and wash their hands and face… and, of course, you’ll succeed!
- Your child won’t get used to following healthy habits if you don’t make the tasks easy for them. Don’t expect them to brush their teeth, for example, if you put the toothpaste and toothbrush out of reach. By the same logic, they won’t blow their nose if there’s no box of tissues within their reach.
- To keep them from slipping and hurting themselves, have them step onto a little rug when they get out of the tub.
- Add bright colors and accessories, like soap bottles shaped like animals, to the bathroom décor.
Brushing Their Teeth
- It’s a mistake to wait a long time before teaching your child to brush their teeth. When they start at a young age, they get used to it more quickly.
- To convince them to use a toothbrush, choose one in a color they like that’s decorated with images of their favorite characters. Replace it every two months, of course.
- Your child will resist brushing their teeth, so you might try giving them strawberry-flavored toothpaste. Explain the importance of this to them in simple language, and make it into a game, if you can.
- If you’re trying to teach your child to wash their hands, never give up!
- With a smile, gently explain to them the importance of this habit. Help them understand that they’ll get sick if they don’t wash their hands after they finish playing, eating, or going to the bathroom. Repeat this constantly and relentlessly.
- Make sure they see you enjoying washing your hands.
Many children dislike bathing. Your child may be one of them.
- Turn bathtime into fun time. For each bath, add a new toy to the tub.
- Extra soap will delight them, since it means they can play with the bubbles.
- If they’re afraid of bathing, ask them about it and try to figure out the reason. Make sure they feel that you’re there to support them.
- Play with them again. Tell them a story or use your imagination to make one up, and use bath toys to act it out.