In some homes this used to be called the guest bath, but for most, not any more! Most of the “look pretties” that used to be reserved for the guest bath should be eliminated. Use common sense in the items you select to decorate this room. Remember, it is your toddler’s domain now and just about everything warrants investigation eventually, even if it is on the sink, counter, or wall.
Do not store toxic medications, vitamins, cleansers, or other possibly toxic items in this bathroom. Dispensing your toddler’s medications from this cabinet will surely lead him back to it at some future date.
For a door that has a privacy lock (the kind with a hole in the knob on the outside), keep a tool handy that will open this door if it is locked by your toddler with you on the outside and your toddler on the inside. The tool can be made from a piece of coat hanger or pick one up at a hardware store with a flat tip. Kept handy, it could save you from considerable anxiety and frustration trying to get a toddler to unlock the door. A small hand towel thrown over the top of the door or door bumpers made specifically for this purpose will keep the door from closing all the way and works better than any device you can purchase.
Keep glass in the bathroom to a minimum with the usage of plastic cups and the plastic containers most products offer today.
Hey Mom! Look at this great new discovery! Toilet paper fascination almost certainly is taught in baby school and your child was probably paying attention in this class. Remove the tissue from the roller altogether until your toddler gets over the need to stuff large pieces in his mouth or drag it through the house. If that toilet is left open, you will find out just what an entire roll of toilet paper looks like unrolled in a toilet! Maybe we can even try and flush it.
We all know that during bath time a toddler should always be supervised, even when he is two years old he still could bump his head and drown in a matter of minutes. For younger children even a few inches of water can spell disaster to a frightened, confused child.
We recently spoke with a few parents who had been told by a salesperson that the common bathtub rings used for helping to bathe your infant were adequate protection against drowning if you had to answer the telephone or leave for a few minutes. Absolutely not! You do not leave an infant in the bathtub in any kind of support or holder while you do something else. There is not a product on the market (nor will there probably ever be) that can guarantee your infant’s safety in the bathtub without adult supervision.
Spout-cover guards make excellent protectors against bumped heads on the spout in a bathtub. They cover the spout and pad it to ease the impact of a fall in this area. If your toddler gets to pulling this off to play with, silicone works wonders. These covers are made in a range of styles, from the simple blow-up cushion to elaborate fantasy figures that blow bubbles. We suggest that you stay with something that does not attract the attention of your toddler. Easy for us say.
Check to see if your tub has a non-skid surface to keep a little person or adult from slipping. There are a few neat tub mats out that tell you if the water is too hot (yeah, we know it’s gimmicky) and also have very slip resistant surfaces.
When your young charge has reached the point of turning the water on and off, teach him about hot and cold controls. He will have learned “hot” a long time ago and will avoid being scalded if the association is made well enough.
Adjust hot-water temperature to 120 degrees. This is sufficient enough to give the rest of the family hot water and still help protect against severe, instant scalding for newcomers to the use of controls.
When you are going to bathe your toddler or infant, do so at a time of day when interruptions are not likely. What is one of the most dangerous items in a home? The telephone; take it off the hook if you are a person compelled to answer it. This will prove to be a safer and more enjoyable experience for you both and eliminate the temptation to leave your child unattended, even for a second. The American compulsion to answer a ringing telephone is incredible. Eliminate this annoyance when you are trying to spend time with your child.
Of course, check the temperature of the water before putting your child in, keeping in mind that kid’s “cooling systems” will not handle temperatures that you might find rather soothing. If he begins to look flush, the water is probably too hot for him.
Check bathroom rugs to see if they could slip and cause a fall. Add tape or non-slip mats to the bottom if necessary or remove them altogether.
Supervise all bathroom use until your child has reached a level of maturity that you are comfortable with. Remember, maturity does not mean age; all children develop at their own rates.
Install quality safety latches on cabinets and drawers or you will not be able to store anything that your young friend will have an inclination to distribute throughout the rest of the house. Under-the-sink cabinets also make great hiding places if these are left open; this might well leave you in a panic should your toddler decide to play hide-n-seek.
As in the kitchen and elsewhere, always be sure the latches engage properly.
Secure the toilet seat cover strap or lock after each use. We have found that the Fisher-Price Lid-Lok or Gerber Potty Lock are probably the best toilet cover locks available. They are automatic and will effectively lock out most toddlers along with a few of your guests as well.
If your toddler’s bathroom is also used as a guest bath, be cautious as to what is stored in here. Particularly if you have overnight guest.