The Screen-Free Guide to Showers for Harried Parents of Infants and Toddlers

When you need to get clean, you don't need a screen! “But how can I take a shower?” comes up a lot in conversations about discouraging screen time for infants and toddlers. So we put out the word and got back some fabulous suggestions from busy parents. If there’s another adult in the house, you can cover for each other. Showering during naps or after bedtime are other possibilities. But when you’re on your own, everyone’s awake, and you desperately need to get clean, try these ideas:

The Shared Shower Let your toddler play in the bathtub while you shower (toward the back, away from the spray).

The Musical Shower  Bring CD’s into the bathroom so both of you can sing along.

The Bottom Drawer Shower  Keep a rotating selection of toys in the bottom drawer of a bathroom cupboard.

The Only-When-I’m-Showering-Toys Shower  Have toys that come out only when you shower.

The Literate Shower  Provide some board books for perusing.

The Artistic Shower  Bring simple art supplies into the bathroom.

The Artistic Shower in the Corner of the Shower…Shower  Washable paints or shaving cream are fun in the corner of the bathtub.

The Drumming Shower  Try pots, pans, and a wooden spoon for pounding.

The Once in a Great While Unroll the Toilet Paper Shower It’s so wasteful…and messy…and so much fun!

The Jumpy Seat Self-Admiration Shower  Set your baby up with a jumpy seat and a mirror—they love to look at themselves.

The Bathroom as Play Space Shower  Baby proof your bathroom (safe things in drawers or locked drawers) and let your toddler explore.

The Peek-A-Boo Car Seat Shower  With your baby in a car seat on the floor, sing and play peek-a-boo while you’re washing.

The Playing Alone in a Crib Shower  As long as they’re safe, with toys or books to explore, children benefit from time to enjoy their own company and play by themselves.

The Give Your Doll a Bath Shower  Provide a small container and a bit of water for washing a favorite doll.

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