Keeping Your Active Toddler Clean and Healthy

Based on content from JOHNSON'S® Mother & Baby, featured on

As your toddler grows more and more independent, caring for her becomes quite different from caring for her when she was an baby. Here are a few great ways to keep your toddler clean and healthy.

Tooth Care

Your toddler will need her teeth cleaned at least twice a day. After breakfast and after her evening meal are ideal times because cavities form when the naturally occurring bacteria in her mouth combine with sugars in the food residues left on her teeth, producing an acid that attacks her tooth enamel.

Use a small, soft-bristled brush and a pea-size amount of toothpaste containing fluoride. Too much fluoride could cause permanent tooth stains. Sit your child on your lap and gently hold her head still. What's important is to clean each tooth inside and out. Different flavors of toothpastes and fun toothbrushes can help encourage a reluctant child.

Now is a good time to get your toddler used to visiting the dentist every six months for a checkup. Do your best to make the occasion fun. If she's nervous, sit her on your lap in the "magic" chair so the dentist can have a quick look inside her mouth.

Nail Care

Keeping your toddler's nails trimmed will help her avoid scratching herself or others, and prevent the spread of infection, because nails can harbor dirt and germs. Use specially designed blunt-ended scissors or nail clippers for safety and always cut toenails straight across. If your toddler is frightened, try:

  • Trimming nails in the bath underwater - water is soothing and makes nails softer.
  • Doing your own nails first - show her what fun it is.
  • Distracting her with a song such as "This Little Piggy."

Bath Time

Your toddler will hopefully spend many happy hours playing in the bath - especially if you provide her with lots of toys, plastic boats, funnels and cups. If your toddler is hesitant to get into the bath, try to focus on the fun parts, like toys and playing, rather than just on cleaning. Remember: NEVER leave your child unattended in the bath.

As your toddler grows and spends more time exploring and getting into a little mischief throughout the day, she's much more likely to get a little dirty. Now is a good time to start bathing her every day. Bathing can also be an important part of establishing a bedtime routine. Because she's starting to outgrow her baby cleansers, but certainly isn't ready for adult cleansers, now is the perfect time to introduce JOHNSON'S® BUDDIES™ [link to Toddler Essentials Platform]- a fun line of shampoos, detangling sprays and cleansers created especially for toddlers and young children. These easy-lather, easy-rinse, and easy-comb products are designed to make cleaning easy, hassle-free and fun..

Hair Care

By now your toddler will probably have a lot of hair and, though she may be reluctant, she will need to have it washed and cut more frequently. When washing your toddler's hair, use a shampoo that is formulated not to sting her eyes. For an even easier bath time, try one that foams quickly and rinses easily, such as JOHNSON'S® Baby Shampoo. Ask your toddler if she wants to tip her head backward or forward - she may also like to hold a washcloth over her eyes. Encourage her to help lather the shampoo before rinsing. The promise of a special game or story afterward may help your toddler cooperate. To help keep your toddler's hair tangle-free, try using JOHNSON'S® BUDDIES™ Easy-comb 2-in-1 Shampoo and JOHNSON'S® BUDDIES™ Easy-comb Conditioner. They leave hair smooth and make it easier to comb. When combing your toddler's hair, try distracting her with a toy or game to help her cooperate. Use a wide-tooth comb and a detangling spray, such JOHNSONS® BUDDIES™ Easy-comb Detangler. Compliment your toddler on her appearance and use positive reinforcement to help promote grooming routines.