Teaching Hygiene to Your Toddler

Based on content from JOHNSON'S® Mother & Baby.

You can't expect your toddler not to get a little dirty during the day - but you can help him learn some basic rules of hygiene. The more often your toddler is reminded about basic cleanliness, the quicker it will become a habit. Explain that we can't see germs, but that doesn't mean that they aren't there and that's why it's important to wash his hands after going to the toilet and before eating. Then make it fun - washing hands together to see who can make them the soapiest and rinsing them to see who finishes first is a good game. When your toddler is between 18 and 30 months it's a good time to start teaching hand washing (even though toilet training may come much later). Wash with an easy-to-use cleanser developed specifically for toddlers and young children.

From around 18 months onward, your toddler will love doing things for himself, especially if he thinks they are "grown-up activities." Give him a stool to stand on so he can reach the sink and check that he knows the difference between the hot and the cold taps. When bathing, let him try washing himself. Give him an easy grip cleansing bar that's designed for toddlers and young children, such as JOHNSON'S® BUDDIES™ Easy-Grip Sudzing Bar. Show him how he can wash like a "big kid." It's great for the bath or any time your toddler needs a quick and easy wash up.

If you haven't done so already, this is also a good time to switch your toddler from a baby shampoo to a "big kid" shampoo as his hair becomes longer and thicker JOHNSON’S® BUDDIES™ Easy-Comb 2-in-1 Shampoo is a great bath time solution for a squirmy toddler. The foam stays put, cleans gently and rinses easily with less water (and less hassle!) Let him work the foam a bit on his own and give him plenty of encouragement and praise. You may also wish to try JOHNSON'S® BUDDIES™ Easy-Comb Conditioner after shampooing, for extra manageability if your toddler's hair is especially thick or curly.

Whenever you're teaching your toddler about hygiene, remember to keep things positive. Try turning everyday hygiene activities into fun games that your toddler can look forward to. If your toddler associates washing with fun, it'll make life easier and more enjoyable for both of you.