The #1 Resource & Support Network for Parents of Twins

The #1 Resource & Support Network for Parents of Twins

The Wonderful World of Wrangling Toddlers at Bathtime

The Wonderful World of Wrangling Toddlers at Bathtime

Blue ombre background, with lighter blue circles and white bubbles, with text reading "The Wonderful World of Wrangling Toddlers at Bathtime" and a yellow rubber duck.

Oh, twin toddlers.  They’re lucky that they’re so darn cute, right?  Once my daughters learned how to walk, our nighttime routine became slightly (OK, significantly) more complicated.  When one of us made the dreaded “bathtime!” announcement, my kids scattered like little fish in the presence of a shark (insert “Mommy Shark” joke here). If one of us was flying solo for the night, bathtime was even more of a battle. Imagine chasing one toddler, scooping her up, then finding her sister hiding behind the couch.  You have no choice but to put twin #1 down to dig out twin #2. Twin #1 takes off again, and the cycle continues.  Yes, wrangling toddlers at bathtime can be a rigorous challenge.  Fortunately, with a little patience and practice, it can turn into a regimen your whole family looks forward to.

Progress, Not Perfection

There’s no magic formula for getting kids – especially toddlers – to do what you want them to do.  It takes some trial and error to figure out what works best for your family.  Our household has two full-time working parents, an elementary-aged kid who is involved in sports and after-school activities, and two preschoolers.  Chaos might be too kind of a word to describe our weeknights. My daughters are phasing out of the toddler stage, and it’s still a work in progress. Like everything else that has to do with parenting, it’s not realistic to expect changes to happen overnight.  Sometimes kids have bad days.  Sometimes they’re just plain exhausted. Although our family desperately needs structure when it comes to bathtime and bedtime, sometimes a little flexibility comes in handy when a kiddo has had a rough day.

Oh, and spoiler alert: even if you do figure out the best way to wrangle your toddlers at bathtime, it’s not going to be perfect every time.  Give yourself some grace.  Parenting is HARD.  Parenting twins is SUPER HARD!  I am not here to pretend like every night is a walk in the park.  There are definitely nights when I think to myself “how much longer until they can do this themselves?”  There are also many nights when bathtime is a lot of fun, and I just want to bottle up my kids’ innocence and cuteness forever.  We’ll focus on the latter for this article, of course.

Below, I’ll share some tips for wrangling toddlers at bathtime that have worked well for our family over the past couple of years.

Two yellow rubber ducks on a green, blue, and white background.

Create Your Routine

I don’t know about your kids, but my kids aren’t really crazy about change (they get that from their father – love you, honey!).  When we deviate from their “normal,” things can go south pretty quickly.  Bathtime is no exception.  The routine doesn’t have to be so rigid that we do the same exact thing every single night, but one of the things we like to do on weeknights is to wind down before heading upstairs.  That means shutting down personal devices, closing down the kitchen, and doing something quiet.  We are HUGE fans of Cosmic Kids Yoga on YouTube – they even have sleep yoga videos.  Reading, coloring, and card games are other options that have worked.  It all depends on our schedule and how much time we have each night.  As an ADHD family, we’re big on setting timers, too.  The kids know that when a timer goes off, that means it’s time for a transition.

Getting the kids to make their way upstairs might be the most difficult part of the evening. Our trusty timers often come in handy here, because they give the kids expectations and they can prepare themselves in advance. Still, it can be a battle. We often try to make it fun by having races up the stairs and into the bathrooms. The kids usually respond pretty well when they’re given a challenge, so we’ll set the timer for 30 seconds or so and see who can get upstairs and undress in time. Our three-year-olds like to pick out their pajamas before getting in the tub. Note: it helps immensely when I’ve just done a fresh load of laundry and their favorite mermaid nightgowns are clean!

Toddler boy sitting in the bathtub, pouring water in a kids' bath caddy with blue, red, and yellow pieces attached.

Setting the Mood

I love baths. LOVE them. I would take one every night if I could. Now, I’m not really the type of person to get a bath to get clean. (I am a proponent of what I call the “bower” – which is taking a quick shower to wash, then soaking in the tub.)  There’s nothing better than lighting a candle or two and climbing into a hot bubble bath with a good book and a glass of wine. That ambiance is everything for this tired working mom. When I think about how much I look forward to getting a bath, I think about the different things that could make bathtime just as enjoyable for my kids. These items and ideas could make wrangling your toddlers at bathtime a lot easier.


Kids love bubbles! Heck, I love bubbles. They’re just FUN. When my son was little, he used to dunk his face in the bubbles and pretend he was Santa Claus. My daughters love to cover themselves in bubbles from head to toe. Really, I think they just make the bathtub more cozy. Slight disclaimer: the nervous mom in me uses bubbles sparingly (maybe once a week), as there have been reports of bubble baths causing UTIs in children. We use an unscented bubble bath, and we haven’t had any issues so far in seven and a half years. Just wanted to make sure I mentioned that, in case that would be a cause of concern for anyone else.


Whoever invented the foam letters and numbers that cling to the bathtub walls – you’re my hero.  All three of my kids have spent hours playing with those things in the tub. I love them because they’re non-toxic, they dry quickly, and if you store them correctly, they don’t get moldy like other bath toys. Oh, and they’ve helped my kids to learn their letters and numbers. You really can’t get much better than that. Of course, my kids also love run-of-the-mill bath toys like rubber ducks and squirt toys. If your kids’ bath toys have holes in them, just make sure to clean them often so they don’t attract mold.

Twiniversity memberships

Need some twin parent friends? Get the support you need with a Twiniversity Membership. Benefits include a monthly twin parent club meeting on Zoom, access to a private Facebook group just for twin parents, and a video library of twin parenting lessons. Visit to join today!

Bath Crayons and Paint

There are many things that I wish would have existed when I was a child. As a kid who loved writing and coloring, bath crayons are one of those things. My daughters are just learning how to write letters and they love to adorn our bathtub walls with their colorful scribbles. The best thing about bath crayons is that they wipe off very easily. Bath fingerpaints are another fun way for your budding artists to show off their skills in the tub.

You could also use fun things like kids’ bath bombs and tablets that change the color of bathwater. That’s a good way to teach little ones about mixing colors, too! Nothing like a little educational multitasking to finish out the day.


Music is one thing that makes everyone in our family happy. I love to make curated playlists for every occasion you could imagine – making brunch, cleaning, showering, having a good cry – so why not at bathtime?  I’d recommend songs that are on the mellow side, of course. Leave the “Dance/Freeze Song” for another time and place, or you’ll end up with wound-up kids and a bathroom covered in water!

Two pairs of feet standing on a white bath mat with six multicolored circles.

Washing and Rinsing Without a Fight

You did it. Your toddlers are in the bathtub. They’re having the time of their lives. You breathe a sigh of relief. Then you realize that you still need to actually clean your children. That’s always been a big challenge for us with our wiggly toddlers. With the twins, I just alternate between them. That way, they know what’s coming. I wash one face, then the other face. I scrub one belly, then the other. Foaming body wash/shampoo has been very effective for us, and I usually squirt a couple of pumps into the kids’ hands so they can get involved. Also, my daughters have a ton of hair, and the foaming shampoo rinses out much easier. It makes pouring water on their heads less of a battle.

Speaking of rinsing the hair, we call that “mermaid time.” (We’re big on mermaids over here, in case you couldn’t tell.) The girls lean back so their hair sprawls out in the water and I pour water slowly over their heads. Hey, it works most of the time. I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid looking like I’ve been hit by a tidal wave!

Twin toddlers sitting in a white laundry basket placed in the bathtub.

Getting Out of the Tub

So, now that your toddlers are excited about bathtime, how do you get them out of there?  Again, it’s all about a routine for us. Our girls take turns each night getting out of the tub first. They love wrapping up in their character hooded bath towels and making funny faces in the mirror. My husband, who is usually in our bedroom folding laundry while watching hockey or wrestling, has pajama duty. I put the girls’ hair into their “Elsa braids,” they brush their teeth, and they’re off to bed.

We recently went through the doldrums of potty training our twins.  I won’t get into the specifics – one day, I might write another article about that humbling experience – but that was just another part of the routine for us.  Before bath, potty.  Before bed, potty.  The girls are still in pull-ups at night, but it’s easier now that they can just go when they need to go during the day.

The Wonderful World of Wrangling Toddlers at Bathtime

Have you taken your expecting twins class yet? We offer a great class on demand so you can take it on your own schedule! There are so many video modules covering everything from your twins’ baby registry to your first week at home with twins!
Sign up today to get started before your twins arrive.

Two toddlers in a bathtub might seem like a recipe for disaster.  It’s an exhausting process, and many nights, all I can think about is plopping on the couch with Netflix and a snack or a glass of wine.  As a twin mom, I’m looking for any way to give the hardest times of our day a bit more sparkle and shine.  I hope that my tricks and tips for wrangling toddlers at bathtime can help brighten that time of day for you, too!

The Wonderful World of Wrangling Toddlers at Bathtime
Written by Leanne Hudak, Twiniversity Staff Writer

Latest Posts

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

/ /

Staying Informed

Recent Posts