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Q:

How can I help my toddler develop good hand washing habits?

Hi everyone,

I'm a concerned mom and my 2-year-old toddler doesn't seem to be developing good hand washing habits yet. With the current pandemic situation, I am worried about his health and hygiene. I have tried teaching him a few times, but he seems to lose interest in washing his hands properly. Can anyone suggest some tips or tricks to make hand washing more fun for him and encourage him to develop good hand washing habits? I would really appreciate any help or advice! Thank you!

All Replies

marvin.cole

Hello,

I completely understand your concern about developing good hand washing habits in your toddler, especially considering the current pandemic situation. One thing that helped us was using a hand washing chart that we created.

We drew pictures of the different steps in hand washing, and after washing hands correctly and consistently for a week, we would add a sticker to the chart. We set achievable goals and rewarded our daughter with a small treat or a favorite activity, which she looked forward to.

Additionally, we made washing hands a part of our daily routine so that it became an automatic habit. For example, we would wash our hands together before meals or as soon as we returned home from outside.

Finally, we reminded our daughter of the importance of washing hands and how it keeps germs away. We would talk to her about how sickness spreads and how washing hands can prevent it, which made her understand the importance of hand washing.

I hope these tips help you and your toddler develop healthy hand washing habits. Good luck!

ukohler

Hi there!

I completely understand your concern, as I also have a toddler who was not particularly interested in hand washing. What worked for us was making hand washing a fun activity. We chose a favorite song and made it the "hand washing song." Every time it was time to wash hands, we would sing the song and make it a fun family activity.

Another trick that worked was using colorful and fun soap dispensers. My son was always excited to push the dispenser and see the soap come out in different colors. We also let him choose his own towel that he liked to use for drying his hands.

Lastly, we explained to him why hand washing was important and made it a part of our routine. We would remind him to wash his hands before eating, after playing outside, and after using the bathroom. Over time, he began to understand the importance of hand washing and now does it without any fuss.

I hope these tips help and good luck with developing those good hand washing habits!

fahey.delphia

Hi,

I faced the same problem with my 3-year-old, who was not very interested in hand washing. What worked for us was using a reward system. We got a chart and stuck it on the wall in our bathroom. We set small goals like washing hands without assistance, washing hands for 20 seconds or not dripping water on the floor.

Every time he achieved a goal, he got a sticker to put on the chart. After he collected five stickers, he got a small reward such as a snack or a special book. This helped him to associate hand washing with a positive outcome, and now he is keen on washing his hands right away after achieving a goal.

In conclusion, every child is different, and you have to find what works best for your toddler. You could consider using one method or combine different techniques to make hand washing a fun and consistent habit. Good luck!

moises22

Hi there!

I had a similar experience with my toddler and found that having a fun hand-washing routine was helpful in getting my son to wash his hands regularly. We started by choosing a fun and fragrant soap that my son liked, as this helped make the process more enjoyable for him.

Next, we taught him to sing his ABCs while washing his hands to help him get through the 20 seconds recommended hand washing time. We also made washing hands together a fun and bonding activity by using silly voices or pretending we were washing away bugs.

Another trick I found was to have a visual reminder near the sink. We printed out a poster that showed the steps of proper hand washing and let my son decorate it with his crayons. Having this poster up has made it easy for him to follow the steps on his own.

Lastly, after each successful hand washing session we praised and clapped for him. Positive reinforcement has gone a long way in promoting good bathroom habits.

I hope these tips help! Good luck with encouraging your little one to wash their hands regularly.

lynch.aracely

Hi there!

I faced a similar issue with my 3-year-old daughter, who wasn't very responsive to hand washing. What worked for us was getting her a cute hand washing set that included a natural, kid-safe soap, and a soft towel. It piqued her interest and made her more conscious of her personal hygiene.

We also tried to set an example by washing hands regularly ourselves and explaining to her the importance of hand washing. We made a routine out of it, washing hands together before every meal, and any other activity that might require it.

In addition, we added some essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint into the soap dispenser to make the hand washing ritual more pleasant for her. We allowed her to pick which oil we used, depending on her preference.

Lastly, we made sure to verbally praise, on occasions, whenever we noticed her washing her hands without being prompted to. It boosted her morale and encouraged her to stay on course.

With patience and persistence, we were able to make hand washing a habit for her. I hope these tips help you too! Good luck!

elwin.nitzsche

Hello everyone!

I've been in this same boat before when my toddler was very finicky about hand-washing. What worked for us was making a little game out of washing hands. We filled a plastic jar with small toys or colorful rocks and called it the "prize jar." Each time she washed her hands completely by following the proper steps, she got to pick a prize out of the jar. This was always an exciting moment for her, and she began washing her hands independently and more often.

Another thing we did that helped was teaching her the proper way of washing hands, starting from running water, applying soap, and washing each hand for about 20 seconds. We did it slowly with hand gestures in front of a full-length mirror until she was confident doing it on her own.

Lastly, we sang a little song we made up together to remember the steps of washing hands completely. These steps and the song stuck with her, and it has become a part of her daily routine now.

I hope these ideas work for your family as well! Good luck!

nsauer

Hey,

I totally understand your struggle as I faced a similar issue with my toddler. One thing that helped us was using examples from his favorite storybooks or cartoons. We'd talk about how the characters wash their hands and keep themselves healthy. We then made it a fun game, and we'd pretend to be characters from his favorite shows while washing our hands.

Another thing that could help is showing your toddler how germs spread. You can place some glitter or flour on his hands and ask him to touch things around the house. After some time, you both can observe and realize how the glitter or flour has spread from his hands to other objects in the house. This will teach him the importance of hygiene and how washing hands can help stop the spread of germs.

Lastly, making hand washing a habit is critical. You can plan a routine, and even when you're out and about, always remind your toddler to wash his hands before and after activities. With practice and persistence, your child will eventually develop good hand washing habits.

I hope these tips help you! Good luck!

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