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Taking a bath is supposed to be relaxing, but trying to give your toddler a bath can sometimes be extremely stressful. While some children love bath time, a lot of them hate it.
Whether they’re scared of slipping, getting water in their eyes or just don’t like baths in general, it can be very difficult to wrangle a screaming toddler in the middle of bath time!
That’s when bath toys can come in handy. They can make bath time a fun experience and distract your toddler from their fears which makes your job a lot easier.
But how often should you replace those well used bath toys?
It really depends on which kind of toys your child has.
Hard plastic bath toys that don’t allow water to get in won’t need to be replaced until they get damaged as they are really easy to clean since there aren’t any areas you can’t get to. Squirter type toys will need to be replaced once they begin to grow mold that you can’t get clean.
The most popular bath toys are ones that hold water in them. Children love to fill them up and squirt the water out. But those fun bath toys may be grosser than they seem.
These squishy squirting bath toys need to be replaced once you are unable to keep them clean. They can often grow mold inside of them so keeping them clean is a must.
My son hated bath time when he was a toddler. Every night he would throw a big tantrum when it was time for a bath. That is until the day I bought these cute rubber duckies that my son saw at Walmart. He loved them!
So I told him that we would get them, but they were ducks so they had to be played with in water…and it worked like a charm! He couldn’t wait until it was bath time so he could play with his favorite new friends. Night after night he would play with his friends and bath time was a breeze!
Well as a first time mom, I naively thought that my son’s bath toys would be just as clean as he was after the bath. I mean they are in soap and water every night, so they should be clean right?
One night while giving my son a bath, he was squeezing the water out of them like normal when this black gooey stuff came out of the bottom! I started panicking; thinking of all the times he had been chewing on these toys. Well come to find out that nasty black stuff was mold!
Needless to say, his favorite bath toys had to be tossed and we had to find new friends to play with that didn’t have any holes.
So while that rubber ducky might make bath time lots of fun, it can also make bath time really gross and dangerous.
Studies have shown that hollow toys such as rubber duckies, are a breeding ground for bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause ear infections, skin rashes, and other infections!
What Can Be Done To Avoid Moldy Bath Toys?
As a parent there is nothing worse than knowing the toys that are supposed to be fun for your children could actually be hurting them. Is there anything that you can do to avoid having moldy bath toys?
The only way to make sure to never have mold inside of your bath toys is to only buy toys with no holes in them. Although you can clean the squishy toys to remove mold the only way to truly prevent it is to not buy that type of bath toy.
It might be time to ditch the duckies and other toys with holes in them. No matter how diligent you are at cleaning them, water from the bath gets trapped inside the toy and the moisture creates a perfect environment for mold and bacteria to grow.
Solid bath toys are a great option and are easy to clean.
Microbiologist Dr. Phillip Tierno said, “Toys that don’t trap water are safe as long as they dry out between uses — bacteria can’t live on dry material.”
If your child must have a rubber ducky or other hollow toy, you’ll need to plug the hole. The best way I’ve found to do this is to use hot glue. It’s super easy and lasts a long time.
How Do You Clean Your Child’s Solid Bath Toys And How Often Should You Do It?
Even if you avoid mold by only having solid bath toys it is still important to clean them on a regular basis. But how do you clean them and how often should they be cleaned?
Experts recommend that you clean your child’s bath toys at least weekly and more often if someone in your home is sick. You can clean them easily using a bleach or vinegar solution.
Here are a few of the most popular suggestions on how to keep those bath toys clean and germ free.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to disinfect bath toys is with a diluted bleach solution. Just add 1/2 cup of bleach per gallon of water to the tub (or container) and soak the toys for 10 minutes.
After the toys are done soaking be sure and rinse them off thoroughly using warm soapy water to remove any bleach residue. Then let the toys dry completely before storing them.
If you’re not a big fan of bleach, vinegar is a natural cleaner and disinfectant and an excellent alternative. Just mix 1 gallon of water with ½ cup of white vinegar and let the toys soak for about an hour. Give them a scrub if needed and then let them dry. If they still smell like vinegar, just do a simple rise and then dry.
Once the toys are cleaned it’s best to store them in a mesh toy net or basket that can easily be suctioned to the bathtub but that will also not hold water so the toys stay dry.
What Are Some Good Options For Solid Bath Toys?
Amazon is my favorite place to shop! They seem to have everything and have super quick delivery so it makes ordering a breeze! So here are some great Amazon finds for solid bath toys.
Waddle Bobbers by Fatbrain Toys
Think weeble wobbles but for the bath! These adorable penguin cups are stackable and come with a floating iceberg and a slide to send them into the water with a splash, plus they are completely washable!
Float and Play Bubbles by Munchkin
Each floating bubble has a different center toy that rattles, bobbles, spins, and shines. They are great for children as young as 4 months and up and they are perfectly sized for little hands!
SPURT Squirties by Boon
Your kiddos will love squirting these cute little toys. These are a great alternative to the traditional squirting bath toys and their parts are interchangeable to allow for easy cleaning.
SplashEZ Mold Free Bath Toys
This set includes 5 adorable bath buddies; Tony Tiger, Leo Lion, Quentin Quail, Freddy Frog, and Uma Unicorn! Unlike many bath toys these have an airtight-hole-less design which means no water seeps in.
After bathtime, the toys dry off and stay odor, slime, and mold-free!