Monday, 30 January 2017

Montessori Challenge - The Bathroom

Our bathroom is very much a work in progress. The wall needs replastering and painting. The skirting boards need repainting. Paint has even chipped off of the radiator. In short, it's a mess. In spite of this, we try to make it as usable space as possible for Baobao.

This week, I've been going into the bathroom with Baobao and her Baba, to see see how we could allow Baobao to access parts of her self care routine more independently. I tried to follow Carine's Bathroom Challenge questions as closely as possible:

  • Observe the room and how your child is using it. Every time your child asks for help (or when you fo and help him without asking), try to see what prevents him to do it by himself.
  • Depending of your child's age, encourage your child to be independent regarding self-care. As rule of thumb, if your child walks, he can attempt most of his self-care needs with little support.
  • Does your child have access to the sink? Can he see himself in the mirror?
    Does your child have access to his toilet accessories?
  • Can your child reach the light switch?
  • What kind of bath toys does your child have? Does he play with all of them? Can he access his toys by himself?

  • Baba usually supports Baobao to brush her teeth (at 23 months old, it's still important for us to brush her teeth and we will likely be at least supervising proper brushing for a significant time to come) as well as bathing her. I noticed that he had to get her toothbrush and toothpaste from a cup that she couldn't reach, as well giving Baobao her bath toys during bath time.

    Here are some of the changes we have made.

    Changes pre-challenge:

    Challenge inspired changes:

    Possible future changes:
    • Add Stugvik suction cup basket to hold Baobao's flannel and toiletries, making them accessible at bath time. - At this point in time, Baobao refuses to stand in the bath. The way our bathroom layout is set out, she would have to stand in the bath to access any of these items while cleaning and so this is something we will add in the future. She does get her own flannel from a drawer in her room before bath time though.
    • Lower bath toy storage - As with the toiletry storage, until Baobao is ready to stand in the bath, there is nowhere else for us to store her bath toys.
    • Add Tossig toilet seat to allow Baobao to use the toilet independently - This is a little way off as Baobao doesn't yet communicate her need to use the toilet.
    • Add toothpaste squeezer - Baobao's toothpaste was relatively full, and so she didn't have any issues squeezing it yet. She has surprisingly good control. I will continue to observe to see if she needs a toothpaste squeezer to make her more independent.

    Do you have any other ideas on how we could make the bathroom more accessible for Baobao? What would you do differently?

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