How do you wash a 1-year-old's hands? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really want to be able to get his hands nice and soaped up and rinsed before each meal, because (I'm ashamed to say) our floors are DISGUSTING and he has his hands on them all the time. Also want to instill those good habits at a young age.

But how do you do it? He can't reach the water from the faucet, obviously, even with a stepstool. The best way I've found is to hold him 'round the midsection with one arm, so he's sorta "flying" horizontally and pointing toward the sink, and try to lather up and rinse his hands with the other hand. But this method leaves a lot to be desired...so much, I'm afraid, that I just don't do it.

Any tips or tricks that I don't know about?

Stay tuned for my companion thread: How do you brush a 1-year-old's teeth?
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#2 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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Would it be possible to put your foot on the step stool and then balance him on your knee? Have both arms going around him for stability and then wash one hand at a time using both of your hands? I discovered this method at the petting zoo when I couldn't put him on the counter (with me holding on to him ) like we do at home.

HTH!

Rebekah , single working mom to Micah (04.12.2007)
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#3 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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I do the method that you describe, holding the wriggling child with one hand and washing her hands one at a time with my other hand. It works well enough, but then I'm not a stickler for cleanliness. Germs and dirt are good for the immune system!

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#4 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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I always kind of put them straddling my leg and held them up to the sink that way.

Brushing teeth, we started young with ours so it just became a habit. Beyond that, I'm not much help. I do let my 2 year old brush himself after I'm done. Oh and I let him spit in the sink. He loves that part!
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#5 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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I put one knee up and balance him on there.

We make a game of getting soap and rubbing hard to get lots of bubbles.

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#6 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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when DD was this small, I'd set her barefot right on the sink's edge, and let her wash hands and feet at the same time.

now that she's 20 mos, she stands next to the bathtub.

Mamma to Amelia (8/13/2006) Henry (7/28/2008), and Arthur (1/15/2011)
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#7 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Alyantavid View Post
Oh and I let him spit in the sink. He loves that part!
Oh that reminds me! Should have included this in my other post: My almost-three-year-old still doesn't understand about spitting. He knows how to spit out other stuff at other times (usually the most inopportune), but when it comes to toothpaste he seems to just swallow it reflexively (is that a word?), even when I tell him to spit it in the sink. Any ideas on that?
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#8 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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My son only now, at nearly 3 years old is interrested in washing his hands. TBH - its never been needed, and still isnt but hes finally taken the interrest so I am going with it of course. We had him a stool made to fit his needs and our bathrooms size that he can step up and stand on is all. I am really the only one that needs to wash my hands as I am the one wiping his bottom! lol - I just talk about it though...'We wash our hands after we use the toilet to wash away the germs'. Eventually he will be wiping his own butt and eventualy he will be washing his hands afterwards lol - Until the, if his hands are dirty or sticky or whatever, I just tend to still use a muslin for that or of course, there is always a bath!

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#9 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chilliepepper View Post
Oh that reminds me! Should have included this in my other post: My almost-three-year-old still doesn't understand about spitting. He knows how to spit out other stuff at other times (usually the most inopportune), but when it comes to toothpaste he seems to just swallow it reflexively (is that a word?), even when I tell him to spit it in the sink. Any ideas on that?
Just keep using floride free toothpaste until he gets it. Its no bid deal then really.

Mummy me : > Thats Ann! and my beautiful SONS Duncanand Hamish 19/09/05 & 22/04/10!
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#10 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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Oh my! That all sounds so complicated. I just use a washcloth. You can even use one soapy one and one to "rinse" with if you like.

Or you can do it the Waldorf way and use a little tub or bowl of water placed on a chair or table that is their height.
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#11 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, tell me more about the Waldorf way---this sounds like it could be the ticket! My only question, I guess, is how do you keep the babe from dumping the bowl or splashing the soapy water all over kingdom come, instead of just washing his hands?
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#12 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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Oh my! That all sounds so complicated. I just use a washcloth. You can even use one soapy one and one to "rinse" with if you like.

Or you can do it the Waldorf way and use a little tub or bowl of water placed on a chair or table that is their height.
This exactly! We just used a washcloth. But the bowl on a chair is pretty clever, too.

Lisa - dd 6-06
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#13 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 09:27 PM
 
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Oh, tell me more about the Waldorf way---this sounds like it could be the ticket! My only question, I guess, is how do you keep the babe from dumping the bowl or splashing the soapy water all over kingdom come, instead of just washing his hands?
Basically....you don't. You put the bowl out 20 minutes before meal time and have all that uninterrupted time, because he is so focused on the water play, to make the meal. Also, you expand the 'waldorf way' to be the 'montesori way' and you teach him step by step how to pour the water into the bowl, soap and wash his hands, empty the waste water into a bucket, wipe/mop up the spills, and dry the table. Of course with lots of water play along the way.

Alternatively, you give him a bucket of soapy water and a big sponge and set him loose on those floors.
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#14 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chilliepepper View Post
The best way I've found is to hold him 'round the midsection with one arm, so he's sorta "flying" horizontally and pointing toward the sink, and try to lather up and rinse his hands with the other hand.



Okay, this made me laugh out loud because this is EXACTLY how I wash my DS' hands if they absolutely MUST be washed (i.e. he just stuck his hands in the toliet the moment his sister stood up from USING the toilet) - he just turned 13 months.

Problem with this method is that he is FASCINATED by all things water - potty, dog dishes, cups of water, tub, shower, washing hands, watering the plants, the hose, and wants to be IN whatever water he sees.So he dives & squirms & dangerously launches himself & all flailing body parts into the running water - soaking us both oftentimes.

So... I've taken to washing his hands with a soaked rag or papertowel before meals. In the car, I use baby wipes.


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#15 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Basically....you don't. You put the bowl out 20 minutes before meal time and have all that uninterrupted time, because he is so focused on the water play, to make the meal. Also, you expand the 'waldorf way' to be the 'montesori way' and you teach him step by step how to pour the water into the bowl, soap and wash his hands, empty the waste water into a bucket, wipe/mop up the spills, and dry the table. Of course with lots of water play along the way.

Alternatively, you give him a bucket of soapy water and a big sponge and set him loose on those floors.
Brilliant! So I'm thinkin' it must be a pretty big, un-dumpable bowl...cuz otherwise, it would last about 30 seconds, not 20 minutes. Right?

I really like the montessori way, but I'm trying to visualize the details. So what do you do, exactly...he's pouring the water in the bowl, is this from a pitcher or something you give him? He lathers up...bar soap or pump dispenser? Is there a "rinse cycle," or are we just ok with a little soap being left on his hands when he's all done (I only ask because DS has pretty sensitive skin)?

This will be a hurdle for me, because I'm VERY squeamish about water on the floor. MAJOR pet peeve. Even more so, since the day my aging mother slipped on a bit of water on our tile floor, hit the corner of the counter with her head going down, and ended up lying on the floor with blood dripping from her head. Several hours in the ER and 11 stitches later it all turned out ok, but it was rather traumatic. All this the night before DS1's first birthday, and me about 5 weeks pregnant with DS2.

All that said, I do think it's a good way to go.
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#16 of 27 Old 06-24-2008, 11:09 PM
 
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Great question!

I also do the "hold the wriggling child with one hand while I try to wash other hand" method.. but I would love to hear other ideas. And, I will be sure to check your threads to your post regarding brushing teeth, something I struggle with every signle night with my 18 month old!
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#17 of 27 Old 06-25-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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When our son became too heavy and wiggly for the airplane position we started using this 18 inch high step stool for our 30 inch tall 15 mo DS. It is the perfect height for the bathroom sink.

If he is especially messy (like after eating yogurt), we wipe him down with a moistened towel first. Otherwise everything from the table to the bathroom (including me) would get sticky : !
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#18 of 27 Old 06-25-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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The best way I've found is to hold him 'round the midsection with one arm, so he's sorta "flying" horizontally and pointing toward the sink, and try to lather up and rinse his hands with the other hand.

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#19 of 27 Old 06-25-2008, 03:07 AM
 
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We sit in the sink... same as a PP. Bare feet in the sink, turn the water on and rinse rinse rinse, and scrub scrub scrub (the soap to get bubbly hands) and rinse rinse rinse again. He loves it. His feet get a bit cleaner in the process too.
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#20 of 27 Old 06-25-2008, 10:41 AM
 
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Thank you, thank you for posting this thread!

We have a flowerless cement flower pot on our front porch full of dirt that DS likes to play in. Which we support--except that it's impossible to wash his hands well enough with a wash cloth when we head in for meals. Our big pedastal sink is hard enough with the "airplane method."

We'll be setting out a bowl of water tonight to see how it goes.

Thanks!

Progressive working mom to one Delightful Son, 1/07
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#21 of 27 Old 06-25-2008, 11:05 AM
 
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We sit on the edge of the bathtub, baby on lap, sink full of pre-soaped water, and wash his hands with a wash cloth.

Also, coincidentally, we've just discovered that he will happily play with a bowl full of water and some measuring cups on the kitchen floor on a towel while we make dinner, so that's almost like hand-washing, right?

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#22 of 27 Old 06-25-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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We love foaming soap because it doesn't need wet hands to start. Especially if we're in a public restroom where I have to hold her up to reach the sink. That way, we just soap up her hands as she stands on the floor and then I just have to pick her up and rinse. I can usually hold her up to the soap dispenser for a second to get the soap directly on her hands. I just find it easier for me to pick her up if my hands are dry.
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#23 of 27 Old 06-25-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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I usually let them sit on the kitchen counter, so they can easily reach the water. My DD is tall enough for a stepstool now.
In public places like restaurants I let my DD also stand on the counter (I wipe it clean after). Lifting her and holding her (30 lb) in right position is too hard.

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#24 of 27 Old 06-25-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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Our 1yo stands on a stool to wash his hands. Before he could reach I put one of my knees on the stool and propped him on my knee so he could reach, or sat him on the counter near the sink.

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#25 of 27 Old 07-21-2008, 01:38 AM
 
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I went back and found this thread so I could share my new way of washing my toddler's hands. I put a squirt of Dr Bronners liquid soap in a spray bottle full of water and I just spray his hands and wipe them with a washcloth. I'm going to put a small bottle in the going out bag too. He loves it and wants me to do it multiple times. It's the Tea Trea soap so also antibacterial. HTH
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#26 of 27 Old 07-21-2008, 07:46 AM
 
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With a wash cloth while he's in his high chair.
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#27 of 27 Old 07-21-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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Wash his hands? I'm suppose to be doing that....oops

On the tipping the bowl front, one of those "no-tip" dog bowls might work well, although it doesn't help the "don't play in the dog's water" lesson i'm working on
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