Any adult who’s been at the whole parenting thing for a while will tell you that there are many stages to raising kids. From their first cry to their first date, there are a million little milestones. And let’s face it, many of those take place in the bathroom – potty training, brushing new teeth, the first bath, the first shower, fighting to get them to take a shower, and then fighting to get them out. Oh, and don’t forget the sibling rivalry over bathroom time.
The majority of households don’t have a bathroom for each child, so most siblings are made to share. Follow these steps to design a kid-friendly bathroom that helps their mornings – and yours – go smoother.
Step 1: Design for size, but with an eye toward the future
You don’t want to have to redesign the bathroom with every growth spurt (can you imagine the cost during those middle school years?). So, base big design decisions on the future, and make smaller design decisions that can be updated easily down the road.
If you and your spouse are both tall, for example, it’s likely your kids will be, too. So, go ahead and choose a taller vanity, then add a sturdy step stool for easy reaching. When kids are small, bathtubs are a necessity, but as they gain more independence, they’ll want the quick convenience of a shower. If there’s a bathtub in the house already, stick with a shower for the kids’ bathroom. If that’s the only tub in the house, let it be (for now), but look into a tub to shower conversion down the road. Same with toilets. Selecting that miniature version sounds like a great idea when they’re two, but they’ll quickly outgrow it, and you’ll be forced to spend the money on a standard size one before you know it. In the shower, opt for a handheld sprayer that can suit users of any size.
Choosing adult-sized fixtures doesn’t mean you can’t design a cute bathroom that your kids will love. Wall color, shower curtains, towels, rugs and accessories are great ways to add character without spending a fortune. Also, if you’ve got little ones, hang towel bars and hooks at their height so that they can easily reach. And don’t forget to hang artwork lower, too, so that they can enjoy it. The room is theirs, after all.
Step 2: Safety is always in style
Bathrooms are chock-full of safety hazards. From scalding water and slippery surfaces to dangling cords and cleaning products, there are a multitude of potential dangers for parents to worry about. Here are several things you can do to help keep your kids’ safe:
- Set the water temperature in your home no higher than 120 degrees.
- Incorporate non-slip surfaces.
- If your kids use a step stool, be sure it’s non-tipping and has non-skid feet.
- Corral bath toys in a large caddy or mesh bag to keep them from becoming trip hazards.
- Install toilet locks to keep the smallest, most curious family members out of the bowl.
- Install locks on cabinet doors and drawers to keep cleaning supplies, medicine and other chemicals out of reach.
Step 3: Double up
If you have more than one sink in your master bathroom, you likely understand the value in not having to fight over space with your partner while brushing your teeth. Giving your kiddos the same advantage can separate them just enough so that you don’t have to play referee. If you’re adding a new vanity, consider an integrated slide-out step to help smaller family members reach.
Step 4: Choose kid-proof materials
Vanities that dent, stain or scratch won’t look great in a few years with kids at the helm. Choose highly resilient materials and products that can withstand everything a kid can throw at it, from tantrums to teenage hair products.
Step 5: Stop the sharing
Yep, you read that correctly. We’re all for teaching kids to share, but in the bathroom, things like towels and toothbrushes don’t count. Kids have a lot of stuff, and that stuff only multiples as they grow. From bath toys and toothbrushes to hair dryers, straighteners, curlers; body lotions, razors, sprays and every hair product under the sun. Assign each of your kids a color, and then color-code a drawer, bin or storage caddy for each child’s personal belongings. Take it a step further by color coordinating their bath towels, toothbrushes and towel hooks to make it easy for kiddos to identify what’s theirs.
Step 6: Just say no to phones
We already know that electronics and water don’t mix. Not only is it a safety hazard, but it’s also a time-consuming habit. In a recent study, nearly 75% of the 69% of people who admit to using their phones in the bathroom said they spend longer in the bathroom because of it. Make your kids’ bathroom a no-electronics zone to decrease the amount of time each of them takes in the bathroom. It’ll also encourage them to move along faster, since we know they don’t like to be without their phones!
Whether you’re trying to design a colorful bathroom for a toddler or a modern space your teenagers will love, Re-Bath’s team of professionals are ready to help. Schedule your free in-home design and estimate today.