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How to Teach Kids Better Hygiene Habits

How to Teach Kids Better Hygiene Habits

If you’ve ever spent time with kids, you know they can be gross – and fairly ignorant to their grossness. Better hygiene habits can make your life easier, improve health outcomes, and generally set your kids up for more success in life.

But how do you approach this topic?

Make an Investment in Hygienic Items

With the right hygienic items, it’s going to be much easier and more convenient for your kids to keep themselves clean. They can even encourage better hygienic habits on their own.

For example:

  • Smart bidets. Certain smart bidets are equipped with features and settings that are designed for children. On the kids setting, there’s less pressure, resulting in a gentler, more comfortable spray that automatically and touchless cleans your child’s rear after using the bathroom.
  • Touchless soap dispensers. Touchless soap dispensers dispense the perfect amount of soap every time, without forcing children to reach for it or engage in a manual pumping action. Kids often love automatic devices like these, so it could encourage healthier hand washing habits.
  • Comfortable cloths and towels. Splurge on washcloths and towels to make bathroom time more comfortable and more appealing to even the most reluctant children.

Start Early

When it comes to hygiene, there’s no such thing as starting too early. Regularly bathing your child, brushing their teeth, and committing to other hygienic habits will acclimate them to the importance of these activities. As soon as your child can converse, talk to them about the benefits of hygiene as well as their social expectations of them. They may not be ready to understand all the dynamics of good hygiene, but the earlier you start these conversations, the more they’re going to absorb those priorities.

Be a Role Model

Children seek to mimic their role models, and as a parent or guardian, you’re role model number one. If you want your children to practice good hygiene habits, you need to practice good hygiene habits as well. Thoroughly washing your hands on a regular basis, brushing your teeth alongside them, and taking showers or baths daily can help establish the precedent that even grown-ups need to take care of these responsibilities.

Establish Daily Habits

If you want something to stick with, you need to make it a daily habit. It might be a struggle in the early days of building these habits, but once they’re established, they’re going to be hard to break. Simple things, like brushing teeth in the morning or taking a bath at 7 pm every night, can help your children set the right expectations and get used to these activities.

Make It Fun

For many parents, hygienic responsibilities like bathing and washing hands are a true battle. But they don’t have to be. If you’re willing to get creative, you can make these activities fun by turning them into games or associating them with silly and fun interactions, like singing a special song at bath time.

Encourage Autonomy

Kids hate being told what to do, so if you’re constantly bossing your kids around to teach them good hygiene, they might be more likely to resist your instructions for retaliate. Instead, encourage as much autonomy as you can, even if your kids aren’t really the ones making the decisions.

For example, you might ask your child, “would you prefer to brush your teeth first or take a bath first?” or “do you want to use the blue soap or the green soap today?” You’re not actually surrendering much control, but you’re helping your child feel like they’re an active part of the process.


The adage “trust, but verify” applies to teaching kids about hygiene. As you begin to trust your kids to take care of their own hygiene habits, periodically check up on them to make sure they’re practicing these habits effectively. Simple verification questions like “did you wash your hands?” can make a big impact. It’s also important to watch them practicing these habits so you can feel confident that they’re doing them correctly.

Be Ready for Changes (and Continue the Conversation)

As your children begin to grow older, their hygienic needs are probably going to change. Their understanding of the world and conversational abilities are also going to evolve, meaning you’ll have more opportunities to explore the nuances of good hygiene.
It’s therefore important to keep the hygiene conversation going, periodically providing new advice, asking insightful questions, and engaging with your children so they can stay on the right track.

Teaching kids better hygiene isn’t always fun and isn’t always straightforward. But with a proactive mindset, a set of effective physical tools, and a willingness to adapt over time, your kids will have much better hygiene habits and much more confidence in themselves.