Bathing a Child with Cerebral Palsy

Getting Everything Ready

Before you begin, you have a few things that will make bathing a child with cerebral palsy more simple. Some of the things that you may want to have on hand include:

  • Shower chair
  • Towels
  • Washcloth
  • Soap
  • Shampoo

Especially with a child that has cerebral palsy, you want to make sure that you have these things close at hand so that you don’t have to leave them alone in the shower. This can especially prove dangerous when bathing a child with cerebral palsy because of how they don’t have full control over their muscles.

Using a Shower Chair

You and your child may find it useful to use a shower chair because of how the transition from sitting to standing can prove difficult for a child with CP. Not to mention, if you don’t have this, you may have to move them manually, and this can prove a tricky task when your child gets older. For that reason, you may find it useful to set up a system right away. You might also get your child’s occupational therapist to help with his sitting and standing so that he can do it in a smoother fashion.


You might want to speak to your child’s occupational therapist about bathing because he can give you some tips and tricks that will make it easier. He can also give your child exercises for strengthening and stretching to make bath time a little easier. You might also quiz your child on different brain and speech exercises. Especially with a child that has CP, bathing can turn into a long and arduous process, and it can be helpful to have someone on hand who understands how you can undertake this process. Bathing a baby with cerebral palsy isn’t as difficult, but it will get harder as your child ages.

For children doing occupational therapy, your specialist will work hard with your child so that he can have as much freedom throughout his life as possible, despite a birth injury. Your therapist will do his best to create an environment of nurturing so that he will learn independence in other areas. If your child starts to progress, he might be able to manage the sponge bath on his own. In many cases, sponge baths will be safer for your child because you don’t have to worry as much that your child will stumble or fall. This form of exercise ensures that your child can prepare himself for independence as much as possible without worry about a birth disorder.