9 Ways Toddlers Waste Water

It’s a well known fact that we Californians are suffering terribly because of the drought. My grass is turning brown and I live in constant fear that the water patrol will fine me for my errant sprinklers. The “record-shattering” El Niño that was hyped by nearly every weather expert also wasn’t nearly as “record-shattering” to us in SoCal as it was to our friends up north, nonetheless, it did keep my grass looking sharp this winter (and kept a few more dollars in my bank account). But, if the powers-that-be really really want to conserve water, they’d do one thing – figure out a way to explain to toddlers the perils of wasting water.

See, it isn’t the irresponsible adults that are causing this water shortage. No, it’s our selfish toddlers who have zero concept of the excessive amount of water and money they are wasting with their antics. These are just a few reasons, so please add yours in the comments below.

I partnered with Life of Dad and Niagara Conservation for this post, to talk about their new water-saving Stealth Toilet. I mean, who can’t use a little water and costs savings in their life? Our kids use enough of both; it’s time we take back control! (Or something like that, because we all know they are really the ones in control.)

1. Brushing teeth

My toddler doesn’t really brush her teeth. She takes the toothbrush, eats the toothpaste off the top, and then proceeds to gnaw her toothbrush to death while I sing the ABCs twice to fool myself that we are preventing scurvy. But, I still have to wet the toothpaste and rinse her toothbrush every single time, for no other reason other than to try and instill some sort of “this is how you do it” into her psyche.

2. Washing hands

Have you ever been to day care? Despite the teachers’ best efforts, and trust me, I applaud their efforts, there is never a time when I don’t see one kid wiping snot from their nose (mine included), another playing in the dirt, or another kneading play-doh like they’re baking a cake. So with all these germs, hand washing is actually part of the daily schedule, which I’m certain also includes non-scheduled hand washing. But as we all know, toddlers are the least efficient humans at anything, so their hand washing takes five times longer than it should, all the while with a gushing faucet.

3. Baths

We can go weeks with pleasant bath experiences and then one day have a full-blown tantrum. And as any parent knows, one of our main goals in life is to do whatever it takes to prevent a tantrum (even though most of the time we really have no clue what sets them off anyway), so we improvise. Sometimes this means running the water for the duration of the bath, while other times it means skipping bath entirely after the bathtub has already been filled (and by filled I only mean a few inches, but still). But who cares if I wasted money, my sanity is still somewhat in tact.

4. Gagillion water cups

I don’t know about your kid, but mine seems to have multiple water bottles in varying states of fullness scattered around the house as if we live on the Sahara. But of course, we can ever seem to find any of them when she’s thirsty. So what do we do to prevent a scream fest and quench our little angle’s parched pallet? We find the closest empty cup and fill it.

5. Grapes

My kid gets fruit with every meal. But that means we have to wash it before every meal. Do you realize how much fruit we’re washing?

6. Dishes Pt. 1

There have been times when I felt like my sink was exploding with pink bowls, blue spoons, and orange sippy cups. And with a baby coming in a few months, we will also soon have bottles, nipples and flanges fighting for prime real estate on our drying rack. I’m a big fan of the dishwasher, but apparently this stuff can’t be washed in the dish washer, something about heat and plastic chemicals. Thus, we hand wash it, which means the faucet is running more than I’d like. Thanks kids!

7. Dishes Pt. 2

Even though toddlers have no clue how to do most things, they always want to help or do it themselves. Take washing dishes for example. My daughter’s idea of washing dishes is stripping down to her diaper, running the faucet, and playing in the sink with various measuring cups and Tupperware. Sure, she has a great time, but my water meter is spinning and the already low California water supply is dwinding. But she doesn’t care, her doll is getting its fifth bath and her feet are starting to turn into yummy raisins!

8. Extra laundry

For a long time, we used to wash our kid’s clothes separately. I don’t know if it was because she got special detergent, a special spin cycle, or whatever, but sometimes her load barely even qualified for the small load. We have since shaped up and now mix her stuff with ours; that’s what I call efficiency!

9. Showers

In our attempts to always prevent a bathtrum (bath + tantrum) we sometimes try to keep her on her toes and offer a shower instead. Zing! And lately, it’s been working. However, a shower with a toddler isn’t quick; it’s a deep sea voyage. Forget trying to convince them to get out after a few minutes, it’s too damn exciting! So you stand in there with them or watch from outside as the water gushes out and your wallet becomes thinner.

Have any more water-wasting shenanigans?

Thank goodness I have one of these new toilets, because the potty training has already started, and I know the intrigue my toddler will have once she starts flushing the toilet.


The new Stealth Toilet not only saves up to 20,000 gallons of water per year thanks to some fancy vacuum technology, but it can cut down homeowners’ water bills by up to 60 percent. And you know when the toilet runs forever because the chain gets kinked and the flapper doesn’t close? Well, this toilet doesn’t have either! Furthermore, the warranty is pretty killer, so when your toddler decides to have a bathtrum and chuck their wooden train set at the toilet, you can rest assured that you’re covered (well, mostly).

And best of all, some water districts will even help cover some or all of the costs of replacing your old toilet, so be sure to check what rebates might be available in your city/state. For example, the Stealth toilet sells for $149, but a statewide California rebate of $100 to every homeowner makes this purchase even more affordable.