Lady Bug loves baths. She gets a lot of joy and good sensory input from baths. She will happily swish and splash and stim in the bath for an hour if allowed. Some of her most impressive scripts have been recited while in the bath. But Lady Bug likes to taste baths, too.
I tried for a long time to stop her from licking and drinking the bath water. That’s gross! It’s bad for her! Soap water will make her sick! I attempted redirecting and draining the bath if she did it more than twice after I told her to stop. But it didn’t really work, and it turned a joy filled time into a stress filled time. She wasn’t getting the benefit she usually got from it, and for a while stopped asking for baths at all.
I finally made peace with it by not washing her until the very end of the bath. With no soap in the water and just a small amount of Epsom salt, I can tolerate the ick factor as long as it doesn’t make her sick. That does mean that sometimes she asks to get out before she’s been washed with soap. Once she’s done, she’s done and there’s no point in pushing it. But I don’t count those times as wasted baths. She’s a little bit cleaner and a lot bit happier. And she’s back to loving baths again.