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Monday, September 16, 2013

Bad Time Bath Time

A year ago bath time was fun. We had graduated from the sink to the tub and everything was just grand. Splashing, playing, giggling - those were all things that encompassed bath time. Now, well, now bath time looks a lot like this...

That's a very unhappy baby right there....

For no apparent reason, and with no traumatic even to prompt it, she has developed a significant fear of the bath tub. Literally getting a bath has become an all out scream fest the entire time.  

Actually, occasionally she will calm down at the very end of her bath, enough to play a little. She will then quickly exclaim "all done!" and demand to be taken out of the bath. 

I am at a loss what to do about this. She cries and screams and hates getting a bath so much that I hate giving her one - of course I still do and hide my resentment so she only sees a mom who is enthusiastic about bath time!  Most of the time my enthusiasm has little to no effect on her.  Toys and encouraging her to play doesn't sway her. Singing and laughing only causes her to scream at me. And once I tried using the shower instead of a tub bath. That was a horrible horrible idea.  Ugh.... I appear to be no match for this newfound fear of bath time and water in general.  

Have you ever dealt with a sudden irrational fear in your child? An aversion to bath time or water? I need some tips on how to help get her through this and make bath time, and water in general, enjoyable again! 


HickChickBritt said...

I wish my child Found bath time a little less enjoyable I can never get him out of there

ladylisabear69 said...

Yes. My son went through a period where he hated the bath, so we did switch to showers for a while. That wasn't much easier, but the duration of time in the water the the subsequent crying time were shorter. Having a hand held shower head helped. I'm trying to remember how long the period lasted, maybe a few months? Your little one should get over it "fairly" quickly, but is it no fun while it lasts. Maybe go with sponge baths if you can for some of the time, or make the bathroom warmer to make it more cozy/welcoming or warm the towels? Keep up the patience. You are doing just fine, Mommy.

Lillie Mae Acres said...

Could you possibly use a large clothes basket down in the tub as a "boat" and maybe the smaller area would be more comforting and less scary? I've seen just recently that a plastic clothes basket makes a great confined safe area in the bath tub for babies younger than her. She might like the "boat" with her favorite toys in it.

A New England Life said...

And maybe put a couple towels in the bottom of the basket for her to sit on. I'm assuming going back to the sink isn't an option? Maybe just use wipes or a wet wash cloth until she gets over her fear. Poor Emily. That face breaks my heart.

Sweetcherry said...

I checked with my Mom, since I have little to no experience with small children! :) She agreed that maybe some sort of tub seat would make Emily feel more secure. She also suggested that maybe you could get one special toy that's reserved just for bath time.

Rachel said...

That was horrible. Well I do hope my 1 yr old won't hate water when she gets older. My sister though is always having a war in the bathroom with her son during bath time; he is 3. I guess this fear of cleanliness is trend to kids,. gosh

janel said...

My suggestion...get in with her...or if you have a a shower together. My kids loved taking a shower with mom.....and would stay in forever...even after I got out. Another trick....give her some shaving cream....and let her "finger paint" with the shaving cream on the tub walls....make it a "party"...or have a tub time tea party...get those plastic tea cups out and pretend to have a tea tub party....and there are many many books about "tub time"....I would certainly check out the library and get several to read....And add some child safe bubbles....I bet she would love that. Good luck.....on yet another hurdle in the adventure of child rearing. It is a process that is ever changing. Thinking of you!

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