Bathtime Blues! Help, please?

Crystal - posted on 10/13/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My little baby girl is 9.5 months and she HATES her bath. She's never cared for them, and everyone kept telling me she'd warm up to them and love them soon! Finally she relaxed in them before she was 4 months, but still did not enjoy it, she would ocasionally laugh and play but then realize she was in the bath, and just grab onto the sides of the tub. At 9 months, she started crying every bath time. I haven't changed anything, and I try to keep the whole experience calm and pleasant. But she cries every time she hits the water and nearly screams when I get her head wet...
I don't get it. Any suggestions?

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Josslyn - posted on 10/14/2011

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Ok, so it look like you need to change the atmosphere completely, play some of her favourite music, let her throw her toys in, get some kiddies bubble bath, give her jugs and tippers and dance her into the bath etc. and try to make it a "rocking and Fun" experience!! The hair wash thing we also struggle with, you'll just have to wash it and get it over and done with.

Angela - posted on 10/14/2011

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I had a baby bath when mine were little but it was often so much easier to bath them in the kitchen sink! The water drains straight down the plughole and you're at a height where you're not far off their eye level. With a baby bath you're either bending over the bath on the floor or if it's on a stand it's still not as high as your sink. In the sink, your baby would be at an easy height to amuse and talk to whilst getting clean in the bath.

Dads are also more adept at helping out when they're not having to crouch! They can sometimes be clumsy and feel far happier when the whole operation is easier to handle at a comfortable height. Also, think how the baby feels when a big person is towering over them - one adult/big sibling attending to the bathing, maybe one or 2 other adults standing fully upright nearby - it could be bit intimidating!

Whether you're bathing her in a baby bath or a kitchen sink always add the cold water first (I'm sure you do anyway). There are many parents who bath their babies at a nice lukewarm/tepid termperature but they put the hot water in first and the heat remains in the base of the bath and this could burn or shock a baby's delicate skin - even when the surrounding water is actually comfortably warm.

Good luck - I'm sure she'll enjoy bath time soon.

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10 Comments

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Teresa - posted on 11/03/2011

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Sponge bath! She will one day appreciate a good bath and if not, then a hot shower can be just as good.

Janna - posted on 10/26/2011

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Maybe you've tried these, but some thoughts: only but an inch or so in the tub to take away some off the water fear; let her play in the tub empty with the toys some just to get her used to it and less scared; have some great/special toys just for the tub; try bathing with her if you're comfortable with that, having you with her might calm her down and let her see the fun in it. And perhaps she is starting to associate bath with bedtime or something else she doesn't like, try switching up the time, or instead of making it calm and soothing, make it fun and bright and play some fun music (not right before bed of course.) Good luck!

Crystal - posted on 10/21/2011

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Thanks everybody! I've made a few changes which seem to help slightly, but I think this may be something we'll just have to wait out...I think a lot of it is seperation, though she's still not that comfortable even in baths with me. But she's also getting four teeth in all at once; she's just undergoing a lot of changes.

Maria - posted on 10/18/2011

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I would try ditching the baby tub and get in the big tub with her. The combo of a new environment and you in their with her might help. Maybe some new bath toys to play with together would make the move even more interesting to her...

You could also try altering the temp of her bath a little.
She is a bit older now, maybe warming up the water just a little would help. One of my children needed slightly warmer water than recommended to have good baths.

Cynthia - posted on 10/18/2011

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This is Normal many kids are afraid run the tub before she gets in use a wash rag and little baby thing talk to her and sing her lullabies she will get over in due time be patience. good luck.

Summer - posted on 10/18/2011

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Try having a shower with her, no soap to start just get both of you wet and stay there for a while. Sitting in it she may not like the feeling of not being in control, but in a shower she will have you to hold on to. After a couple of tries if successfull you can add a super-gentle baby shampoo.

Linda - posted on 10/14/2011

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One of my sons was afraid of the bath for the longest time. Part of his problem is he didn't like hearing the water run, so I made sure I filled the tub before he got in. She's old enough to start playing with toys, so that might help. However, she's clearly just afraid of the water. Have you ever taken a bath with her, or gone swimming with her? If you were holding her in the water, she might learn to like it. Until this clears up, however, you will probably have to do what I did--just endure the screams until her bath is done...because sometimes they NEED a bath! :)

Carla - posted on 10/13/2011

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I am sure you do all these things but--
Johnson's no more tears shampoo
dim the lights, maybe light a candle high up so she can't get at it
talk to her in quiet, gentle tones
use a hand-held shower head to wash and rinse her hair
stay very close, having your hands right there so she feels secure
dry her gently and take her out of the bathroom to get her jammies on her

It sounds like she has had a scare in the tub. Not sayin' it's your fault, but water is scary to kids. As long as she knows you are close and protecting her, she will calm down soon. Pray for calm and peace before you put her in the tub. How about you get in with her? It may not be perfect, but it might make her feel more secure.

God bless, good luck, sweetheart

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