Bath Time Battles with a Screaming 3 year old......

Angie - posted on 05/05/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

5

16

2

My 3 year old son has SPD and recently started having trouble taking a bath. He screams and cries at the top of his lungs. He has to wear ear plugs because he has tubes (which he's had for 8 months) I always make sure that the water is lukwarm, because he seems to be sensitive to the temperature. The screaming tantrum has just started within the past 2 weeks.............I need help! I don't know what's bothering him.....he is very limited in his speech..... Suggestions?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Melaina - posted on 06/09/2011

2

2

0

Our daughter did the same thing. Turned out to be the running water that was a big stressor. We have to run the bath without her present, then introduce her to the water and let her feel her way into the bath. She could not handle the water coming out of the faucet. She never had that problem in the past, similiar to your situation and it just started happening out of the blue.

Rebecca - posted on 06/16/2011

38

22

3

Sponge baths. It took me a very long year and a half to get my son to take a bath without screaming. I started by sitting in front of the tv with him and a bowl of water with a little baby soap in it. We took turns dipping a cloth in the water and rubbing each other. Once that wasn't threatening, I bought a large inflatable ducky "tub" from target. We did the same thing. On warm days, we would go in the back yard with him naked and the tub filled and put toys in the tub to encourage him to play with him. Slowly I got him to get into ducky. Then i started filling the tub in the bathroom and letting him play with toys in his ducky while fully dressed. Eventually, he would take a bath in ducky in the bathroom, and I moved ducky tub into the real tub. And eventually the ducky went away. Now he is 6 and loves his tub! Just remember, your boy has his fears for his reasons, whatever they may be! Love him and have patience!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

14 Comments

View replies by

Stephanie - posted on 06/07/2011

26

29

5

The OT at my son's school suggested anything chewy right before or gum while in the shower... i dont really understand why but it often helps. Dru was fine with bathing until we moved into and apartment with no tub... I have been searching for an inflatable pool or anything that might fit into our oversized shower. I feel your frustrations!!! :)

Janie - posted on 01/25/2010

10

0

0

my son went through this. I think it is a common issue for spd kiddos. It's ok. It's normal and this too shall pass! :) we let him (still and he's 7) decide what temperature is best for him, how deep the water should be and what toys he wants to have in the water. when he was younger, letting him know that he needed to transition to bathtime by giving him time warnings (you've got 2 minutes until bathtime etc) helped and for a while I would brush him before the bath to help calm his body. He's seven now and though he still has issues with water temperatures, he enjoys bathtime and even chooses showers occasionally. Swimming experiences in warm water pools have also helped!

Tami - posted on 01/21/2010

93

25

18

My Granddaughter with SPD used to have this problem and she is 7 now. It was an issue for her with the water going in her face so we had to get her a water visor, I think they sell them at BabiesRUs. She hates the wind blowing directly in her face, going underwater (she still can't swim and she even took private lessons recently), etc.

My Grandson had this problem too and he is doing better lately. For awhile it did seem like he hated baths. And SPD kids are like you said sensitive to water temp too, they don't like it too cold, or too warm. And yes the ear plugs probably really bother him, is there an alternative to them? The shower cap idea sounds like a good one. So do the toys, he has to have a lot of them in the tub to distract him from his sensory issues.

You got some great advice here, I'm going to share this thread with my daughter.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/12/2010

6

32

0

I am new, my son who is 3.5 yrs old has SPD and we just started having problems with bath time. He used to love it till 3 months ago. I love all the ideas and can't wait to try them. He will be starting school to help him with SPD and speech. I think I am more scared then anything...I don't like the unknown. Now I no how he feels...thanks again for the great ideas.

Beth - posted on 05/10/2009

1

27

0

Hi Angie. My son is 8 now and he hated baths from the time he was an infant up until he was about 4 or 5. For some reason, SPD causes a sensory issue with water. My son's issues were one, he would NOT sit down (don't know why to this day) so I just washed him while he was standing up, and two, he would scream (like scream so loud I was worried the neighbors would call social services on me type scream) every time water would touch his face. We found these bath hats at Babies are us that he could put on and it kept most of the water away from his face when I rinsed his hair out. I also gave him a towel to hold over his face while I rinsed his hair.
Another idea, if those are issues your son is having, there is rinseless shampoo that you can buy that's made specifically for autistic/SPD kids. I got mine at the following link -
http://www.southpawenterprises.com/No-Ri...
Southpaw has other awesome products and books that will help you understand and help your son.
Since your son is just NOW starting to have trouble, if you haven't already, I would ask your doctor if he has gotten fluid in his ears. I only mention that because he has tubes in them and it may be a possibility. That would cause him to feel off balance, dizzy and/or cause ear pain and pressure.
I hope this helps!! Let me know.
Take care, Beth

Peggy - posted on 05/10/2009

38

71

7

ill give you a tip my sons ot gave me.. i was told to hang a mirror on the wall in the bathtub.. she told me to get one of those suction cup mirrors and hang it on the wall. that way he can watch and see whats coming before he happens..it actually helps..we also let him decide the bath water temp bc it helps him out a bit.i hope that helps. i dont know if it will but i really hope it does. best of luck to you

Stephanie - posted on 05/07/2009

3

16

0

My son is the same way.. he's 4 hea has high fuction autism, ADHD, SPD...u name it!! I'm sad to say he has been this way for some time. The crying in the tub started suddenly with him as well he used to love a bath & still does as long s you dont try to clean him! What I have read about it is that the tactile senses become ultra sensative. Even the water can be a disturbance to them. With my son it is the soap..washing his hair, body is a night mare. The only thing I can do that sometimes helps is give him a toy or talk to him about something else he really likes doing, something to distract him when I am about to do the 'evil deed'! lol I hope this helps a little. It isn't easy, I wish you all the luck.

Andi - posted on 05/07/2009

5

12

1

Our son goes through phases where he prefers the shower over the bath, and then vice versa, so you migth give it a whirl and see how it goes. We also let him decide the temperature and he gets in before the tub is full so only his feet are wet and he adjusts to the water more gradually. We also entice him in with toys, or let him bring his favorite toys with him. One of the things we've learned is that our son keeps a toy in each hand (hot wheel cars usually) as a way to help manage the other sensory input he's getting (like a security blanket, only it's activating a sensory system that helps calm him). Best of luck!

Wendy - posted on 05/06/2009

32

19

2

Quoting Angie:

Thank you for the great advice! I can't wait to try it! Who knew that the seemingly simple task of taking a bath could be so complicated?



It is amazing indeed!! I hope it helps!

Stacey - posted on 05/05/2009

39

19

7

My son is 8 years old now, and bathtime has always been difficult for us. When he was little, he would scream as soon as the water touched him -- I let him direct me with the water temperature... he likes it cool. This process usually takes several minutes as it's always "too hot" and then "too cold"! Now, he is okay with baths -- but he hates showers. Unfortunately our new house only has a shower! I bought a handheld shower head to ensure that the water will never spray him in the face by accident. My son also had tubes in place (twice) for 6 years. The tubes were taken out last year, but left holes in his ear drums. My son will NOT wear ear plugs, so we have a "shower hat" that he wears when we wash his hair. In addition, he places a folded up washcloth over each ear to make sure no water can get in. With the handheld shower head it's relatively easy to not spray water anywhere but his head (unless he's unusually agitated). However, I always joke that my son and I have one of the fastest shower routines (minus the time it takes to regulate the water temperature)! I can have him washed, rinsed, and hair washed in 2 and 1/2 minutes. I've learned to move quickly because I know the water is painful and uncomfortable to him.



Best of luck! Just remember, sometimes these sensory issues do improve with time and therapy!

Angie - posted on 05/05/2009

5

16

2

Thank you for the great advice! I can't wait to try it! Who knew that the seemingly simple task of taking a bath could be so complicated?

Wendy - posted on 05/05/2009

32

19

2

My 3 year old little boy has the same problem!!! Here is what we do... 1) I tell him I need his help turning on the water and getting it ready. We then let him give us a head nod yes or no if the temp feels right. (My son actually likes it cold in my opinion I htought lukewarm but he finds that to hot still). Then I have a cheap 3 min sand hour glass (visual) and I tell him when the sand is all gone we have to get in the bath. Then his OT told me try letting him march and blow on a whistle, The marching helps compress the joints and blowing on anything actually helps them organize themselves. We use the "transition" march for lots of things!! I wish I could say this helps everynight but it does help a lot and when we do havea meltdown it is far less severe.! Good luck!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms