Any tips for getting my toddler over his fear of water?

Brandy - posted on 08/14/2015 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My 2 1/2 year old is terrified of water. He screams during his baths. We live in a community with a pool and near the beach so I'd love for him to be able to join my older kids in the water instead of watching from the sidelines. Any tips?

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Dove - posted on 08/14/2015

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Time and patience. My girls have been 'fish' ever since the first time we put them in the ocean at 6 months old. Little brother... on the other hand... not so much. As an infant he was in the water a few times and enjoyed himself, but as a toddler... he would stick his toe in the ocean and be OVER it. lol I encouraged a little bit, but mostly just let him be. He's 7 now and LOVES the water. We never did have the bath issue though. Showers he hated (so we avoided) for a couple of years cuz he didn't want the water on his face.

Caroline Rochfort - posted on 08/14/2015

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I have not experienced problems with the bath, but my 2.5 year old was afraid of getting into the pool. We started him at swim lessons at about 18 months, to get him used to the water and it wasn't until this summer (2.5) that he now really enjoys being in the water. We started up swim lessons again this summer, but it had been about 9 months since he had been in a pool. Our community pool has an inclined entry, which enables him to go only to as far as he is comfortable. And he gets a little braver and brave every time. At the beginning of summer, I could hardly get him to put his mouth into the water to blow bubbles. And now, as long as he is in the shallow end and knows he can stand up, he will actually float face down in the water to pick up the rings. Huge improvement from just 1.5 months ago. Having toys in the water in key too. It helps to distract them. But, keep working at it b/c it is important that he becomes comfortable and eventually learns how to swim.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/14/2015

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Honestly, it just comes with time, and gentle introduction. My eldest was the same, but as he got older, he discovered that he really LIKED swimming, and water activities...LOL...Just don't ask him to go off the diving board...and he's 21 now. He had great swimming instructors when he was 8 that really helped with his water fear.

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Sarah - posted on 08/23/2015

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Maybe find a special bath toy or bubble bath that he can look forward to using and enjoying. Keeping the water nice a shallow and not too hot, maybe he'll be more comfortable. Good Luck!

Brandy - posted on 08/23/2015

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It can be rather echo-y. I'll have to try maybe filling the tub and turning off the water before bringing him in. See if that helps

Sarah - posted on 08/23/2015

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I know this thread is a bit stale (not old, but not fresh) I find it interesting that your child is fearful in the tub. Kids that are afraid to get in the pool or ocean, that I get. Those big cold bodies of water can be scary. The tub seems a safe, warm, and pleasant place to be. Did he ever fall, or have a scare in the tub? Is your bathroom loud? Is there an echo or hollow sound when he is in there that could be contributing to the fear?

Brandy - posted on 08/14/2015

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That's comforting. My older two love the water but they've always been part fish.

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