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How do you get a child to take a bath who is afraid of water?

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19  Answers

9 7

We thought our son was terrified of water because he would scream during bath time. Then we took him to the ocean for his 4th birthday and he was fearless! We had to follow him like a hawk so he wouldn't run in too deep without our help. So, then we realized it wasn't the water. He was still terrified of baths. Finally, when he was almost 6 yrs old he was able to tell us that he had been scared of the bath area. Hanging curtains, tall (looming) shower heads, and it was darker in the bath/shower area. Sounds crazy to us, but his little imagination made the bath area very scary. Sometimes we can help them overcome fears and sometimes we have to teach them good hygiene regardless of how they feel about it. Just be patient. They grow up fast and before you know it, they are asking you if they can shower all by themselves without any help from you.

0 0

I agree- it isnt always the water or bath they dont like. We finally figured out that for our child it is the noise of the running water she doesn't like- so we fill the tub when she isn't in the bathroom then put her in. tada! no more crying! :)

5 11

If getting in with them doesn't work, try a sink wash or small tub of water & build up their understanding that bathing is fun. Splash around, make a mess, and also instill the fact to never submerge their face until they are secure enough to do so safely, like in swimming. Bubbles are always fun, or colored tablets, or paint soap. My son loved painting everything including himself in the tub, and it's completely washable. Wal-Mart sold some before, but I forgot the name of the brand. But they have to know that stuff only works with water. Start small then increase the amount of water. Or try a children's shower head. I found one at Home Depot a few years ago for an inexpensive amount.

16 9

We showered with our son since birth. His transition to taking a bath was hard. He would scream and cry the whole time. The thing that helped him was taking him swimming. He got used to the water while I was holding him. He learned that its fun.

36 0

Transition TO taking a bath? We transitioned our kids from a bath to a shower!

123 3

Will more exposure to water with other kids around help?

19 0

shower!!!!:) why does it have to be a bath!

4 6

My son didn't like getting his face wet, so I bought him swim googles. Not the ones that just cover the eyes but these cover his nose and cheeks. Now I can't get him out of the bath, he loves wearing them in the shower too.
I figure, this way he wont get the soap in his eyes and at least he likes the foaming that the soap makes.
Googles were a life saver for us.
Hope this helps

1 0

Do not fill the tub fully but only with so much Water that your childs leg's are covered when he or She sits. Its enough to sponge and splash around but Not enough to get the feeling of swimming or to sink.

23 45

get a LOT of toys, all different water friendly toys, boats, ducks, trucks, cars, animals, balls, sponges, cups, everything. Let your kid help add bubblebath and turn the tap on, get a special stool to help get in and out, let them put in his/her toys they chose and let them play over the side for the first few days, then slowly start dipping their toes, or splashing arms a bit to get more wet each time they play until they get themselves all in. plan to get wet, and make sure you dont get upset over water being on the floor or clothing.
I even started my 2yr old getting in with a freezy each time so he would enjoy his bath more.

119 23

sorry Moms i am going through this right now my son is 17 months and screams ive tried all you thoughts here and nothing works he screams till he pucks sink or tub in mommy arms none of it worked.

6 27

Try giving them some control over what you can during bath time. Letting my daughter get her own hair wet any way she wanted (dunking her own head, using a cup, or using the shower sprayer) allowed her to feel comfortable. She was terrified if we tried to get her hair wet. Put yourself in their place - you might feel just as anxious if someone twice your size was coming at you with a firehose! :)

5 1

I would wet a washcloth down, load it with foamy soap, and wash the child up outside of the shower. Once they are soaped up, they have no choice but to wash it off quickly in the shower. If he/she is not into baths or water, there is no reason to make the experience involved and/or taxing on either the parent or the child. I would not avoid necessary care/hygiene because my child does not like it. My son wasn't in love with having his teeth brushed, but he got used to it and now understands that it is part of his routine.

26 6

My daughter was the same way for what seemed like forever. We tried just about everything to make the bath fun for her, but she wasn't having it. Then we started getting in with her instead. At first we would hold her up out of the water on our laps so nothing would touch the water, then put her feet in, then sat her between our legs while holding her, then without holding her, then let her sit at the other end with us in, then her only with us on the side, and then us outside the tub. It took about 3 weeks of doing this, but she now LOVES baths and we can hardly ever get her out on the first try.

9 7

My son used to love water... suddenly around 3 1/2 he decided he didn't like it.
Then around 4 years old, my son would get in the bath, but every time I had to wash his hair he would scream like I was beating him or something and try to frantically climb out. I wouldn't even get it in his eyes so I don't know what caused it. It was so stressful especially since I lived in an apartment. Nothing seemed to help.
Washing in the sink didn't work, laying on the counter washing in the sink wouldn't work, bath products didn't work, bath toys didn't work, getting in with him didn't work.... finally my mom had him roll up a washcloth and had him hold it right above his eyes and that helped. I don't know if it was just because my mom said it or if he was just old enough to understand something like that finally, but it worked. Now, a year later he's almost 6 and he's starting to let me wash his hair without it, but if even a drop of water gets on his forehead he freaks out again... though now he doesn't scream like before.

I just wish I knew what had caused all this in the first place....

32 22

How old is your child? If she/he HATES having a bath.... Don't give her one!!! Get in the shower instead!! Difficult it really isn't!! My daughter used to LOVE her bath, until she got to big for it. We don't have a bath, bath so she had to shower instead. She was a little difficult to begin with, but she is ok with it now.

82 14

I hate a little one go through this. She hated water. hated being changed. I used to bathe with her a lot. It helped that i had an older (but not by much) child she could watch having fun in the water.. who helped her over the fear. In the end i think it was his enthusiasm in the bath and bubbles that won her over.

312 30

I agree with getting in with child, also try that squishee baff stuff...turns water into squishee stuff, then back again. Not sure how yours would feel about it but everytime the commercial is on my kids say they want it. Seems appealing? Lol

12 12

Yup, getting in the tub was the only thing that helped my little girl. She wouldn't take new toys or buy into the fact that something smaller than her couldn't fit in the drain. I only had to get in twice :-) I hope it works for your little one!

8 10

I agree with Vanessa - get in there with him to help ease his fears.

You could also let him bring in some of his (water proof) toys and/or purchse some 'special' water toys that will help protect him. Something s/he gets to pick out so they're part of the process of dealing with their fears.

13 54

get in the tub with them and show them its ok.


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