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Help. Doesn't like his bath.

My ds is 16 months old and for some reason has decided he doesnt like his bath. He used to love it, would happily splash away and throw toys around etc. Now he starts crying when we start undressing him and doesnt stop till he's wrapped in his towel at which point he's completely happy again. He also refuses to sit down unless i lean over so he cant get a hold of the side to stand up. Nothing has happened to give him a fright or anything.

I've so far tried making the bath a bit warmer, a bit coller, trying new toys, taking a few toys out, getting in with him, hubby getting in with him, warming the bathroom more, ignoring his crying and speaking calmly while waiting for him to calm, singing to him and nothing is working to calm him.

Anyone got any other ideas or had their lo do this? Is it just another of those phases that will pass, its starting to drive me mad, bathtime used to such fun!



  • hayden is a bit older (27 months) but he was awful late last year at having a bath and like you we tried everything. My lastthing i tried that worked was getting him to choose new toy but he ended up with toystory bubble bath . so i made a big thing of how we were going to make "buzz bubbles" in the bath that night and he loved it. i see you have tried new toys but did he choose them might be worth a visit to pound land and let him choose.? hope it all settles soon, love fi.
  • Thanks for the suggestion, may give it a go but i'm not sure if he's maybe a bit too young to understand choosing it. Anythings worth a go though!!

  • hmmm, might not be muh help, but could u get n the bath with him? or shower? or put him in the bath with out water and fill it up once he's in there?....maybe some water play in the bath room or not in the bath room (lol), like fill the water up with his toys and just let him lean over the bath to play (clothed), then if and when he's comfortable with (may not be the first time) let him do that naked and jsut wash him off while he stands playing, then gradually move up to him being back in the bath...or start water play else where in the house, then gradually build it up to moving to the bath room and so on...perhaps he's worried he'll fall over? do u have a non slip mat in the bath?...does he have a doll, or toy/teddy that he could give a bath to in the sink? so he sees that it's safe, iyswim? xx
  • This is a bit long winded, but this is what worked for us when Abby went through this. You can start at whatever step you need to, and you can go back a step if you need to.

    Step 1, let him play in the bathroom, fully clothed.

    step 2, let him sit in the bath (no water), fully clothed with his favorite toys

    Step 3, sitting in the bath, fully clothed next to a bucket of warm water, and some bath toys. Encourage him to play with the bath toys.

    step 4, sitting naked in the bath, next to a bucket of water.

    step 5, empty out the bucket.

    step 6, after emptying the bucket, turn on the taps (so he has deeper water)

    step 7, put him in a shallow bath

    you can gradually up the ante a bit by doing things like, making the bath deeper, washing his hair (dum dum duuuum), and encouraging him to splash.

    Like I said - it's a bit long winded, but this worked like a dream for us, Abby went from screaming blue murder at the mere mention of a bath, to loving it. We had to spell out B.A.T.H because she would get so upset at the thought, now we need to spell it because she'd want to get in straight away! image
  • forgot to say, we did have problems going onto the "sitting naked in the bath" phase. So we did it in stages, and I took some clothes off in her bedroom, and let her be partially clothed for a while, then the next day we took off the rest of the clothes once she was in the bath. I also left her nappy on, until she was really happy with things.

    You can also add a stage (between 1 and 2) by putting the bucket of water on the bathroom floor and letting him play - but we didn't do that, because it would be so messy.


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