Bath Time Troubles — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Bath Time Troubles

wintersongwintersong member
edited April 2016 in Attachment Parenting
Right on schedule, Mr. 14 Months has decided he is TERRIFIED of the bath tub! He will thankfully let us give him showers, but he does NOT want to touch the bottom of the tub. He pulls up his little legs like we are lowering him into hit lava. This has been going on since Easter weekend, so I guess only a couple of weeks. We don't want to force him since he is obviously so afraid and since he'll let us wash him other ways. There doesn't seem to be a specific incident that caused this, something just clicked into pace resulting in fear.

My question is: what would you do to help ease him through this phase? 

Here is what we have done or are doing:
- when he acts uncomfirtable, assure him that I will keep him safe, and I will listen to him. (example: "You are saying no bath! I hear you." "I can hold you when you take a bath. You are safe.") 
- continue to draw a bath every three or four days and offer it as an option
- physically get in the tub and hold him on my lap or even nurse him in the tub (wouldn't stay latched, just whimpered, poor guy)
- buy a special toy that he picked out that he can only play with in the bath tub ( he is totally willing to stand by the tub and play with it but does NOT want to get in)
- put him in the tub while it's dry (nothing doing)
- do it anyway and hope he sees he is fine (This was our first solution. oy, the screaming. I will not be doing that again!)

My husband seems to think he needs a full bath every day (babies don't get tat dirty, lol), so we are definitely feeling different urgencies about the issue...hence my searching for ideas. I would normally just wait it out.


Does anytime have an idea for a book with a bathing theme? I already have shown him the Daniel tiger bedtime episode a few times and we "talked" about it.

Edited for typos.  Darn autocorrect!
BabyFruit Ticker

Re: Bath Time Troubles

  • No bites, huh?
     :* 
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • No experience my DD is only 4m and loves the bath, sounds like you are doing all the right things, stick with it this to shall pass.
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  • Sorry! Mine is only 5 months. I would maybe just not try to put him in the bath for a few weeks and then try again, but don't make a big deal about it just act like it's totally normal. You could also try making the bath water a fun color. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00009KWTB/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1460584204&sr=8-2&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=bath+water+color+tablets&dpPl=1&dpID=51RkJKdc5jL&ref=plSrch
    wintersong
  • Sorry! Mine is only 5 months. I would maybe just not try to put him in the bath for a few weeks and then try again, but don't make a big deal about it just act like it's totally normal. You could also try making the bath water a fun color. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00009KWTB/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1460584204&sr=8-2&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=bath+water+color+tablets&dpPl=1&dpID=51RkJKdc5jL&ref=plSrch
    Lol. With my luck id end up with a purple baby.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Haha. Yeah.. That might be hard to explain. Sorry! I gave it my best shot.
    wintersong
  • My first kid went through a phase like this and it passed. I just bathed him really, really quickly and then got him out and cuddled him until he was calm.
    wintersong
  • I am a push over I would have my LO in a water ring sling to get him reacquainted with it all and use a reward system to build him back up. 
  • I didn't deal with this particular fear, but I did deal with other toddler things that were similar.  I think the strategies you are using will help, but the main thing is time.

    Is it being lowered down into the big, shiny, slippery tub that is the problem, or is it actually being dipped in water?

    If it's the tub itself, maybe get a baby pool that looks different and hit him with a little soap while he's in the baby pool?  If it's water, try just sponge baths for a while.  Let him hang out naked in the bathroom and just wipe him down with a wash cloth?

    This, too, shall pass.


    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
    wintersong
  • Wow, I totally forgot about this!!
    Update: we pretty much just have him showers for a few weeks to prvent the tub from becoming a thing. Then I have him a couple of baths a week sitting on my lap. He love's baths again now. :) (he is now 18 months.)
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Good job, mama! I was about to write something empathetic and hopefully helpful, but I'm glad to hear that is over. :) 
    wintersong
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