Bath time and water in general — The Bump
Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Bath time and water in general

My daughter is terrified of water. To the point of when I mention taking a bath she starts to shake. She will be 2 in a week. I don't know what to do to make it less terrifying to her. It's to the point her "bath" consists of her standing in the bath tub while I was her down with a wash rag. While she is crying the entire time. Then washing her hair in the sink with her sobbing and shaking. Last summer she loved the water.  We went to the pool and splash park and she had a blast. But about 6-7 months ago she was suddenly hated to take a bath or get her hair or face wet. I have tried taking a bath with her, having her girl cousins who are the same age as her bath with her, having toys in the bath. Nothing works! Does anyone have any suggestions to make it easier for her.

Re: Bath time and water in general

  • Just go quick. My first child went through that and luckily it passed but we just did baths as quickly as we could. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
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  • karlimonsterkarlimonster member
    edited May 2016
    That sounds really rough! My first thought was bathe/shower with her, but you've done that. The other thing I thought of was exposure therapy for phobias. Something like reading books about bath time/water for a day or two, then bathing with wipes, then washcloths, letting her watch you bathe, etc and on and on until you're finally in the bath, but damn what a long process. Good luck! 

    Edit: Also, maybe there is a way for her to be around water without the pressure of bathing or touching it.
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  • Does she have a plastic doll that can safely get wet? You could practice giving the doll a bath, with her help. (Or a rubber duck, or whatever you she has). Start out with just you doing it, and then ask her questions. "Hm, baby is dirty, where is the soap? Can you find a washcloth?" Etc...  That way, she doesn't have to touch the water at first, but is still helping and watching. My daughter does better with a lot of things that she's nervous about if her doll does them first.  
  • That makes sense. I will have to try that. We do something similar at the chiropractor. She has gone to the chiropractor since birth and got to the point she didn't like "strangers". My chiro is great though. We had brought her stuffed Pluto that day. Long story short...Pluto now gets adjusted first every month and she no longer cries when it's her turn. She even "helped" adjust Pluto this month.
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