2 year old suddenly scared of bath time

(7 Posts)
MrsMcNulty Tue 23-Mar-10 10:54:50

I'm hoping someone here has some ideas as to what I can do to get my 2.2 year old DS back to loving his bath time! Up until last week he sat in it for ages playing and splashing, no issues. Then last week he started fretting about his bottom one night, which I suspect could be related to the fact that he once did a poo in the bath? This was months ago, and it distressed him at the time, but I thought he'd got over it as he hasn't mentioned it for ages.
Anyway, for the last two nights he has got a lot worse and has flatly refused to have his bath - as soon as his clothes have been off he's asked us to "hold" his bottom for him, and cried and screamed rather than going in the bath. We tried bath toys, bribes with his favourite treat, nothing worked. He stood in the bath (protesting the whole time) while I briefly sponged him down last night, that was it. Was so distressing for all of us.
I am already dreading bath time tonight, though of course I won't let that show. I have told him I am getting him some special bubbles for his bath tonight and he has said (this morning) that he will get in it. He loved his bath before this, help - what can I do?
Any ideas very gratefully received, thanks in advance!

rubyslippers Tue 23-Mar-10 11:07:48

you don't need to bath him every night

leave it for tonight and tomorrow get in the bath with him if he still feels anxious

alternatively, he could have a shower with you?

Kathyjelly Tue 23-Mar-10 11:09:56

Why don't you get in with him?

And if he does poo in the water, just tell him it doesn't matter, and show him how you need to clean the bath afterwards.

My ds is the same age and he's easiest to distract with looking at how things work.

MrsMcNulty Tue 23-Mar-10 11:31:56

thanks for the suggestions,

I tried getting in with him, ended up with me in the bath and him screaming in dad's arms...told me to get out of "his" bath! But still wouldn't get in it though.
Offered shower instead last night and got "no shower, no water" screamed back. As I said no fear of water before. I have explained about it doesn't matter if you poo in the bath we'll just clean it up etc.
so at wits end...
Have got a potty in there might also try getting him to sit on it before bath, not potty training yet but maybe if he does this he might feel fear of pooing in bath less?
Also, what about just plonking him in bath then distracting quickly?
am wiling to try anything, it used to be such a happy time for us all sad

LleytonsMummy Tue 23-Mar-10 11:57:46

Wish I could offer advice but my DS who is also 2.2 yrs has disliked the Bath for about a month now.. we do manage to bath him.. its the hair washing now which seems to freak him out. We stopped the bath for a week and just washed him at the basin with a flannel and it seemed to help a bit to take the pressure off.
We live by the seaside and my son has suddenly become really scared of the sea and the waves so I think maybe its a common thing this age to be scared of water... Hope they grow out of it soon..

MrsMcNulty Tue 23-Mar-10 16:51:28

thanks LleytonsMummy let's just hope it is a temporary fear of water - last night ds did scream "no shower, no water" at us, so maybe a more general fear has developed, for no particular reason...
ds has developed other fears recently - thunder being one, although he has only heard it (that he remembers) once, often checks if it's going to thunder then runs into my arms for reassurance. Maybe they're at that age where they like to be scared of something?
Fingers crossed both our ds's will get over it soon!

MrsMcNulty Thu 25-Mar-10 10:53:57

just to bump this a bit, in case anyone has any more ideas?

the problem is not the bath, it's the getting naked - he doesn't want us to take his nappy off! is OK when we change his nappy as long as we get a new one on quickly, but won't run round naked (which he used to love!) and is fretful, pleading "nappy ON!" whenever we take it off. we've managed to sponge him down and wash his hair while dangling him over the bath for the last few nights - think he's scared of uncontrolled pooing, particularly in the bath, obv not the water!
Have been reassuring him lots that pooing is nice/normal, his bottom is normal, not making a big deal of it - what else can we do?
We have offered him a potty to sit on but won't entertain the idea of sitting on it without clothes and nappy - though loves sitting on it fully clothed, pretending to do a poo!
any ideas how we can help him get over this?

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