18mo suddenly hates the bath! Help!

(21 Posts)
pipnchops Mon 09-May-16 20:04:35

My 18mo DD used to love bath time and it was part of her bedtime routine every night until a few weeks ago when she started to hate it, now we just bath her twice a week but she screams and cries the whole way through and won't sit down. I feel awful cleaning her while she cries and looks pleadingly at me to take her out, but she needs to be cleaned! I feel so cruel and I'm hoping this is just a phase. Does anyone have any experience of this and any tips to make her like it again? We have toys in the bath and nothing has happened or changed to my knowledge that would have suddenly made her hate the bath so much.

pterobore Mon 09-May-16 20:08:36

Have you tried getting in the bath with her? The same thing happened to me with my child at the same age. I stopped bathing her every night and I got in the bath with her when she did have a bath. It lasted about a fortnight or so until she started to enjoy them again.

PinkParsnips Mon 09-May-16 20:11:23

This happened with my DD. She saw me take the plug out one day and was frightened she was "sinking"!
I got her some new bath toys / bath crayons etc. and it passed after a few weeks.

KP86 Mon 09-May-16 20:13:29

Any chance she's got nappy rash which is making bath time painful?

pipnchops Mon 09-May-16 20:14:59

Thanks, that's encouraging! I'll try getting in the bath with her too. It's definitely not a fear of water as I take her swimming every week and she loves that. Must be just a phase then, fingers crossed!

pipnchops Mon 09-May-16 20:16:12

No, no nappy rash, a bit of excema but she's had that a while and it's much better than it was.

thatorchidmoment Mon 09-May-16 20:22:04

I have a friend whose daughter went ballistic every bath time and it was literally a two-person job to stop her hurting herself while she had a quick wash. I loaned her my tummy tub (her daughter was almost 2 but small), and magically bath time became serene and lovely! It's basically a bucket, so your toddler could stand in it while you ablute the necessary bits, or sit if she is quite wee. They are about £20 new, but gumtree etc seem to have them going cheaply a lot.

daisydalrymple Mon 09-May-16 20:26:20

Try a morning bath on the weekend, see if that makes a difference? Just to find out if it's the bath or too tired?

hungryheidi Mon 09-May-16 20:29:34

This happened with my little girl as well, at about the same age. I think it was after she did a poo in the bath, which freaked her out! I ended up only bathing her once or twice a week and getting in with her. Even with me in the bath she would cling to me and cry, but at least she wasn't trying to climb out. I found blowing bubbles and singing songs helped a bit (distraction!), as did making the bath really shallow. She eventually got over it and thankfully now loves baths again!!! For us her bath phobia lasted about 3 months. Good luck....I'm sure it's just a phase!

twocatsandatoddler Mon 09-May-16 20:31:00

My DS (17 months) has just started doing this too. He screams and screams and I can't work out why as he used to love bath time. He was happily splashing around in his paddling pool yesterday saying 'bath, bath'! It's a bit upsetting as he's in nursery 4 days a week and bath time is the only real fun time we get together most weekdays.

pipnchops Mon 09-May-16 20:47:03

Thanks again for you replies, lots of stuff to try there and we will hopefully pass this phase soon. Hope you do too twocatsandatoddler flowers

HippyPottyMouth Mon 09-May-16 20:56:05

My DD did this at about the same age and it turned out she was frightened because the bath was slippy. I took her to Dunelm to choose a non-slip rubber mat and she's been fine ever since.

AntiHop Mon 09-May-16 20:57:51

This happened with my dd at a similar age. Up until that point she had loved bath time. I could only strip wash her for a while. I then used some bath crayons to coax her back in to the bath and see seemed to forget about her bath hatred.

jellycat1 Mon 09-May-16 21:17:30

Weird! That happened to my DS too. Lasted about 4 weeks. I just sang at him over the crying and he got over it!

jellycat1 Mon 09-May-16 21:18:24

Oh and yes the fisher price non slip mat is great.

AdelesBeard Mon 09-May-16 21:21:45

Second the poster who said check for nappy rash/sore bottom. Otherwise just give her hose down with a shower attachment until she gets over it - baths aren't compulsory.

kiki22 Mon 09-May-16 21:36:50

My DS goes through phases of not liking the bath when he doesn't like it I wash him in the kitchen sink, I think forcing him in the bath just carries it on usually after a week or so he forgets he doesn't like the bath and goes back in.

ODog Tue 10-May-16 13:26:53

My DS went through a phase of this because I ran a bath too hot once - bad mummy . It took a while but we just took all the pressure off. It was summer time so we always had soapy bowls of water in the garden with lots of toys in to play with and sort of scrubbed him as he played so he didn't realise he was being bathed. Also DH and I had lots of baths ourselves and just let him potter about while we we were in there. Lots of over the top singing and playing while he watched and one day he just decided he wanted in with me and was fine from then on.

Topsyloulou Tue 10-May-16 19:34:26

DS did this at about 10 months. It became impossible to give him a bath but he would happily have a shower. He's now 19 months & I can count on one hand the number of baths he's had since then. Shower is much easier & quicker all round. He only has a shower every other night unless he is particularly messy after dinner.

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 10-May-16 19:43:13

Same thing with my DS at 22mo - went from bath loving to bath hating overnight. I had a large plastic baby bath which he can still (just) fit in which he is fine with so we have a quick wash in that every night now, he loves it. Don't think it is worth forcing them to do something they are fearful of when there are alternatives.

If he was just acting up it'd be different but DS seems genuinely scared - cries and clings to me - so just seems cruel to persevere.

LostMyBaubles Tue 10-May-16 19:50:22

Ds2 who is nearly3 is doing this atm.

Ive got him to stop crying by splashing cars in the bath and singing daddy finger where are you as loud as I can
he wont sit down yet but fx

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