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WIBU to put DD in her swimming costume for baths

(136 Posts)
NaviSprite Fri 18-Oct-19 13:14:29

Mum of Twins here DD and DS turn 2 next Monday.

DS is fine in the bath, except trying to find any way to climb out of it, he usually stays put just enough to get him cleaned properly.

DD however HATES the bath, she always has, the minute she feels the water against her she starts to cry, full on plaintive wailing and me and DH have tried everything we can think of as follows:

- Baby bath for a bit longer (she never liked the baby bath either so not much of a comfort for her)
- Baby bath in big bath.
- Me in bath with her
- DH in bath with her
- Toys in bath (that we let her choose)
- Letting her play with the water before putting her in.
- Lots of water play outside of the bathroom to get her more comfortable with water in general.
- Only putting the bare minimum of water into the bath so she’s not too immersed (she had breathing difficulties as a baby and I realised that fully sitting her in water distressed her).
-Bathing her in the Kitchen sink instead (in case the size of the bath or the slightly unfamiliar environment of the bathroom was frightening her).

We’ve being going at the slow, steady, fun, relaxed approaches for months and it’s the same every time, the moment her bottom hits the water she panics. Even if I sit her on me so she’s not in direct contact with the water, she panics.

My Mum recently bought her a swimming costume which DD hasn’t worn yet but she carries it everywhere like a blanket because she really likes it. DH thinks putting her in a swimming costume for a bath is a bit counterproductive as it won’t mean she’s fully washed, but as I’m usually the one who has to bathe the twins I’m the one who has to handle her obvious fear of it each time! (Not because DH doesn’t want to bathe them but during the weekdays he’s at work and usually I’ve had to get them in the bath before he gets home).

Is it worth trying to see if having that bit of a barrier between herself and the water helps?

Has anybody else any experience of a baby/toddler who seems to be terrified of bathing no matter what you do? I’m hoping that as she grows and her language develops a little bit more (she’s not yet able to talk except the odd phrase/word here or there, it’s still sentence like babbling) that she’ll get past her fear.

I now find myself dreading bathing her, but she’s in that incredibly messy phase of wiping her dinner all over herself (especially her hair!) so I can’t just do her a wash down as a compromise anymore.

I haven’t tried bathing both at the same time yet as I can barely manage to keep DS in place and don’t think I could safely have them both in there without DH to help wrangle them.

Sorry for the long winded moan about bathing a toddler - I’m having a bit of a stressful week and in the lead up to bath time this evening (and my period kicking in today) I’m feeling a little neurotic I guess?

TokyoSushi Fri 18-Oct-19 13:17:15

Yep totally worth a try, a shower might be worth a try too?

Hang in there and repeat 'it's just a phase, it will pass!'

PristineCondition Fri 18-Oct-19 13:19:52

Whatever works!

Mrsjayy Fri 18-Oct-19 13:20:37

You know what anything is worth a go nothing is too bonkers when trying tonget a toddler to agreegrin do you have both of them in the bathroom together maybe she could help bath her brother then he her? Or let her stand up in the bath get a jug and do it that way

NaviSprite Fri 18-Oct-19 13:20:40

I hadn’t thought about showering (I guess I automatically assumed that’d be even more stressful for her) - DD loves being out in the rain, she loves puddles and water play but baths just seem to be a big no from her 😂

Halo1234 Fri 18-Oct-19 13:21:11

Yeah if it works for sure do it. Have u tried a shower. Take the shower head down so it's not on her face and wash her down. Her hair would be hard but just something else to try incase u hadn't thought of it. She could even hold the shower head so she felt in control. Might need lots of towels though lol. Think u have tried lots of things and if a swimming costume is going to make her life and yours easy I would try it. Plus she is young they dont get smelly they way adults do anyway just need to get the dirty off.

SheShriekedShrilly Fri 18-Oct-19 13:21:16

In your (extensive) list I didn’t see standing in the bath and using a flannel / sponge and a bowl of warm water (ie no water in the bath, all separately in a bowl) to wash her. Maybe start with feet and work up, so she can get used to the feeling on her legs before you try doing her bottom (as that’s the bit that seems to distress her)?

I found a sponge for doing hair really helped at that age, too, as you can hold a lot of water in it, then squeeze and get their hair wet without them having to actually put their head in the water.

Spanglebangle Fri 18-Oct-19 13:21:33

Try it. You have nothing to lose. I would also try just standing her in the bath and sponging her down. Keep hair shortish so it doesn't require too much effort.

Mrsjayy Fri 18-Oct-19 13:22:13

Yes she might like the shower we brought the shower head down and justvhosed one of mine off when they went through this.

Lulualla Fri 18-Oct-19 13:22:26

Have you tried her in the shower? My oldest hated the bath but loved the shower so as soon as he could stand comfortably, I just started putting him in the shower.

ActualHornist Fri 18-Oct-19 13:22:27

Totally agree it’ll be fine and a good way to get her in - but do the the showers, my twins loved them at that age!

antisupermum Fri 18-Oct-19 13:24:28

You may have tried all of these, but some suggestions that come to mind:

Would she go in the bath naked if she got o hold the swimming costume security blanket? Could you make it a game of some sort like "this special blanket is DESIGNED for water, look how cool it is when all the water slides off"

Have you tried watching Little Mermaid, mermaid-themed cartoons and showing her that you get princesses who 8live* in the water and that it's actually really fun and nothing to be afraid of?

You get the bath lights from B&M for a couple pounds; how about the lights off, a couple of the glowy lights floating around, maybe some candles etc. Make it more of a sensory experience for her?

Maybe a bath bomb or salts if it could make bath time more of a "science experiment" and fun?

If all else fails I see no issue in bathing her wearing her costume

1busybee Fri 18-Oct-19 13:25:20

Have you tried sitting her in the bath empty then filling it with her in it?

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Fri 18-Oct-19 13:25:49

My DD only let me use the shower head on her after she turned 4! She used to cry and scream every time I washed her hair. It was awful and I really used to put off doing it as it was such a fucking palaver.
The day she let me use the shower was the easiest we've ever had it, and every time I wash her hair now she laughs and says 'Remember all the fuss we had before we used the shower!' grin

I sympathise. And I only had 1 to do!
Hope the shower/swimsuit works better for you.

NaviSprite Fri 18-Oct-19 13:26:10

She won’t stand in the bath yet - she just sort of sits there frozen and cries like a banshee (I know that sounds mean but my god the octaves she hits seem unearthly at times!)

Her DB is a bit of a streamroller and likes to climb ANYTHING so I could maybe try having him in the bath and DD outside of the bath to see he gets them too - having him outside of the bath whilst DD is in it would probably result in me having to stop him climbing in the toilet or up the sink (he can’t walk properly yet but my god can he climb!).

I think I’ll just tell DH to sod off and try it (in the most loving way of course 😂).

Goldrill Fri 18-Oct-19 13:26:32

We bribed ours with swimming goggles when they were small. Whatever works.

RolytheRhino Fri 18-Oct-19 13:26:41

Yes, try a shower first. What happens when you take her swimming?

Marcipex Fri 18-Oct-19 13:27:33

Totally agree with try standing her in the bath for a sponge down.
Also, don’t let her wipe dinner in her hair! No need for that at nearly two.

LannieDuck Fri 18-Oct-19 13:28:34

Try with the swim costume during the week - anything that makes it easier for you - and if DH doesn't think she's getting washed properly that way, he can give her a bath without the swimming costume at the weekend smile

pickleface Fri 18-Oct-19 13:28:55

What I do is fill the sink with water, get a sponge soapy and wet, stand my son in the empty bath and scrub him clean then rinse him off with a cup of the water at a time. Over in about 90 seconds.

But in answer to your question, I'd definitely try the cozzy!

Serin Fri 18-Oct-19 13:32:03

I think it has become an issue for her hasn't it.
I guess your swimming costume idea is worth a try but,
TBH I would totally back off for now and just give her a wash down for a few weeks.
Then maybe buy some exciting new bath toys that she can see her brother having a great time with.

NaviSprite Fri 18-Oct-19 13:32:10

I think shower is a good one to try before the costume and I like the idea of it being her special water blanket :D

She has watched a fair few underwater theme cartoons (Ponyo is our favourite) but I don’t know that she’s quite made the connection between that and real water yet.

She is very much an independent toddler so maybe giving her the shower head would be a good idea, after showing her how it works and what have you.

If all else fails then sponge downs will be the way forward until she gets past it! I am successful with sponge downs outside of the bathroom so I might just get the inflatable paddling pool in the living room and do it there as that’s her favourite space 😊 I’m just glad it’s not wholly unusual for the bath fear (I don’t have any other Mum friends IRL to ask sadly as I’m in a newish area and the local toddler groups are a bit too much for the twins as they’re developmentally delayed due to their prematurity and low birth weight).

NaviSprite Fri 18-Oct-19 13:34:11

@Marcipex she’s nearly two but both she and DS are developmentally delayed due to prematurity and low birth weight - should have covered that in my OP sorry! Sleep deprivation is turning me into a loon!

Starlight456 Fri 18-Oct-19 13:36:07

I would do whatever might work .

Other thing I didn’t see in list . A friend big mine used glow sticks in bath . Her kids loved it.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 18-Oct-19 13:36:58

My smallest dd would not have a bath until she was 1. She would scream and cling to me. We got a little bath chair that she could sit in, when she was about eighteen months old . That helped, but at first the only thing was me going in holding her close to me. Also wrapping her in a muslin, so the swimsuit may help.
You could also try warm water one of those rubber trugs/baskets on the floor, so she is only in an inch or so of water, and you are right next to her. Lots of toys too.

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