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Toddler suddenly refusing baths - should I keep trying?

(13 Posts)
Pogger Mon 04-Apr-11 20:01:44

DD is 20 months old and, until about 3 weeks ago, loved bathtime. Recently she's refused, point blank, to have a bath. A couple of times at the beginning I put her in anyway, assuming that she'd be fine once she was in - but she cried & got really upset until I took her back out. If she's obviously not enjoying it, it seems pointless to do it - I do give her a wash if she's grubby. She only has a few words (NO being one, which she uses a lot!) so I can't ask her what the matter is.

She's had a couple of episodes of nappy rash recently and I wonder whether it was sore once or twice when she sat down in the water, and she now associates the bath with that. Or am I just over-thinking it and she's actually just being a toddler?!

Either way, do you think I should just let it lie for now and stop trying completely, or should I keep offering (or even putting her in the bath despite the protestation?) My instinct is to leave it until she's ready to start again, but part of me worries in case that never happens again and I'm making the whole thing worse by not trying!

Any thoughts gratefully received.

OP’s posts: |
WickedPlans Mon 04-Apr-11 20:08:28

I think I would try to find some other way of washing her for the short term.
Do you take her swimming. If we get a warm day, can you have a bit of water play outside?
You could try a bit of playtime in the bath without any water, so she gets used to it being fun again.
I think you should trust your instincts not to push this too much at the moment.

kitbit Mon 04-Apr-11 20:17:46

Yep ds did this it's very common! What WP said it'll pass, till then do stabdup washes and swimming. I used to fill the kitchen sink and let ds sit on the side and dangle his feet in. Then he took to standing in it abd so on. For the moment the bath itself is the problem so just avoid it for the time being. Don't force it, pick your battles

Cattleprod Mon 04-Apr-11 20:21:37

Do you have a shower? DS wasn't very keen on baths, so one day I put him into the shower with his dad, and he loved it! Now they shower together nearly every day.

Again Mon 04-Apr-11 20:57:33

This happened to ds too. I think it had to do with worrying about weeing in the bath

Ktay Mon 04-Apr-11 21:03:37

DD (nearly 23 months) is going through similar at the moment - it's been going on for about a week now. I think she's scared it's too slippery. I keep making a big deal out of putting the rubber mat in securely and then she will usually let me stand her on it on the pretext of checking the temperature (I will already have checked obv). Once she's at that point, she usually (v. gingerly) sits down and then has a great time. I always make a big fuss of her for being brave and having a bath even though she was a bit scared. I definitely wouldn't force the issue but you could always give this a go.

HattiFattner Mon 04-Apr-11 21:04:17

my son was scared he would fall down the plug hole. awwww! We bought a large plastic box, put lots of bubbles in it, and plenty of toys and he was happy. We progressed to putting the box in the bath, then the box in a bath of water, and eventually he got out the box. Took several months but he got over the fear of the bath.

notcitrus Mon 04-Apr-11 21:04:35

Promising bubbles once in (and more bubbles once hair washed, then more after getting out and dressed) worked with ds.
He still doesn't like the getting in but loves it once in (except the hair wash).

trumpton Mon 04-Apr-11 21:13:14

And never ever ever pull the plug out while they are still in the bath. Especially if you sing " Guggle's gonna get yah !!. Guggle's gonna get yah !!" Thanks DH for traumatising DS when he was 2 years old.

Pogger Tue 05-Apr-11 20:26:02

Thanks all!

Good to know that it's not just DD and that it's not too uncommon at this age. Tonight we had a bit more luck - in the sense that she didn't run away from me shouting NO MUMMY at the top of her voice - and spent a bit of time playing with a big bowl of water in the bathroom. Will keep going with that for a bit and will try the shower idea too at the weekend.

Thanks again.

OP’s posts: |
simpson Tue 05-Apr-11 20:36:51

Ds went through the same thing at around this age when he pooed in the bath <<boak>>

it took a few wks but what did help was running the bath as normal but making it clear he did not have to sit down if he did not want to and also I bought him some bath crayons and once he used them he forgot he was scared and sat down in the water iyswim.

babyjane67 Tue 05-Apr-11 21:15:12

dds gone thru the same.loved it til she found bit of fluff in bath&freaked!
so i shower her now.its still bit hit&miss sometimes but shes loads better than the bath so just sticking with it for while

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