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Any suggestions to make bath time less of a screamathon for 7 week old DS?

(32 Posts)
peedieworky Tue 12-Jul-11 10:34:24

Hi all,

My DS is 7 weeks old and hates being bathed. I'd hoped it would ease as he got older (& became less stressed out by things like nappy changes etc) but while he's happy & content with most things, he still screams himself into a daze in the bath. We had been bathing him just once or twice a week (at most) as it was so horrid and I did try increasing the frequency to see if he got used to it better but gave up as it seemed to be having little effect. We have a moulded baby bath so he should feel well supported and I am careful to hold him securely and even lean right over him to kiss his head & reassure him when he's in there but am not sure if that helps or if is just by that stage he's screamed to a point of exhaustion. At the moment he usually goes to bed around 7pm so I was trying to bath him around 6.30pm - before bed, catching him before he gets too grumpy but what ends up happening is he screams and holds his breath so badly that once I finish the bath he's too tired to take a feed so is put to bed wiped out and he'll then wake about 30mins later when I can feed him and settle him back again.

Everyone tells me he'll grow out of it but I dread bath time and would appreciate any suggestions for how I might make it less traumatic for him. I had wondered about bathing him in the morning when he tends to be at his cheeriest but have yet to pluck up the courage... Spot the big softie Mummy blush

Ineedcake Tue 12-Jul-11 10:42:15

Hi peedieworky

My DS was the same and I found it very stressful! What helped us was either my DH or I having a bath with him, so we could cuddle him close, get him used to the water and also get lots of nice skin to skin. DS never seemed that keen on his little baby bath but I think accepted it after a while (foggy memory!).

Bathing at a different time certainly worth a go too I would think!

AMumInScotland Tue 12-Jul-11 10:43:52

Some of them do just hate baths!

Don't feel you need to do it more often - as long as you keep both ends clean, baths aren't really that necessary.

Do try it in the morning - he might be in a better mood to face it then. He'll probably start to like it better as he gets bigger and can splash about.

snailoon Tue 12-Jul-11 10:48:02

For heaven's sake, take a bath with him. You get in the bath and let him lie on you looking at you with your legs supporting his head. Babies LOVE bathing like this, and I think they are reminded of being inside you. This used to calm our 3 kids down when they were upset, and it is lovely.

PrettyCandles Tue 12-Jul-11 10:56:41

Deeper and warmer. When we followed the midwife's instructions of two inches of warm water, our babies screamed blue murder. As soon as we made the baths deeper and warmer, they calmed down and began to enjoy their baths. Try putting his baby bath in the big tub, and filling it brimful with warm water. Dip your elbow in the water to test, it should be cosily warm, not tepid.

You don't need to wash every day, topping and tailing is generally enough at this age.

Bathing earlier in the day, when he is not tired, could help.

Having him in the bath with you can help (and is fun grin, just make sure you have someone available to take him while you get out of the bath). If you're breastfeeding, you can also feed him in the bath with you.

Congratulations smile

peedieworky Tue 12-Jul-11 11:00:19

Thanks for all the advice folks. Unfortunately snailnoon - your rather exasperated "for heaven's sake" point isn't as obvious as it may seem. We don't have a bath - and while I'm fairly petite built, there aint no way I can squeeze my butt in a baby bath grin

peedieworky Tue 12-Jul-11 11:08:59

(I should add - we are getting one put in! Previous owners had ridiculous corner thing took gallons and hours to fill. Sense need to up the urgency on replacing it)

snailoon Tue 12-Jul-11 11:10:29

I'm sorry I sounded exasperated. Stupid of me. I really am sorry.

BlooCowWonders Tue 12-Jul-11 11:11:44

Take a break from bathing. It'll do his skin good and be less stressful for you.

Babies don't get dirty like toddlers, and you're already cleaning his bottom probably a dozen times a day!

Give yourself a break, and when you're ready, do a morning bath.

peedieworky Tue 12-Jul-11 12:09:00

Don't fret snailoon - I have thicker skin than that!!

Marabou Tue 12-Jul-11 12:27:35

Hey,

I'm not sure if this is much help for you, but my 9-week-old DS is the same; he really doesn't like bathssad.. But I've realised that most times it helps to feed him a little bit before his bath so he won't be crying of hunger. Then after his bath he gets a nice gentle massage with baby oil and I top up with a feed and he usually falls asleep on the breast. It doesn't always help, but I'd say 8 times out of 10.. We've even noticed that sometimes it's hard for him to fall asleep in the evenings without his bath routine, as he's become used to it. Although nowadays, his sleep routine is a bit of a mess..

Best of luck!

PrettyCandles Tue 12-Jul-11 12:29:55

You can still take him into the shower with you, if you like. Make sure it's running at a comfortable temperature before you get in, and cuddle the baby securely - they get very slippery when both of you are wet! Bathing or showering with your baby really is a pleasurable experience, and you both get so much from the skin-to-skin.

Octaviapink Tue 12-Jul-11 12:53:44

I really wouldn't bother with baths - both my DCs had about one bath a month until they were old enough to sit up on a non-slip bath mat. Topping and tailing (and hands-feet-and-facing) is plenty for a small being that isn't actually getting dirty!

wearymum200 Tue 12-Jul-11 14:58:16

Having baths with my bath averse DS1 when he was about 4 months old finally got him to like it. Before that, I just bathed hime once in a blue moon, but with thorough top and tailing night and morning. It will pass, but it might take quite a long time!

Pannacotta Tue 12-Jul-11 15:05:41

Don't bother!
SMall babies dont like baths (and dont need them really as they dont get sirty), give him a top and tail wash with a warm flannel, much easier and less stressful.

bumpybecky Tue 12-Jul-11 15:08:07

does he have a dummy? my ds screamed the place down every bath time until I let him have a dummy to suck in the bath. He still had a very concerned look on his face but he had his dummy so no screaming!

minkiemoo Tue 12-Jul-11 15:11:05

Agree with prettycandles - deeper and warmer. This worked for both my dds. After dd2 was born I was told to have a bath in just a couple of inches of warm water - and believe me it was miserable and if I could have screamed to voice my displeasure I certainly would have done.

Also bathing earlier between feeds so it's more like playtime is good fun.

Hope it goes well!

heavydutyjudy Tue 12-Jul-11 16:03:59

I woulso also recommend a tummy tub (or bucket if you don't want to fork out) - my DS hated baby bath but loved his tummy tub as he sat upright, fairly enclosed and with warm water right up to his shoulders...

BionicEmu Tue 12-Jul-11 16:07:15

My DS was the same. Not sure what your baby bath's like, but I bought this bath support www.amazon.co.uk/Tigex-Bath-Support-Pearlised-White/dp/B000NI5MKC
just put it in the bath and DS became a different baby! Ended up loving baths. Oddly enough, it was the only seat he'd ever sit in. Hated all bouncy chairs, later hated the bumbo, but loved to sit in the bath support. I did make the water a bit deeper and warmer too though, everybody I know's done that. Good luck.

Steeplearningcurve Tue 12-Jul-11 18:52:31

My 10 week old DD doesn't like baths either- and for some reason especially hates it when we use a washing up bowl at my parents house rather than the baby bath at home! I now usually give her a good wash with a flannel while she is on her changing mat. I keep her vest on as long as possible than cover her with a towel while I do the rest and she really enjoys it, so much so I now do this morning and night. I actually think I can make sure she is cleaner this way as I'm not worrying about her slipping.

Now she can hold her head up m working up the courage to take her in the bath with me...

peedieworky Tue 12-Jul-11 19:05:30

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. prettycandles I bit the bullet and tried the shower tonight and he was pretty settled throughout! Phew! Still wont be rushing to do it very often but relieved it was less frantic than the bath... bionicemu the bath we have is moulded into that kinda shape but he hates it! Think your bath heavydutyjudy might be more his style!

ThingOne Tue 12-Jul-11 19:07:39

I'll add my voice to the "don't bother" camp. My DS2 hated the bath so I stopped bathing him. I cleaned the dirty bits. He didn't have a bath regularly until he was about six months old. He needed it "warmer and deeper" and wanted to swim.

I think it's useful to be able to bath them by the time they start on solids as they have a cunning way of hiding spare food in skin folds that you miss when you clean them up after a meal. But before that they don't really get dirty.

It's good for the skin too, as long as you keep them clean, as it stops it drying out.

peedieworky Tue 12-Jul-11 19:17:56

Yay! Been feeling guilty about my boy rarely being bathed so thanks for the reassurances all grin

Momo36 Tue 12-Jul-11 19:35:37

My DD also did not like bathing in the evening and I ended up bathing her in the morning for quite some time. She actually begun to enjoy her baths! I did not do it every day at the beginning either. Now she's 8 months old and we do it every night as part of her routine. Try doing it in the morning - it helped me for sure!

HappyAsASandboy Wed 13-Jul-11 07:31:33

I had the same problem, Jo just sponged my babies down on the nappy mat each morning. Lying on a towel, or on the gro bag they'd just cone out of.

At 8.5 months, bathtime has just become fun :-) So mow they have a bath most days instead of a slinging every few days.

Don't feel the need to bath regularly while they're small - just wash the dirty bits!

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