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2 year old goes mad when I try to give her a bath - any advice?

(28 Posts)
inadreamworld Sat 20-Jul-13 17:26:24

My 2 year old DD HATES having a bath and spends the whole time screaming and upset, trying to get out of the bath. She was OK until she was about a year old, then started to cry a bit once when she got some shampoo in her eyes, but for the last few months she has just gone ballistic every time.

I have bought special no tears shampoo, a special eye sheild so the water doesn't get in her eyes - but she struggles so much that the water ends up getting on her face anyway. I have got bath toys - nothing works - any advice, will she grow out of this?? I took her swimming when she was about a year old and she was OKish - haven't taken her since.

babySophieRose Wed 24-Jul-13 09:20:44

My DD does not want to go in the bath if there is even a little water in it. So we do not fill the bath anymore, just leave the taps running and wash her. She likes it as she plays filling some caps with water and splashing it around.

MoelFammau Tue 23-Jul-13 17:56:48

DD was the same. Loved it til.. 20 months I think. Then had a freak out about hair washing and would fight to get out of the bath. So I stopped giving her baths and scrubbed her with a flannel on the bath mat for a few months. Now she's fine with baths.

Take the fear away. I think they get into a looped panic where the real reason of the fear gets lost over time. So break that and start afresh, I reckon. Worked for me, anyway.

inadreamworld Tue 23-Jul-13 08:19:21

Sweep - thanks - will look in to that - DD loves bubbles!!

Snowgirl1 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:29:17

Our 18 month old DD also resists bath time, although I think it's partly because she knows that the next step is bed, so bathtime means the end of fun iyswim. In the last week or so I've found that getting in the bath with her has helped. Not totally in - even just sitting on the edge with my feet in has seemed to work.

SweepTheHalls Sun 21-Jul-13 21:56:21

Bath bubble machine got us over this phase. Something like this Search-_-Plusbox-_-Link-_-SummerInfantBathTimeBubbleMakerBlueandWhite&cm_mmc=bmm-_-google-_-Boots+Beauty-_-Beauty+-+PLAs

inadreamworld Sun 21-Jul-13 21:41:30

superbagpuss - have tried without washing her hair, was slightly less screaming at first but now it makes no difference

sunnyupnprth - she likes watching dd2 aged 6 months in the bath and keeps telling me to bath dd2 in fact. then i ask does she want a bath and she says no of course

leelteloo - that's interesting - she does like looking in the bath and naming the parts eg pkug. taps etc so will try explaining what happens.

purpledolphin - i haven't noticed any dislike of wearing textures of clothng but interesting all the same

Lots of great ideas on this thread that i haven't tried - will try the playing in the bath with no water then adding water and also getting in the bath myself. If all fails then will just wash her down until she gets over it. Unless that takes ten years in which case we might have a problem!!!

iliketea Sun 21-Jul-13 16:23:22

DD did this at about 2, having loved her bath to suddenly hating it.

In the end, we got her baby bath out, and put it in the big bath, with water only in the small bath. After a few weeks, she decided she wanted to go back in the main bath again. It was as if she was scared of the big bath for a few weeks.

Have you tried getting in the bath with her? I got in one day at her bath time and made a big thing of how much fun I was having and she asked to get in with me.

MrsShrek3 Sun 21-Jul-13 16:19:16

all three of my dc went through this at the same age. with one (dc3) we went back to the baby bath, inside the 'big bath' so she had an exit route. with the first two we jist washed them instead most of the time and occasionally left a shallow bath with toys in....then they'd ask to go in it wink grin

Twinklestarstwinklestars Sun 21-Jul-13 16:18:41

I am a cm and had to bath a mindee and she screamed the house down, the only way you could wash her hair was of she held onto the handles and tipped her head in backwards so it didn't go on her eyes at all. I very very rarely use shampoo or soap on my ds'.

MaMattoo Sun 21-Jul-13 16:13:02

HV advised my friend to put baby with 1cm water, toys, and not wet her face/head at all. Give that some time and it might work..??

SunnyUpNorth Sun 21-Jul-13 15:51:30

Hi inadreamworld,
Your post sounds v familiar. Here is a post I started a few months ago.

In the end I decided to just completely stop trying to give her a bathing back off. She loved watching ds in the bath, so of I could I would give her a quick sponge bath whilst she was standing next to the bath.

I think there are loads of good ideas on your thread, and it is just a case of trying a few difference things and seeing what the key is for your dd.

For us in the end what worked was buying a non slip clear bathmat from amazon that has lots of brightly coloured fish on it. I showed it to her and then put it in the bath. She then wanted to play in the bath (no water), then suggested putting in a tiny tiny bit if water etc and built it up over a few days. Also she worked out that she could climb in herself and she loved that. Once she has her first proper bath again she was absolutely fine and now has a bath most nights again and with her brother ( we did them on her own initially).

It was probably about 4 or 5 months of trying everything before she just suddenly was fine again. Everyone said to back off, but I still kept trying! In the end deciding it wasnt worth the fight and waiting for her to be ready worked best.

haloflo Sun 21-Jul-13 14:02:54

My 2 yo DD hates the bath until she is in. We struggle with hair washing so do it infrequently. As soon as we mention the bath she says "hair" "no"

Things that help: climbing in by herself (with a step and me holding her hand) A choice of bubble bath (she can put in herself) New toys or toys which shouldn't be in the bath. Bubble hats/beards. Washing her sister (dolly could work) Squirty toys (these get her hair wet too so helps keep it clean)

My mum takes a no nosense approach which works for her (not me though - i get a tantrum!)

We always run one (to wash baby) and try to coax her in but if she doesnt want one we don't force and just wash her face and bum with flannels before we get her pjs on.

I don't want to make it an issue and I don't think they need one every day anyway.

purpledolphin Sat 20-Jul-13 22:26:15

Do you have any other issues, like disliking certain texture of clothing refusing to wear a hat etc. If so she may be tactile defensive.... If that is the case then a firm but gentle touch may help, also check out the temperature.... I am sure you will check to make sure its safe but my DD had different temperature sensation to me and chose for quite a long time to have baths that I would have viewed as cold.... used to run a warm bath and then add cold until she was happy with the temperature.... hope you get it sorted.....if she can have a shower or a good strip wash that may be your answer as long as she is clean a bath is not essential!

redwellybluewelly Sat 20-Jul-13 22:01:04

Wayer babies call it the water wobbles buy mu three yr old has certainly be through several bath hating phaees. Usually triggered by something eg a poo accident but only way to get ober them is patience. I bath with her to help her relax again.

Luckily in this hot weather we're backnin oove with a bath but never straight before bed (they wake her up hmm she has hers before dinner.

MoreSnowPlease Sat 20-Jul-13 22:00:36

How about a shower instead so you can direct the water so it only goes on her body and not her head or face for a while?won't hurt to have dirty hair, or just wash with water and no shampoo? Probably doesn't need it yet anyway?

headinhands Sat 20-Jul-13 21:52:26

Bowl of warm water and flannel. Wipe her down while she's watching her favourite programme?

leelteloo Sat 20-Jul-13 21:41:56

Children around this age struggle with certain perceptions and can fear that they can get sucked down the plug hole like the water. Maybe explain really carefully about the water, where it come from where it goes and that only water can go down. Get her to play in the bath with the plug, taking it out, putting it in and a dolly and shown how dolly is left after water has gone.

cece Sat 20-Jul-13 21:23:56

Ban her from having a bath. You'll be surprised at how much she'll want one if she is not allowed one, wink

MiaowTheCat Sat 20-Jul-13 21:22:02

Maybe she's tired? Try earlier and don't react if she kicks off.

We quite often (especially in this weather to give them a calmer, less cranky and hot start to the day) do baths in the morning instead of the traditional "bedtime" bath. DD1 in particular (our resident reformed bath-hater) seems much happier doing things that way around.

Edendance Sat 20-Jul-13 20:40:54

Persevere with it and she'll soon come around. Show her that splashing is fun, recommend swimming again as well- for many reasons.

CreatureRetorts Sat 20-Jul-13 18:30:45

Maybe she's tired? Try earlier and don't react if she kicks off.

nextphase Sat 20-Jul-13 18:28:20

Mine only get shampoo on their hair when covered in suncream or food, so I'd stop with the shampoo for a bit, if you can. We also rarely use soap, due to eczema.

What happens if you put her, and some toys in the bath, but no water?? And if thats OK, maybe try a little (like a cm) of water.

I doubt it would work, but mine love a shower with me. Might she go in the shower with you?? Or, maybe in the bath with you might be a better idea?

MiaowTheCat Sat 20-Jul-13 18:11:33

Those wind up toys that "swim" around the bath were the tipping point with DD1 deciding to stop hating the bath.

RustyBear Sat 20-Jul-13 17:39:26

My DS started screaming at the bath at about the same age. I never found out why, so in the end I just didn't bath him - just washed him sitting in my lap on a towel.

He got over it when DD started having baths in the big bath and he saw her having fun in the bath, but he was never massively keen. When he was 3.5 we moved to a house with a shower and he loved it from the start - I don't think he's had a bath since!

superbagpuss Sat 20-Jul-13 17:37:16

can you let her have a bath without washing her hair, just let her play with the water and her toys?

have you got a shower taps thing to use, maybe let her play with it?

and we do lots of singing in the bath , and use bath paints if they wash their hair nicely

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