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3 year old scared of bath time

(8 Posts)
Maia290 Tue 29-Apr-14 19:03:31

My son used to love being in the bath in the past, he then got scared when we where washing his head, and he didn't want us to wash it, I think it is because some water was going on his eyes, we tried to wash his hair trying to avoid water going on his eyes by asking him to move the head backwards (like in the hairdresser). He is now scared of the whole bath time, he doesn't want to enter in the bath at all, he screams and kicks, and basically 'fights' with us, this has happened just recently, the other day I went in the bath with him and he was very happy and playful but I thought it may not be a good idea to carry on doing that as he will become dependent on me going with him, so I have stopped going in with him, and he is again screaming saying he doesn't want to go to the bath, and recently goes into a 'shock' mode, fighting with us kicking his legs, we basically need to force him to go, he was very angry splashing water out of the bath, completely mad!
Have you got any advice on what can we do? has this happened to you?

carolinementzer Wed 30-Apr-14 07:46:28

Hiya, just a few thoughts....You need to break the cycle of him being fearful. If it makes him less scared when you go in - I'd continue that for a few weeks until he's comfy again and then (making no big deal about it) one day just not get in. when you're in the bath together you could make a big deal of washing a toy's hair and putting a flannel over the toys eyes so soap doesn't go in. I even let my daughter wash my hair a few times to show her it's fine. That helped alot. Good luck

Gen35 Wed 30-Apr-14 10:31:54

I agree with Caroline, dd goes through phases, I let her have baths without any hair washing so it's not all about the hair, she washes my hair, toys hair, the dog's fur (in the shower) and we introduced a special 2 flannel system. She also likes laying back in my arms and dunking her hair. I only wash it once a week as more than that she kicks off a lot. If she's really upset I just wet it a bit and try next time. I would back off for a while - get a short haircut so it doesn't matter as much too.

Gen35 Wed 30-Apr-14 10:33:03

Also, do you bath in the morning? Night time when exhausted didn't work out so well, we often do it in the morning as she's more receptive then.

fififrog Wed 30-Apr-14 11:01:26

DD is 3 and goes through phases of not liking the bath. Various reasons such as water in eyes, not liking sound of the water running, generally not wanting one... We're fairly relaxed about it and it has always passed quite quickly though I am sure that has little to do with our cunning strategies and more just chance. I have a bath with her once a fortnight or so - i think it's fun - generally if she's particularly reluctant I'll offer to go in with her or stick in some bubble bath or something. We try to get her to have one every other day, and postpone if she is particularly knackered as then it is a nightmare. she is much better about it than when it was every night. If she does kick and scream at the last minute, we just dunk her in and give her a 30s rinse and wipe a flannel over her face and get her out again ASAP.

Also, don't worry about hair washing - we wash her hair about once every 3 months because there doesn't seem to be any need to do it more often. she has gorgeous long hair that people always comment on so unless your kid particularly dunks his head in mud or rubs custard in it i'd say you can go easy on the hair washing!

Kissmequick123 Thu 01-May-14 22:51:50

Get in the bath with him?

Jaffakake Thu 01-May-14 23:19:40

We're at this stage again. Last time, 6 months ago, it was kicked off by him pooing in the bath. It took 2 weeks & tonnes of distraction & new toys to get past it. This time, following another poo incident, even though it was handled much better by Dad, we're back at square one.

They start off being genuinely scared, but then seemingly just get used to making noise in the bath! We insist every other day, as he's still in nappies, but just let him have a good wash on the other days.

I've tried everything, bribery & chocolate included, but am just waiting it out at the moment.

Charlotteamanda1 Fri 02-May-14 02:57:48

I would continue having baths with him to brake the cycle. Get him to wash your hair. Pour water on your head, a dolls head. See if he will pour water on himself start with arms then shoulders. After a couple of weeks you get out the bath and leave him in alone for 5 mins. Then get out earlier and work backwards. Let him choose toys to take in. Bubbles usually goes down well. I hope that helps a little.

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