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Help - 18 month DS refuses to wash!

(12 Posts)
mumbleboo Wed 29-Aug-07 10:29:33

He will not go near the bath/shower/flannel! He used to absolutely love his bathtimes, and about 3 months ago he switched to being totally terrified overnight - nothing happened, he didn't fall in or anything like that, i have absolutely no idea where it came from.

Anyway we stopped bathing him to avoid him getting more scared, switched to a paddling pool with lots of toys downstairs, no success there either. Then tried just a washing up bowl of warm bubbly water which he plays with while i clean him with a flannel but that only worked for a couple of days. Currently i am just dunking him under the shower for 10 seconds about one a fortnight when he starts to be to grubby to be cleaned with baby wipes, but i can see it affecting his skin and just wondered if anyone had more tips about getting him back into the bath/ shower?

He's not scared of water either - he likes to swim (but we can't take him very often), play in the sea and play with water when he's fully clothes. He won't go into the bathroom without all his clothes on ATM. And it is heartbreaking to see how scared he is, he's not just avoiding it cos it gets in the way of him playing.

Any advice greatly appreciated!

Bluestocking Wed 29-Aug-07 10:31:00

Would he be willing to get in the bath with you?

Mumpbump Wed 29-Aug-07 10:39:28

Agree with Bluestocking. If you get in, you may find he is happier. Perhaps just have a bath for a couple of nights in front of him and then invite him in with you. If you show him that there is nothing to be scared of, he will probably come around. I made ds scared of the bath for a couple of weeks by doing sound effects for a lion toy - cue loud roar! There might be something very small which has put him off.

mumbleboo Wed 29-Aug-07 10:40:48

I have tried having him in with me before and he's climbed out! but haven't tried it for a while so i'll give it a go later. I suppose it can't last forever!

Mumpbump Wed 29-Aug-07 10:52:57

I think you have to keep persevering. If you let him go without baths altogether, his fear might get worse...

mumbleboo Wed 29-Aug-07 13:48:44

Have just given DS a successful bath! Did as you suggested and got in with him, and put him in fully clothed and took them off as he was ready. I obviously needed the obvious pointed out to me, ie try again!Lets hope it continues, i like having a clean baby!

Mumpbump Wed 29-Aug-07 13:51:31

Pleased to hear that he is a little waterbaby again!

fizzbuzz Wed 29-Aug-07 14:16:23

Wait until he's 13.........When asked when my ds last had a showe, his reply was a cryptic "some time ago". This was actually 8 days........UnlessI force him in.......

Lovecat Wed 29-Aug-07 14:37:52

Yay, glad that worked! DD got scared of the bath for a very peculiar reason - kept saying there was a 'man' in the bath with her - we were getting very worried until it turned out she could see her shadow on the tiles... she's fine now - squeaky water-squirting dinosaurs were the way forward for her!

mumbleboo Wed 29-Aug-07 15:04:02

fizzbuzz i am not looking forward to that stage! but it's a way off for me yet luckily. lovecat your DD's man in the bath sounds most peculiar!

Lovecat Wed 29-Aug-07 15:14:10

Oh, it was! She kept pointing into thin air and saying 'man! man!' - this is an old Victorian house we live in and I was getting a bit freaked out til she did it on the stairs too (which nearly had me calling in the local exorcist!) and I saw she was pointing to her shadow moving. Once we'd explained that it was actually her, she became obsessed with it for about a week and then forgot all about it... strange girl...!

Bluestocking Wed 29-Aug-07 21:16:45

Hurrah, well done Mumbleboo and son! I had a bath with my DS this evening too - he's 3.5 and loves his bath, but he regards it as a tremendous treat if I will get in with him!

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