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DD suddenly terrified of the bath/water/washing - any ideas??

(7 Posts)
lovecat Thu 25-Sep-08 11:20:02

DD is 3.7 - until recently she loved her bath, really enjoyed splashing and bubbles, was never particularly keen on getting her hair washed but wasn't bad about it.

In the last fortnight she has been like a banshee - although she'll say yes, she wants a bath, as soon as she gets in she starts fretting and if I try and wash her I get absolute screaming hysterics. Doing her hair is an utter nightmare, she tries to climb out the bath in a complete panic, as soon as it's over she's 'let me out, let me out', again absolutely howling and screaming...

Doesn't matter how softly softly we approach it, she's the same for both DH and myself, absolute hysterics as soon as any part of her body other than her feet get wet. The brisk approach has the same effect.

The nightly bathtime routine, which was fun, happy and relaxing, has now become an every 3 days x 5 minutes of utter terror and noise... We used to love going swimming as a family, tried that last weekend and again she bawled the place down.

She started school nursery on the 9th, going ever day instead of doing 3 full days in her private nursery, that's the only thing that's different about her routine. She seems to be enjoying it, but cries when we leave her and refuses to let go of my leg if it's me that drops her off (DH seems to get away with it...)

Anyone have any coping strategies or bright ideas before the people next door call social services on us?

Please tell me it's a phase....

3littlefrogs Thu 25-Sep-08 11:25:02

It is a phase. They practically all seem to go through it.

Don't try to bath her, just give her an all over wash with a basin and flannel until she gets over it.

My friend's dd went through a very traumatic time over bath time when someone (relative i think) made a very ill judged joke about "going down the plughole". Small children cannot judge size, depth etc, and the poor child really was frightened of going down the plughole.

I mention this just in case there might be a specific fear or worry. Could something have happened at nursery? A story or a game or something?

A change of nursery is a Huge change for a three year old.

staryeyed Thu 25-Sep-08 11:26:49

my DS is terrified of baths which may be part of his ASD. Some coping strategies suggested were: water play on edge of bath, bubbles in the bath, bath stories, making it a very gradual process until she is comfortable again- ie just looking at a full bath, then putting hands in, maybe paddling feel, then standing etc until she is sat in bath.

Is there anything that you can pin point this down to? did she slip over in the bath? does she not like certain textures? has she heard something scary about water?

lovecat Thu 25-Sep-08 11:30:33

Thanks, 3littlefrogs - it's hard to get anything out of her about her day at nursery (ate nothing, did nothing, saw no-one!), all she will say re. the bath is she doesn't want to be wet.

Unfortunately she's come home with nits TWICE since the start of term (grr) so I have had to wash her hair (and will have to do so again on Friday when she's due her 2nd application of Hedrin) - otherwise I would go down the flannel route exclusively (this is what she gets on non-bath days, but even this she can't stand - she doesn't want water on her body at all).

lovecat Thu 25-Sep-08 11:32:09

Oops, x-post - I suppose it could be the nit treatment, but tbh it's no different from how I normally wash her hair, just the combing beforehand, which isn't anywhere near the bath, iyswim...<at a loss>

3littlefrogs Thu 25-Sep-08 11:32:58

I would be inclined to ask the nursery if anything has happened.

I guess the business of treating the nits would put any child off hairwashing at that age - it is a real problem.

Must go to work now. Hope you get it sorted soon.

TheHedgeWitch Thu 25-Sep-08 12:10:10

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