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Baby hates taking a shower! Any tips?

(21 Posts)
bellbottom Thu 11-Jun-09 15:02:52


My 16 month year old is fast outgrowing her baby bath. I only have a shower unit at home, no bathtub. I tried to take her with me in the shower a few times, but she goes crazy! Even at the swimming pool its the same.

Does anyone have any tips to make it easier? I find it so stressful....


Megglevache Thu 11-Jun-09 15:05:25

could you sit her down and point the shower nozzle to a really massive sponge then use that water to clean her rather than pointing the shower at her? This worked with my son- he was terrified.

MrsMerryHenry Thu 11-Jun-09 15:08:02

So don't use the shower. Can you stick a bucket full of warm water in the shower cubicle and sponge her down instead? Same goes for hair - DS has lots of hair and hates having water in his face, so I use a sponge to rinse/ rub off the shampoo.

I understand your pain at the pool - DS is 2.6 and still hates showers. These days I just carry him and do it as quickly as poss, then towel him down with lots of hugs afterwards.

Catitainahatita Thu 11-Jun-09 15:13:41

My 17 month old also has a severe showerphobia. he loves watching me or DH have a shower but screams if the nozzle get near him.

Being in your same position bellbottom, my solution is to echo MrsMerryhenry: the bucket of water trick is best. Use a big plastic cup/box to rinse her off with and try and get her used to it being poured over her head (DS love it!!) when having her hair washed.

At the swimming pool avoid the showers afterwards and give her a wash a home. If she needs washed before going in, do it at home too... otherwise take a plastic cup with you and wash her in the sink. Not fun, but less traumatic for all concerned. Good luck smile

nappyaddict Thu 11-Jun-09 15:17:26

Stand her in the baby bath and sponge her down.

HaventSleptForAYear Thu 11-Jun-09 15:19:24

Mine hated it until recently.

Now I turn the water much colder than we have it and have it on as a slow dribble to start with;

Then we laughingly play at "tickling" them with the water.

Forget about hairwashing the first few times or you'll put her off totally.

The DS have amazingly got quite into showers too, which is great because it takes about 2 minutes - wet them a bit - turn shower off - soap them - rinse - voilà!

ICANDOTHAT Thu 11-Jun-09 15:21:30

Get in with her and let her hold the shower ... keep an eye it doesn't go AWOL !! Enjoy smile

bellbottom Thu 11-Jun-09 18:37:57

wow thanks for all responses! Quite a variation there. My approach to mothering is pretty much to start as i mean to go on. So bearing in mind the fact that one day my daughter will have to have a shower, like it or not, i don;t want to avoid the issue by using a bucket. It just delays the problem - no? Tempting though....

Will try the holding of shower and sponge tricks.

Great this site! Feel relieved already!

Love love :-)

SarahL2 Thu 11-Jun-09 18:45:20

We only started this last week but...DS likes to have the shower head held at his shoulder height then he puts his hands under cause it tickles. Day after day a little bit more of him goes under. First it was feet, then yesterday he tried tummy and bottom. Before long I'm sure he'll be under it completely but for now we're taking it at his pace and it seems to be working.

nappyaddict Thu 11-Jun-09 18:56:25

She is still very young and tbh your life will be so much easier if you adapt to her individual needs and progress gradually as she naturally develops. It's unlikely that she will still be scared of showers at the age of 15 if you don't give her one now!! There's nothing wrong with preferring baths to showers. I will always choose a bath over a shower even now.

That's the joy of mumsnet. You can usually find an alternative way to make everybody happy.

brimfull Thu 11-Jun-09 18:59:21

my 6 yr old still hates showers unless he's wearing goggles !

keep the shower head lower than her head and let her play with the water

or sponge her down in the baby bath standing up

good luck

Catitainahatita Fri 12-Jun-09 03:23:08

I don't think using th bucket is necessarily posponing the problem. You can't reason with a 16 month old little girl or a 17 month old little boy; you can with a 2 and a bit/3 yesar old. Also if you go about introducing the water being on the head (for that I think where the fear comes from) by pouring water from a cup, you might be able to work towards her holdig the nozzle etc, even showering her dollies very soon.

I would worry that insisting on her haing a shower even tough she is scared by it may end making bathtime a real battle for a long time to come since she could end up being showerphobic for longer.

JammyQueenOfTheSewers Fri 12-Jun-09 03:35:40

I agree that I don't think using an alternative to the shower (eg bucket) is just delaying the problem. Despite loving baths and even having no problem with having water poured over her head, DD hated showers (we don't have one at home but she screamed at them when on holiday or at the pool) and we have had factor in availability of a bath rather than shower when choosing holiday cottages. However just recently (she's just 2) she has become slightly tolerant of them. She will now come into the shower with me at the pool, if I hold her, and I don't put her directly under the water. instead I go right under so she gets a little splash/spray and then I turn round quickly occaisionally so she gets a quick (couple of seconds) burst of the shower. She laughs at this. We haven't tried shampoo yet, but I think it will come. And this is only doing this once every week or two. If you could do this daily at home I think you could build the confidence up more quickly. But I think you may need to wait until she is ready to start.

Tambajam Fri 12-Jun-09 06:24:25

A 16 month old is a very very different person from a 2.5 yr old. I'm guessing there are plenty of other things you are adjusting on as is age appropriate. I doubt she is required to do household chores for example. I would use a large plastic bucket e.g. like a trug, plastic laundry baset. She could sit or stand and you could use a sponge or jug. It also allows her to continue with bath toys and water play. If you persist with the shower you could end up with long-term issues. My son loathed the shower at around that age but now at 4 he is completely fine.

MrsMerryHenry Fri 12-Jun-09 12:29:55

Tamba - we've always had this problem - i.e. since DS was the OP's DD's age and before.

bellbottom Sun 14-Jun-09 18:41:19

Hi All,

I have some news to report! Tonight my daughter sat in the baby bath, and she actually held the shower and played with it, holding her hand under it and pouring it into cups!
My shower only starts higher up on the wall so I cant bring it down to her level, but I can setach it totally so she can hold it like a hand shower. Reading your comments inspired me and from there I worked out that compromise. So thanks!! We're on our way! Will keep going, and eork towards the head slowly!
I appreciate all the advice.

Tamajam - she's not required to do household chores, but she does want to do them these days! She takes control of the broom, the sponge to clean the cupboards, she wants to clean her own table and face, and she likes to help me with the laundry into the machine and off the line into the basket! So I'm going with that, and think its great. Can never start them too soon, if they like it! very healthy!

Have a lovely eve all! wink

MrsMerryHenry Mon 15-Jun-09 22:58:54

Fantastic, well done you creative mummy!

bellbottom Tue 16-Jun-09 11:15:23

Thanks merry henry!

Always gives a feeling of major achievment to master these little things in motherhood! I think the most creative thing i ever did as a mummy to date, was when I returned home after a 6 week xmas break at grandma and grandpas. The time away meant that my daughter was a stranger to the hoover all over again! It was a hell for a few days. But then I had a brainwave, and decorated the hoover with all the leftover xmas bells and ribbon, and made a great fuss of it, saying it was the prettiest hoover in the world, and encouraged her to interact with it, and know it by name! And voila! no more frightened tantrums!

I only wish I could be more creative, i always feel I don't have enough time! they should teach this stuff in schools!!!

MrsMerryHenry Wed 17-Jun-09 11:21:30

Bellboottom - you sound like you're doing a great job! As your DD gets older I'd recommend 'How To Talk So Kids Will Listen' - fantastic, creative book which gives great suggestions on how to set boundaries, give good-quality praise, etc etc. We already use it with our 2.6 year old - it's invaluable!

bellbottom Sat 20-Jun-09 17:56:13

Thanks Merry, I will definately get that book! And thanks again for the encouragement. It means such a great deal to me, especially being a single mum. Have a lovely weekend.

giveloveachance Sat 20-Jun-09 18:06:53

only just spotted this thread - very useful as I have also been avoiding the shower since the last few times dd screamed the place down - wont even walk passed the ones at the pool!

will try the tips here - and I love the decorated hoover idea - dd screams when I get it out, i have been carrying her and hoovering at the same time, = exhausting but cheaper than a gym membership!! - after awhile she calms down and will be deposited on the sofa till i've finished.

Who is the author of that book?

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