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Toddler refusing baths

(12 Posts)
Asoiaf Wed 19-Apr-17 19:19:37

Please help me! My DD 22m has suddenly stopped wanting to go in the bath on her own. By this I mean she screams and clings to me when I have tried to put her in so currently I am getting in with her which she is fine with. She is happy to play but as soon as I move to get out she stops what she's doing and demands to get out too (even if I remain). I have got her new bath toys but they aren't enough to entice her in alone. This started recently after a few days of bad nappy rash (new class at nursery and they weren't changing her quickly enough) So I think the association started as that but has now taken on life of its own. Please help - I cant share baths like this forever!!

For context she is very spirited girl cannot say many words yet but communicates in other ways. We have also got into the habit of sitting with her until she falls asleep at night which again is not ideal but she would become so upset and scream otherwise. I feel we are making too many rods for our backs...

Trb17 Wed 19-Apr-17 19:53:10

You've answered your own question I'm afraid. Getting in the bath with her is one of those rods. Either accept your bathing fate or be strong and after a few tantrum baths she'll get the message. Same goes for bedtime too.

Chrismino Thu 20-Apr-17 00:13:22

My lb didn't have a bath for 9 months, nothing changed just one day refused and would scream cling on for dear life, loved swimming, playing in sea but refused bath, in the end I let him get on with it and bathed his older sister, then after 9 months he finally wanted to get in and is fine again. I think it's one of those things you just have to get in with her until she's fine again. I tried everything, new bath toys, bath in dark with cool disco lights, bath with me/dad, pink/blue bath, bath with swimming costume on and in end he did it when ready.

MommaGee Thu 20-Apr-17 00:17:32

after a few tantrum baths she'll get the message

Can you tell my 22 mo that please?

Totally with you op. Ds went from loving then to hating them overnight when he had his Button fitted. He'll play in the bathroom whilst I shower, go in an empty bath dressed but the minute he's in the bathroom naked let alone in the damn bath...

Just learnt to do it real quick

Heirhelp Thu 20-Apr-17 08:06:57

Bath or shower with her.

arbrighton Thu 20-Apr-17 13:56:27

Just wipe her down on the important bits and pick your battles

BlueKarou Thu 20-Apr-17 14:15:05

May sound a bit silly, but maybe try letting her sit in the bath sans water, fully clothed, and just playing with the toys - it might be different enough and funny enough to start to persuade her that baths aren't awful. Also, separately, start changing her into her pjs in the bathroom occasionally, so she gets used to being naked in the bathroom without the anticipation and build up to the bath.

(Have just noticed that MommaGee said the same sort of thing, so maybe not so silly!)

FWIW, and call me a naive parent-of-a-14mo but I don't believe in making rods for your own backs. As you have seen, children change on a moment, going from bath-lovers to bath-haters, so it follows that with some changes of tactic you might get her back on the bath-loving team.

Playitagainsam Thu 20-Apr-17 14:20:34

Same problem with my 23mo DS, and we went through the same with his older sister. I can only assume that the PP whose advice was to just get on with it hasn't owned a true bath dodger themselves. It is hell trying to get a strong, hysterical and determined toddler into a bath - physically forcing them in while they are scratching/hitting/screaming like you are trying to drop them off a cliff, whilst simultaneously emptying the bath contents on the floor. OP, for what it's worth I don't think you have created a rod for yourself (hate that phrase), but then currently my hubby gets in the bath a few times a week so our DS gets a wash. So maybe I have created one too! Toddlers are hard work, as another PP said, pick your battles. Just bath them less often, wipes or a flannel are a great interim measure! My eldest grew out of it eventually and I'm sure my youngest will too!

TheMysteriousJackelope Thu 20-Apr-17 14:23:56

I would continue getting in the bath with her or see if she prefers the shower. This is a phase that will eventually pass, it's not like she'll be wanting you to bathe with her when she is 12 or 13.

From a toddler point of view baths must seem like scary, porcelain coffins that they can easily drown in, no wonder so many of them find them scary.

Mehfruittea Thu 20-Apr-17 14:35:32

We had the same problem at the same age. DS would not shower either (and still doesn't 3 years on). We literally tried everything and it went on for weeks with just a flannel wash . The one thing that work for us was filling the bath with a ball pool balls. It sparked his interest and made it fun.

Try something completely out there bonkers that will make her laugh and so intrigued she'll forget about the water. We also stopped using bubble bath and soap so that it wasn't a bath as such . Shampoo hidden in the palm of the hand and gently rinsed without noticing.

Yes it is a rod for our own back, as he is still difficult with the bath but he tolerates it and has a good old play. We also stay until he is asleep!

MommaGee Thu 20-Apr-17 19:11:21

Even Moana can't soothe DS in the bath and Moana makes everything better

Shower is worse

KCpip Mon 24-Apr-17 22:35:31

My DD is very similar age and temperament by sounds of it. She also suddenly hated the bath overnight and we tried lots of things- getting in bath, music in background, new bath toys. I think the new bath toys was the most successful thing but she also just got past whatever was bothering her and she's back in love with her bath time. I'm still not 100% sure what caused it but I read somewhere to try and focus on getting her clean rather than the whole fun bath experience so we did that with super quick bath/flannel wash and after maybe 4-6 weeks she stopped crying and started enjoying it again. Good luck! Hope it gets better for you soon.

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