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Baby hates bath

(36 Posts)
AlfieandAnnieRose Thu 11-May-17 18:56:39

So since starting swimming 2 weeks ago my one year old now hates his bath. Proper screaming and sobbing and clings onto me to climb out. It's awful and means I can't bathe him often. I know it coincides with him not enjoying swimming either but that's early days so I'm still persevering.

i feel really sad that it's affected his bath time and frustrated too tbh because it's a battle every time. Any tips, words of advice? Anyone been through the same thing?!

Anditstartsagain Thu 11-May-17 19:00:40

Give up swiming and try again in a few months. Swimming is not worth your baby being constantly upset at some point he will be begging you to go swimming.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Thu 11-May-17 19:02:17

Do you bath with him? I bathed with her for the first 18m and often still do especially if I have to wash her hair.

Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 11-May-17 19:06:10

Mine went through a phase like this and we got his little baby bath back out and bathed him in an inch of water. Phase lasted a couple of months then he was happy to go back in the big bath.

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Thu 11-May-17 19:17:12

Some great advice on here already. If you haven't got a baby bath, try the kitchen sink smile

Sunshineandlaughter Thu 11-May-17 19:18:48

Stop swimming

Get in bath with him

Kind reassuring words throughout and tight hold

No slashing unless it's him

Heated towels - don't let him get cold


Sunshineandlaughter Thu 11-May-17 19:21:48

My lo hated swimming as a baby too esp as the trend nowadays is to push them under the water so early on - seriously if you couldn't breathe and had some holding you under the water and all that noise etc would you like it too? He's probably terrified!
i restarted when she was 2 and she loved it

seven201 Thu 11-May-17 19:22:13

My dd went through a screaming in the bath phase at around 7 months, but it wasn't to do with swimming, just randomly started. I had a thread on here somewhere. I just persisted. We'd sit on the side of the bath playing with her toys and then I'd put them in and make sure she was watching and usually let her keep hold of one as she was put in. I also got in with her sometimes and still do.

fizzytonicplease Thu 11-May-17 19:31:20

My DS went through a stage for a week or so of hating the bath when he was about 18months, he would scream and cling to me so I got in the bath with him a couple of times and just persevered with it he would stay in for a little while then I would get him out, he stopped doing it after awhile and was back to loving it.
Ours wasn't to do with swimming, he was going through a monster stage at the same time

frazzlebedazzle Thu 11-May-17 20:10:07

'Swimming is not worth your baby being constantly upset'.

Agree with this entirely. IF it's the swimming, just stop, wait til they show an interest. There's no rush.

Re the bath, I think it's fairly common around that age. Again, don't push it, offer bath, make it no big deal if they don't want one (sponge bath instead if they're grubby).

It will pass!

AlfieandAnnieRose Thu 11-May-17 23:24:06

Thanks everyone for the advice. I've tried using the baby bath for his baths as I thought that would be less intimidating, but he still struggles as soon as I start lowering him in. It's definitely to do with the swimming as that's when his hatred for the bath started! Before that he was fine, happily splashing away and playing with his toys sad

I personally would love to give up the swimming as I hate going in the pool myself. I'm not a strong swimmer but then that's why I'd love for him to learn from a young age as I was never taught as a child. I think if he still hates it and is not enjoying it after the block of sessions paid for (another reason I'm going haha) then I'll leave and try again when he's older.
They don't do submersions with the babies in the classes until they're confident in the water but I completely get who said it must be terrifying. I feel uncomfortable watching when they hold the babies under water.
Thanks again for all the advice/sympathies, looks like I'm going to have to get in the bath with him!

fizzytonicplease Fri 12-May-17 07:05:05

OP does he wear armbands when he is swimming? Maybe he is thinking with water he has to wear armbands to be safe? Just an idea... I remember my DS at 12 months asking for his armbands after we had been swimming when he was in the bath, as he thought he had to wear them whenever he was near any water

JustMumNowNotMe Fri 12-May-17 07:09:20

DD1 went through this at a similar age, hated baths and having her hair washed with a passion. So she had 2 baths a day, every day until she got over it. If I remember correctly, it only took 2 or 3 days for her to realise it was nothing to worry about and we had no more issues.

newmumwithquestions Fri 12-May-17 07:17:04

DD went through a few stages of not liking baths - for us it wasn't connected with swimming. We didn't push it, ran the bath - if she didn't want to go in we just used the bath cloth to wipe her then continued with the bedtime routine. Think playing with bubbles and any other distraction techniques hit her in again (we occasionally put pound shop glow sticks in the bath - she loves them). She went back to loving it.
Has anything changed in your LOs sleeping? With DD her not liking the bath coincided with us getting her a bit overtired.

newmumwithquestions Fri 12-May-17 07:18:05

*got, not hit. We didn't hit her into the bath!

AlfieandAnnieRose Fri 12-May-17 15:11:06

Good question but no armbands, I just hold him in the pool.

JustMum maybe I should bathe him more then if that worked for your dd. I've cut down on bath time as he finds it so traumatising and it's stressful so only every other day. Maybe it could work like exposure therapy until he makes the positive associations?! I've tried distracting with toys but he gets so worked up and is climbing on me to get out it's impossible.

His sleep hasn't changed and I also changed the times I was giving him a bath incase he was overtired or something but still the same.
Thanks ladies, I hope this is just a phase that will end very soon!

RandomDent Fri 12-May-17 15:16:41

Both mine went through this. I just bathed them anyway but super quick, ignored the screaming. Can't get them out now!

arbrighton Sat 13-May-17 20:53:36

He can learn to swim properly when older.

Just leave baths for a bit, wipe down the important bits with a flannel

celtiethree Sat 13-May-17 21:00:33

Taking him at 1 won't make him a better swimmer, than if you leave it until he's older. Good swimming comes with core strength, I'd wait until 3 or 4.

ScarlettFreestone Sat 13-May-17 21:01:20

It's very important to learn to swim but he doesn't need to learn from 1 yo.

My twins couldn't start lessons until
They were 4 because I obviously couldn't hold them both at the same time in the pool and had no one to go with me. They started at 4 yo and are beautiful, confident swimmers at 9yo.

I'd stop the lessons and rejoin when he's older.

elQuintoConyo Sat 13-May-17 21:07:56

My son hated the bath from birth until 3 years old, we just had to persevere. Tried everything, still hated it.

Took him swimming at 3, he loved it. Then he just started to enjoy his baths more.He's now 5 and has been having lessons a couple of months. Can't swim yet but I'm happy he is happy in and around all water.

Just gave him a bath and he was happily splashing for 20 minutes.

I know it sounds awful "just give another 2.5 years", but we most of us have a hard time with children in one way or another. DS had colic for 5 horrendous months, but was/is an excellent sleeper and has always eaten well. However, he was a bolter, hated the bath, and is still a Duracell Bunny grin

These things are sent to try us flowers

Me624 Sun 14-May-17 07:14:30

Have you tried showering him? My DS (14 months) loves his baths and swimming so not an issue for us but sometimes during the week when we get home later and I don't have as much time I give him a quick shower and he loves the novelty. He gets to stand up in the bath which he thinks is brilliant and your DS might be ok with it if he's not submerged as such?

JustMumNowNotMe Sun 14-May-17 07:20:08

Yes that was exactly why i did it. Twice a day for several days was like exposure therapy. I didn't show any anxiety and if she got upset i remained jolly about it and continued the bath until washed etc and very quickly she realised it wasn't a big deal and was fine again. I did the same wity the hoover for DD2, hoovered several times a day and got her to hold it too so she realised there was nothing to be scared of. It really works.

I think the danger of avoiding things they get an aversion to makes it a bigger deal than it needs to be and then it gets harder to sort out.

Starstarbright599 Sun 14-May-17 07:43:12

Just Mum - that sounds a horrible approach - not exactly good for bonding is it?!

Starstarbright599 Sun 14-May-17 07:45:01

If I really hated golf - someone making me play it all day every day wouldn't make me like it more - I'd just end up feeling resigned I had to do it and annoyed and not listened to at the person who was making me do it - but each to their own method of parenting!

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