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Baby terrified of water! Help!

(57 Posts)
bumblenbean Wed 16-Jan-19 22:00:11

Does anyone else have a baby who HATES the bath? Or a baby who has come to like it??

My DS absolutely loves bathtime and always has. My little girl however (aged 4 months) is the complete opposite. She seems to be terrified of the water and screams the house down as soon as she feels the water, despite being a very placid and smiley baby the rest of the time. It makes bathtime a real drama and it really stresses me out seeing her so traumatised (sounds dramatic but she really seems terrified).

We’ve tried singing, gentle sponging rather than splashing, bathing her with her brother And on her own, before/after food, distracting with toys, different temperatures ... but to no avail! We’ve also tried her in a stand-alone baby bath and holding her in the main bath, but it makes no difference.

As my son loves swimming I thought I would give it a try with her in the hope it would be different if I was actually in there with her- we went to a class in a small, really warm pool and it was a disaster - she got completely hysterical and was the only one crying! I gave it 10 mins and then beat a hasty, red-faced retreat!

I really don’t know what to do. I don’t want her to be scared of the water as she gets bigger and I don’t know whether to try bathing her more in the hope she’ll get used to it or just as often as necessary to keep her clean and keep the meltdowns to a minimum!

Does anyone have any tips or experience of the same?? Thanks in advance!

AussieMum28 Wed 16-Jan-19 22:39:46

No advice sorry but my little one is exactly the same. Anyone would think we were torturing him when we bath him! Xx

snowflakesnow Wed 16-Jan-19 22:43:35

Have you tried dimmed lights, lights off and glow sticks in the bath, bubbles etc

elQuintoConyo Wed 16-Jan-19 22:56:53

Ours grew to like the bath around 4 years old. He is now 7 and has a bath twice a week, sometimes a shower instead, depending whst mood he's in.

He loves the pool, he loves the sea, he loves rivers, he loves thd showers on the beach.

But i remember the blood-curdling screams of baby conyo getting in the bath sad

GreenDinosaur Wed 16-Jan-19 22:59:04

My DS hated it for the first few months, screamed his little head every time!
I can't remember quite how long it took but he did grow out of it and bloody loves the bath now.

EdHelpPls Wed 16-Jan-19 23:01:36

Both my younger ones hated the bath. I used to bath my now 4 y old in a box that was just about big enough for her. I think the high sides made her feel more secure? She still wasn’t v fussed but def wasn’t distressed. I bathed her twice a week in that and used damp flannel on her nappy area at every change.

By age 2 she’d come round and started putting her face in the water. She was 4 before hair washing wasn’t traumatic

CAAKE Wed 16-Jan-19 23:10:43

Get a Schnuggle bath, they hold even a tiny baby securely upright so they feel secure rather than flailing and flapping about.

bumblenbean Wed 16-Jan-19 23:56:19

Thank you all so much for your replies! I am relieved I’m not the only one experiencing this!

CAAKE I’m going to check out that link now, thanks! smile

Nonomore3 Thu 17-Jan-19 00:17:00

Do you breastfeed?
My friend breastfeed her baby in the bath every night for a week. Then let the baby settle and enjoy the water. It worked for them.

DrWhy Thu 17-Jan-19 00:22:47

Even if you are’t breastfeeding try a bath with baby, they can be nice and secure on your chest in your arms and you can gradually lower them into the water as much as they are happy with

BF888 Thu 17-Jan-19 01:30:50

Do you have any bath support? it’s angelcare that I got my twin nieces. It warms to the temperature of the bath so won’t stay cold and also it’s suoer sturdy. The girls couldn’t stand that bath either, They got so much better with the support. I think as it enables you to be hands free you get them in and out quicker too.

BF888 Thu 17-Jan-19 01:31:09

Oops forgot to add link blush

mayathebeealldaylong Thu 17-Jan-19 01:33:45

I started after the 2nd week bath with my lo. Felt safer and I and he was more relaxed.
Never had a good experience using those baths and because of that I get anxious with the baby feels.
My tip and toe until she's more aware of what your doing.

Sweetiedarlingletmein Thu 17-Jan-19 01:40:21

My dd hated bathtime and screamed the house down every time. What worked for us was the angelcare bath support and also putting a wet flannel over her belly when we put her in. Think she felt less exposed and safer with it. Bath time soon turned into one of her favourite things so fingers crossed for you!

Yearofthemum Thu 17-Jan-19 06:07:05

Get in with her a few times, to reassure.

explodingkitten Thu 17-Jan-19 06:42:53

Have you tried taking a shower with her? Maybe she feels safer if you hold her like you normally would standing up?

Charlottejade89 Thu 17-Jan-19 08:16:44

I second the shnuggle bath. my friend have me her a after she was finished with it and dd is so much better in it

Wallsbangers Thu 17-Jan-19 08:38:09

Shnuggle bath worked for us.

elQuintoConyo Thu 17-Jan-19 13:30:47

Holding the baby while in the bath/shower did nothing for our ds. Just more screaming nlye murder blush we were poor, too, so couldn't afford to buy different contraptions to try.

Thesnobbymiddleclassone Thu 17-Jan-19 13:35:30

Try the shower. Some babies are like some adults who simply prefer the shower to a bath.

Elisheva Thu 17-Jan-19 13:35:50

Stop putting her in the bath. She hates it, she’s telling you clearly that she hates it. Babies do not need to be submerged in water to get clean. Go back to topping and tailing and then try again in a month.

TickleMeEmo Thu 17-Jan-19 13:53:26

DS hated the bath until we got a angelcare bath seat and used it in the proper bath. He’s 20 months and it’s now a struggle to get him out of the water 😂 went for a beach walk on Christmas Eve and he wanted to go swim in the sea 😳 we spent the entire walk herding him away from it!

CoperCabana Thu 17-Jan-19 13:58:04

Agree with Elishiva. Just leave it for a bit. Despite what some books say, you don’t have to bathe a baby every night. And I wouldn’t worry about swimming at her age. Neither of mine started til primary and are both great swimmers.

masktaster Thu 17-Jan-19 13:58:29

When he was tiny and hated baths, we put DS in his baby bath without any water, and slowly added it (correct temperate run in the sink). He was okay with baths then for quite a while, but went off them again as a toddler. After months of topping and tailing and encouraging water play without pressure (paddling pool in the kitchen, etc) last week he decided of his own volition he wanted a bath. He's had three since, though he still refuses to sit down, preferring to stomp about as if he's in a big puddle.

We've never bathed him much even when he didn't mind it, and even as an active toddler he's always been clean enough with a flannel wash (plain water, no soap, here) as necessary.

Basically don't force it, and try to make water less intimidating/scary.

M3lon Fri 18-Jan-19 13:01:17

Ah and easy one - just don;t bathe her. You don't have to, it isn't compulsory and appears to be leading to distress.

I would vote for not doing that.

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