20 answers

My Daughter Won't Take a Bath Anymore

My family went away for the weekend and we had to bathe the children in the hotel tub. My daughter got scared when the water started to run and would not get in. We assumed it was just because she was not used to the big tub. When we got home she won't get in her baby tub either. What do we do so she gets in the tub? Has anyone else had this problem.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Just put her in and give her a bath. Be calm and pleasent and she will eventually get over her fear. The less of a deal you make the less of a deal she will make.

Fill the bathtub first so the water won't be running when she is getting in the tub. Also, you can try getting in the tub with her.

More Answers

C., We use food colors in the tub. It works best to use 2 empty shampoo bottles and put a few drops of colors in each bottle (each bottle being a different color) and then fill the bottles up to the top with water. Once the tub is full let the child pour one bottle of color on one side and the other color on the other side and watch how they mix in the middle. Its always more fun to help those colors mix by stirring up the water too. Most of the time they get so interested in the process they forget to be afraid.
Also something else I do sometimes is put them in my laundry tub. Its bigger than the kitchen sink and you dont have to bend over so far. Plus you can do some laundry while they are getting clean! Make sure to make a big deal out of the laundry tub "priviledge". Hope this helps. Good luck to you.

This is a tough one, I have four children and never did it until the last, but try taking a bath/shower with her. It seems unsanitary for me to sit in the tub with her (which as long as I'm clean I'm sure it's fine), so I just take a shower. She plays on the floor, safely sitting in the tub usually playing with the trickle of water from the faucet and a few select bath toys, and after I finish washing myself we wash her. Many mothers take baths with their babies, and that works for them, from what I hear and that seems the best for a scared child. Also taking showers holding the baby works - just have a spotter and be safe! Good luck! Whatever works, whenever it happens, eventually she'll love the bath I bet. Oh - I just saw that you have this suggestion - thanks.

Is she scared of the sink water running? If not maybe try letting her turn the faucets on and feeling the water on her hands first; letting her splash with it and get comfortable with it. Then have her help you fill her bath.

Never had this problem, just thought this might help. Good luck.

I would really hype up some new bath toy or some kind of new bubbles to entice her in! Also they do just go though fazes and it will end, both my boys did the same thing.

Sounds like you got a lot of good advise. My daughter went through the same thing (a couple of times actually). We used bubbles (the kind you blow outside). She loves to catch them outside, so we tried it in the bath. We stood her in the tub, even though she was sceaming, and started blowing bubbles. Since a lot of them stick to the water and don't pop, it encouraged her to bend down into the water to pick them up. Eventually, she sat down. We had to use the bubbles for the rest of the week, but she got over her fear. Good luck.

One time my daughter, who loved her bath, pooped in the tub. For awhile she didn't want to go in the bath tub becuase she thought it was dirty. Eventually it took care of itself and she loves her baths again.

My son went through this when he was just over 1 year old. I think he was afraid of the size of the tub and turning the water on really freaked him out. So, we filled the dry tub with lot of "waterproof" toys and let him look at them from the sidelines for a couple days. Then, we got lucky and took him into a swimming pool where he also saw a lot of kids jumping in and having fun in the water. We were golden after that..now we have a hard time getting him out of the tub. Turning the water on still freaked him out for a while but now it doesn't bother him at all. Hope that helps.

If your sink is big enough, I'd just wash her in the sink for a while. Put a nonslip mat on the bottom, and stay right there with her. She'll grow out of it, especially after seeing her sibling having fun in the tub.

Fill the bathtub first so the water won't be running when she is getting in the tub. Also, you can try getting in the tub with her.

Put on your swimsuit and get in the "Big Girl" tub with her. This may ease her mind and she will feel safe with you in there with her.

My daughter went through the same thing. Try introducing some bath toys (ones that stick to the wall, crayons, cups, etc). Talk it up to how special these toys are, or even go with you to the store to find some. You can also use kitchen stuff, and tell her how special it is to be able to play with it in the tub. You can get in the tub with her and play with the toys.

You can also try to give her a shower (with you). We sang a lot about raindrops falling on her head, and she did quite well.

Sponge bathe her or try the sink. And don't turn it on when she's in there. Put some in the sink first and then set her in. When she feels okay in the sink, then graduate to the tub.

Oops! This took me awhile to figure out with my first one, until she could talk. Was it a "LOUD" hotel tub when you filled it? Maybe not loud to us, but to her? Does she not like the toilet flushing in public restrooms? Maybe you don't take her in there yet, but as a mom of 5 (almost 6) I have 2 that cover their ears and want to be out before I run baths or flush in public places. It is more echoey in there I think. They aren't old enough to cover their ears yet, so you wouldn't be able to tell, but I'd bet that was it.
Do you ever bath with them? How about filling up the big tub when they are not around around and having your daughter that likes it bathe with you with the other watching you have all the fun...then it's her turn. Like it or not...she may fight at first and then see that she is safe with mommy and maybe even have fun. Maybe don't wash her hair the first time and save it for the next so as to not freak her out more. HOpe that helps:)

i think most kids go through this. you pretty much just gotta deal for awhile til she gets over it. and deal with just wiping her body off instead of a bath everytime. try to talk to her about how nice a bath is. also a bath with you might help.

Just put her in and give her a bath. Be calm and pleasent and she will eventually get over her fear. The less of a deal you make the less of a deal she will make.

My Son went through this. We started bathing him in the kitchen sink (fortunately we had one large one as opposed to a double) He took a kitchen bath for a long time!

don a bathing suit and jump in with her... :-) Or just wait it out... Do the babys bathe together? I know that with my 1 yr old if he sees his older brother in the tub he want in... Maybe letting her watch sibling in tub will get that going again.


Oh yes! I have triplets that are also 14 months old, my daughter had the same experience. Just like that one day! The running water..AAHHHH

She was so terrified - it was scarry!

For the next few bath's we had her brother and sister go first in the bath and put her in with her sister the next night - she still screamed but we kept up with changing her interests. It took almost two weeks before she just stopped one day, just as quickly as it started.

The hardest part was feeling her torment! But we just kept re-assuring her and giving her other things to focus on. We purchased new toys and actually did the bubble bath for the first time, and that refocused her.

I wish you the best!


hello my name is M. i have a little girl who will be 2 this month and anther little girl that was born on jan 8 of this year.

my suggestion is to take a shower with her for little while. turn on the shower and make a game of it buy a little water proof doll my little girl has a pablo from the backyardagains and she makes sure pablo get washed with a washcloth while i get her clean and then when i am done i put some water in the tub get out and let her play while i get around. just make sure you have everything you need for you in the bathroom also.
eventually she will want the bath tub all to herself.

just my suggestion hope it helps

Try giving her some bath toys. Bubble bath maybe, or they even have color tablets that change the water colors when you drop one in. They don't leave color spots on the child at all, and my daughter loves them!! I would suggest crayon soap, but it sounds like she might be a bit too young for that, it will probably just look like food to her!

Good luck!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.