Afraid of the Bath - Canton,MI

Updated on May 18, 2010
K.S. asks from Canton, MI
10 answers

My daughter turned 3 2 weeks ago and has recently developed a fear of the bath. The only thing we can figure out is last Wednesday, her privates were sore (probably because she was on an antibiotic at the time). But they are all better now. We have tried me taking a bath with her and offering to buy her a new toy, but nothing has worked. She is scared of the shower, which is not new, so that is not an option. I am looking for some ideas, please! Thanks!

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answers from San Diego on

How about a spit bath for a while? Can you take a bath and have something fun like a cup of tea and a cookie in it and bubbles? Maybe she'd climb in with you? And then you can let her take her own the next day with bubbles and a cup of tea?

Do you have a bathtub she doesn't use...maybe let her in that tub?

Maybe get a book at Barnes and Noble about taking baths....?

I don't know!!! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Columbia on

Hi K..
Maybe you could help her give one of her baby dolls a bath first. I know it sounds silly, but maybe talking to the baby doll and pretending like it is so much fun will change her mind, or maybe she will use the baby doll to tell you why she's afraid. You know, if she makes her baby have a fit when it is supposed to get in the tub you could ask her why the baby doesn't want a bath. If she gives you any clues then you might be able to explain things so she won't be afraid anymore. Like if she says the baby has and owie you can say, "Oh, I know baby had an owie before but it is all better now and it won't hurt anymore."
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

Last month, my 2 yr old son had a bad scrape on a knee, and he screemed through bath time... Since then, it's been a struggle to even get him to sit in the bath. He thinks it's going to hurt him again. I would think she's probably remembering the soreness she had.

I would run the water very luke warm and not hot, let her play in the running water while it's coming into the tub, and tell her how it feels good. Maybe get a new bath toy. Some colored soap or a new squirt toy?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Work with her to slowly acclimate back to bathing in the tub. Try small amounts of water, or even get into the bath with her. Keep calm and be reassuring and she should do fine.

If all of this does not work I'd take her to a counselor to find out if anything is going on that this behavior is a side affect of.


answers from Dallas on

A change in setting might do the trick. Will she fit in the kitchen sink? Try just a little bit of water to get the job down and add a tiny bit more every night. Then try moving back to the tub.


answers from Austin on

Good suggestions so far.. How about placing one of those child sized plastic lawn chairs in the tub.. Place a towel on the bottom of the tub first, then the chair this will keep it from sliding.. .. Let her sit on the chair..

Give her her own wash cloth as well as you have a wash cloth..

Have her face the opposite direction in the tub..

Just try to change it all up..

We used to do bath "races" I would bathe our daughter one night and my husband would bathe her the next night.. The goal was to see which parent could bathe daughter the fastest..The rule was it had to be a good and thorough bath.. Hair washing, feet, neck.. everything and our daughter had to make sure we had washed her well.. It was hilarious and our daughter loved participating.. She would laugh and laugh..



answers from New York on

I am sure that is the reason she is afraid. Let her play with the water without getting in first. My son would not sit in the tub after we remodeled it and for 6 months I let him stand. Then I decided enough was enough and forced him to sit while giving him his favorite treat, Gerber Yogurt Melts. It worked! Its been 3 weeks and no problems. Does she have a favorite treat? I would not force her this week, let her stand or whateve she wants and then give her the treat. Just make sure that the water is not too hot and he privates don't hurt.



answers from Detroit on

3 yr olds can be such scaredy-cats, can't they? Great imaginations. I'd just work with it the best you can, not making much of it with her, but she'll have to bathe one way or the other. Be as matter-of-fact as you can while talking through her feelings and making things fun if you can accomplish that. Sounds like you're doing fine.


answers from Saginaw on

My daughter went through this you I couldn't convince her with a new toy...bubbles...colors for the bath. Nothing worked. Finally one day she saw how much fun her sister was having and when I went to undress her to wash her up, she ran away from me. I thought I was going to have to go chase and find her but low and behold she got herself in the bath. At the time of trying to figure it out, someone suggested I put on a bathing suit and go in with her. That is what I was going to ultimately try...I guess her sister solved the problem for me. Perhaps if you don't want to do that you could invite a girl cousin over???



answers from St. Louis on

If the sink thing works, give it a try. My 15 month old recently developed a fear of the tub. I have a double sink. I sat her in one side and ran the water slowly on the other side. I gave her measuring cups to play with while I washed her up. Within a couple of days I was able to fill the sink with water and she didn't scream. If she can't fit in the sink try the same thing in the tub. Is there a mat she sits on? If not, try letting her sit on a hand towel. If she won't get in a tub of water, let her sit on the towel in the dry tub. Run the water slowly and don't fill the tub. Just use it to wash her with. While your doing that, ask her if she wants to fill a cup with water and help you rinse her off. It might take a few days. If that doesn't work, have her help you fill a basin with warm soapy water. Have her climb in the dry tub and sit on the towel. Wash her up from the basin. Try that for a few days and then try running the water very slowly. Turn it into a game.
If you have bubble (the kind they blow outside), let her do those in the tub. That is usually a great wat to distract them. I also keep special bath toys.

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