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DS all of a sudden HATES taking a bath..???

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

DS just turned 18 months. He used to love having a bath. In fact I would give him a bath sometimes in the evening not because he needed it but just for something to do!

 

For the last week or so he all of a sudden HATES getting in the bath. By hates I mean he screams bloody murder to the point of his face gets all red and he absolutely freaks out the entire time. I work quickly but by the time he's out the bathroom is covered in water, as am I.

 

For quite awhile he was the same way about hair washing, so we pretty much let him walk around with greasy hair and only wash it like every 10 days ~and that's also a bloody-murder screaming episode, but usually passes quickly and he enjoys the rest of his bath.

 

What on earth is going on? I'm willing to skip days, but I'm not willing to stop bathing him. So is this just going to be a screaming battle every time? Has this happened to anyone else? I tried bathing with him but same thing.

 

Please help, I am desperate!

post #2 of 10

I was going to suggest bathing with him but since you already tried that - have you tried other kids?  My daughter is so much happier to bathe with other small kids than by herself.  Recently, she has also been excited about getting in the bath when I let her pick out a swim suit to wear in the bath.  I also found some little gel capsules that have sponge animals inside.  So the gel dissolves and the animal expands out of it.  But it takes a few minutes so it might be hard for a very young child to grasp the concept of waiting for something.  Or try some other thing that might be interesting to him and is only allowed in the bath - for example a water sprayer, water balloons, water color paints, bubble bath...  Try focusing on the play aspects of the bath not the cleaning aspects and maybe he will enjoy it more. 

post #3 of 10

Along the same lines as PP, could you try letting him just play in the tub when there is no water in it?  Also (this is obviously only a temporary solution), what about sponge baths for a short while?

post #4 of 10
Yes, this exact thing happened with my older son at the same age, 18 months. It is hard to remember the exact details, but he freaked one night and the only thing I recall doing differently was adding bubble bath to his water to make it foamy/bubbly. Based on his reaction, I thought that was the trigger since nothing else was different. I returned to just bathing him in regular water, adding soap to his body or washcloth as usual and bathing him as needed. He eventually got over it, though I can't remember how long it took. It wasn't too terribly long, though.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saralm View Post

I was going to suggest bathing with him but since you already tried that - have you tried other kids?  My daughter is so much happier to bathe with other small kids than by herself.  Recently, she has also been excited about getting in the bath when I let her pick out a swim suit to wear in the bath.  I also found some little gel capsules that have sponge animals inside.  So the gel dissolves and the animal expands out of it.  But it takes a few minutes so it might be hard for a very young child to grasp the concept of waiting for something.  Or try some other thing that might be interesting to him and is only allowed in the bath - for example a water sprayer, water balloons, water color paints, bubble bath...  Try focusing on the play aspects of the bath not the cleaning aspects and maybe he will enjoy it more. 



Having another kid in the bath would probably help, but we only have one!

 

I'll see about getting some colors and special bath toys (we already have some he used to enjoy playing with but I can get different ones) and see if that helps.

 

My husband has also offered to try and bathe with him, but he only has time for that on weekends. We'll try it out this weekend.

post #6 of 10

Have you tried taking him to the pool? That cured a large part of my daugther's bath time issues. I also showered with her for a while, which also worked. She is 9 and still hates having water on her face, but I don't love it either.

post #7 of 10

Is it possible that he got water in his eyes or something, or some sort of baby-trauma?  DD is petrified of getting water in her eyes, so I dab her face with a towel unnecessarily throughout the bath, just to make her feel secure.  We read "Tubby Time" by Leslie Patricelli, and it seems to help with the hair-washing issue.  Another thought - has it gotten colder in your house?  DD HATES the cold after-the-bath thing, or if it's cold in the bathroom while she's bathing. 

post #8 of 10

Have you tried the shower? DS1 was just hating baths and I figured out (after wondering why he wouldn't sit) He had a small tear around his anus, so the bath hurt him. Also, bubbles sometimes he hates them other times he loves them...recently we're in a hating faze.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post

Is it possible that he got water in his eyes or something, or some sort of baby-trauma?  DD is petrified of getting water in her eyes, so I dab her face with a towel unnecessarily throughout the bath, just to make her feel secure.  We read "Tubby Time" by Leslie Patricelli, and it seems to help with the hair-washing issue.  Another thought - has it gotten colder in your house?  DD HATES the cold after-the-bath thing, or if it's cold in the bathroom while she's bathing. 



Well yes, in fact because he hates hairwashing so much, there have been a few times we got water in his eyes since he squirms and it's really hard to avoid (even with the Lil Rinser thingy which otherwise helps a lot). There have been a few hairwashings I would call traumatic ~he hates it that much! I'm not sure why all of a sudden he can't bathe anymore though, as even those times he screamed like he was getting murdered as we washed his hair, he would always immediately "recover" and carry on bathing. Hmph.

 

I try to heat the bathroom really well but maybe once it wasn't warm enough and he then decided baths were not good anymore, could be.

 

I will get that book, thanks!

 

And as for showering, that is on our to-try list for this weekend (I want to try new "tricks" with DH there for support).

post #10 of 10

My advice, having been there twice (and there currently with my 25-month old), is to just drop baths for awhile. Sponge- or cloth-clean any areas that you think might need it (diaper area, skin folds...) and leave it at that. Eventually, offer your child a bath with a new toy or something else that's exciting to them, and chances are, they'll forget that they ''hate'' bathing, and go along.

 

I'm not sure where you are, but here, it's getting cold, and there's really no need for a daily bath since there's no sweat, no sunscreen, no bugspray, no mud, to wash away (although I certainly hear you on the ''something to do'' part).

 

And, if that helps any, 18-months is usually (IME, anyway) when they start to rebel against bathing. It doesn't last forever - my 5-yo DS asks for a shower every morning, and a bath at night too.

 

Good luck! 

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