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20 month old suddenly hates bath

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

In addition to grinding his teeth, the little dude suddenly cannot stand a bath.  He does The Dreaded Back Arch (you know, like when they don't want to get in the car seat.)  Poor little guy screams in agony the whole time.  Water is just right.


It started when he was sick a couple of weeks ago (he's now sick again).  All I can think of is that one time the water was warmer than usual and it may have freaked him out.  That has happened before, but maybe his already sick self just couldn't take it, and is now traumatized?  I have no idea.


How to get him to have fun again?  His older sister gets in and makes a big deal of frolicking with toys and all.  No help. 


Any ideas?  Hopefully time will fix it if nothing else.  But I'd love to hurry that up.  I feel like I'm torturing him!  But the dude is into everything and absolutely needs to be bathed!  (We do wipe-downs often.  But he needs a real bath at least a couple of nights a week.  His nickname is slime boy...)


Thanks mamas.

post #2 of 5
DS went through this & what finally solved it -- after trying a million things -- was a fun new toy. We did bath crayons (which at that age he'd never used) and I showed him the package and opened it up and put it on the far side of the tub so he'd have to get in to get to them. He was so excited he forgot to hate the bath & he's had great fun ever since (though sometimes he DOES. NOT. WANT. A. BATH. and we try to respect that as long as he's bathing a couple of times over the course of the week).

So... bath crayons or bath paint are options, but you could also try a can of shaving cream, a new toy boat or whale, bath blocks, whatever he's into. If you get those pieces of colored foam they sell in the craft section, you can cut them into shapes and they will stick to the tub wall when wet so he could create designs. One time we did a glow stick bath (turn the lights down and hand him a bunch of glowsticks or glow necklaces) and that was awesome. You could also do a bath picnic with a special snack or treat.
post #3 of 5

When this happened with my DS, I actually needed to get in the bath and hold him for a few weeks. But before each bath, I would try to put him in without me, and if he did his desperate clinging routine (arms and legs clenched around me), I would just get in with him. Tried not to make a big deal about it. He still kept close to me (even nursed through an entire bath once), but then he started to play as he was sitting in my lap and eventually even sat down on the bottom of the tub. After these few weeks passed, one day I went to put him in the tub and he went in just fine without me. Now we seem to have turned a corner and he is back to happily playing and splashing in the tub, with no crying!

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.  He has been sick all this time so I'm hoping that is related.  I am mostly sponge-bathing him.  But he does just have to endure being in the bath a few times a week.  I feel awful about it.


May seek an awesome bath toy.  I just totally competely lack the will or energy to strip down and climb in with him at the end of the day.  I am also bathing and preparing the 5yo for bed at that time.  Just cannot consider getting in the bath.  You are a better mama than me, sunwise!  By bedtime I am DONE.  Cuddles and love I can do but getting all undressed and wet, oh, I am tired-er just thinking about it!


Thanks.  Hopefully this soon shall pass!

post #5 of 5

Just today, my two year old did NOT want to take a shower (I just bring him in with me sometimes). I told him that I thought his toy plane and car needed a shower, and he paused for a moment, considered it, and then decided too that they needed a shower, and took one himself! lol, of course once in we washed down the plane and car. Kids are funny. Hope this helps, and good luck :) Like another poster said, this too shall pass.

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