Bath time drama. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 05-07-2011, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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My almost 3 year old refuses to take a bath. We thought it was just a phase that might blow over in a few days, but now it is getting to the point where he needs a bath. Does anyone have any gentle ideas of how to get him in the tub?

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#2 of 6 Old 05-07-2011, 02:43 PM
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When DS went through a LOOOOONG 'no baths!' phase, I finally bought a new bath toy (bath crayons, he'd never used them before) and filled up the tub & showed him the crayons I had put on the opposite ledge. Of course he asked to play with them so I told him they were 'bath only' toys and he could play with them in the tub if he wanted. He got right in. smile.gif Then we made sure to keep doing baths frequently (for some reason, if we skip more than 2-3 days in a row, he refuses to take them).

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#3 of 6 Old 05-07-2011, 02:59 PM
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Could you make a colorful bubble bath with food dye or something? Or give him washable paint and a paintbrush to paint the shower walls? (wash right away, but all the color comes off) How about filling up a pool outside and letting him play in swim trunks?


Other than that, the only thing I can think is if he has a close cousin or a very close friend that he could take a bath with?  Sometimes when my 4 yo is unwilling to try something (even something I know he will really enjoy!) he's more likely to try if he has a friend to do it with.

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#4 of 6 Old 05-07-2011, 03:14 PM
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Ugh, my 2 yo has been giving me such a hard time about taking baths for about a month or 2 now.  The only way I can get him in is if my 10 year old ds puts on a bathing suit and goes in the tub with him.  The bath crayons sound like a good idea too.  I remember my ds1 loved those.

~Karen, mom to a super 10 year old and a sweet little guy (12-15-08)
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#5 of 6 Old 05-09-2011, 10:11 AM
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I think your solution depends on why your kid doesn't want to take a bath. 


Is this a new thing?  Did he use to like baths?  Is this a control thing-- trying to see how much about his world he controls?  Or is he afraid of something?  Does a bath seem like the end of playing and/or a precursor to bedtime? 


If he's afraid, I'd talk to him and try to work out the problem, comfort him and try to find an alternative.  Washcloth over eyes when washing hair?  Swim goggles?  Showers?  Mom or sibling or friend in the tub too? 


If it's control, let him know that he can have a washcloth bath one night and a regular bath the next night (for example).  Let him pick which night is which. 


If it's a lack of playing, find some new ways to make it fun.  Bath books, toys, crayons, etc... You can make something together and use it to play (wine corks and toothpick boats, for example, and then hold a regatta).


You could also try changing the time of day.  Bath first thing in the morning, maybe?


Partner to DH and mom to DD1 (3/2008) and DD2 (born 1/2012).
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#6 of 6 Old 05-09-2011, 12:18 PM
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My DS loves to give his toys a "car wash".  He'll grab one of his toy cars or tractors and we talk about how dirty it is and that it needs a car wash.   He loves it and brings a new toy in the tub.  We have a huge dump truck in there now, but we fill it with bubbles and then dump the bubbles.

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