2 1/2 year old suddenly scared of the bath tub! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-07-2008, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
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And I have no idea why or what to do about it. One day last week, he ran away screaming after DH put him in, for no apparent reason. I thought maybe the running water was scaring him, so today I filled the tub before he even came in the bathroom, and I still had the same results. He was clinging to me and screaming. I would just say "oh well, no baths for awile," but if his hair doesn't get wet every few days, it's a real bitch to comb (he has long hair, longer than a lot of girls his age). So I either figure out what's bugging him, cut his hair (which I think would devestate him - he loves his hair), or let him grow dreads. Pouring water on his head doesn't seem to really bother him, oddly enough. Maybe I'll try having him get in an empty tub and dump water from the sink tomorrow. Oh, and showers terrify him, so that's out. The biggest problem is that he doesn't talk yet, so he can't tell me what the problem is. He gets all excited and runs to the bathroom when I ask him if he wants a bath, but then starts shrieking when it's time to get in. Any ideas?
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#2 of 6 Old 03-07-2008, 10:42 PM
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I can't really think of any ideas, but I do know that this is a problem for lots of kids. I have 2 friends with 2 year olds who are also afraid of the bath and my 40-year old brother was terrified at 2 that he would go down the drain with the water. I would just give him washcloth baths for a while and see if he'll let you wash his hair by just hanging his head over the side of the tub.

I hope this phase passes quickly!


Sarah, Mom to Theo (8/06), Penny (1/08) and Felix 10/30) #4 due 07/11
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#3 of 6 Old 03-07-2008, 11:49 PM
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You might try no rinse shampoo. http://www.norinse.com/outdoorshampoo.htm

I've heard that some kids that age fear loss of their body down a drain or toilet, like the water disappears...


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#4 of 6 Old 03-08-2008, 12:29 AM
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could you take a bath or shower with him? Or maybe try bathing in the sink. Or just do sponge baths for a while.
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#5 of 6 Old 03-08-2008, 12:30 PM
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We went through this recently.

I put a dishpan with tall sides in the floor in the bathroom.
(filled it with water)
then added just alittle something to make bubbles
(we use dr. bronner)
Then went and found dd and sat on the floor in the bathroom.
didn't push her to get in.
we dropped rocks in there...toys...she started splashing...
then we stopped.

next day- same thing...except she really went to town splashing.

next day- she took my hand and climbed in- sat down and started playing in the bubbles.

i was patient. it worked! Yay!

eventually i moved the little dishpan into the bathtub.
this is how we still bathe her. ( i guess it saves water! )

she won't let me "wash her hair"- but I do run a wet comb through it.
that seems to be good for now. her hair is pretty long, too.

good luck!

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#6 of 6 Old 03-08-2008, 01:32 PM
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OMG I was surprised to see this, I thought I was the only one! My 2.5 year old has not had a bath in MONTHS. We have to do sponge baths! He used to love them (he was born in the water too!) and then suddenly he would FREAK OUT, crying, screaming bloody murder if I tried to give him a bath. Luckily he isn't a very stinky kid, so sponge baths with soapy water work fine.

I am going to try that idea with a little plastic tub on the floor.
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