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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
She used to love baths. All of a sudden she didn't want to take any more. I didn't make a big deal for a few days (we don't have too many "rules" in this house; if on a given day she didn't want a bath I didn't think twice about it) but then it became clear it is an ongoing issue.

She also has a stye (staph infection near her eye) so cleanliness is obviously critical right now. (Stopping bathing didn't cause the stye; she's had it for weeks and weeks, but we just had it diagnosed 2 days ago).

The day she was dx'd with the stye, we told her she needed to take a bath that night. I filled it and she cried, clung to her daddy, and overall just made it clear that she had STRONG feelings about this. We tried to ask her why she didn't want a bath, but though she's pretty verbal, she's not able to answer the question Why. I asked her if she was scared, and she said no. I asked her if the bath was too hot and she said yes. I told her I'd run a "cold" (tepid) bath. I dipped her hand (to her strong objections) into the bath so she could see it wasn't too hot. Finally we did a sponge bath with her standing right outside of (not inside) the tub, and she hated even that.

I'm not sure the temperature is really the problem, but could be (but then why wouldn't a tepid bath solve that?). She hadn't complained before; I don't specifically remember her last happy bath, but that goes to show that there weren't any "incidents" - she didn't fall, she didn't complain about the temperature, etc.

So what do I do? Keep sponge-bathing her, I guess (though that makes her very unhappy too). Anyone gone through a bath strike and lived to tell about it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Originally Posted by 4Marmalade View Post
What about getting in the tub with her for a bit? Or a shower? My 3-1/2 year old dd likes both.
Yeah, I already get in the tub with her anyway (to save some water, and also just to relax). I did alternatively offer to NOT be in the tub, but she prefers me to be there.

She doesn't like showers.

I also offered her the option of getting in with all her clothes (figured we could peel them off later). Offered her a variety of interesting toys to play in the bath. Assured her I wasn't going to wash her hair (she hates that but I'm not too hardline about it; her hair is very fine and honestly can go WEEKS without being washed).
 

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My ds has swung back and forth from LOVING baths to HATING baths about 25x in his short, 3 yo life. I know the clinging, wailing, etc. all too well.

I read something a while back a suggestion about putting a small step stool in the tub so the child can sit on the stool above the water. This worked very well for us.

We also went through the too hot, too cold phase and I don't think it had anything to do with his resistance.

Another thing that worked was me getting in the tub and just going about my business and playfully saying things like "oh no, Mommy is getting a bath all by herself tonight." In seconds he was begging to get in.
 

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Do you always have bath time before bed time? Maybe what she really dislikes is the ending of the day and bath time signifies it for her. Maybe you could bathe a little earlier and still give her time to snack and play a little before winding down for bed.

My son resists his bath sometimes, though not as strongly as your daughter and only sporadically. He'll usually jump in if I tell him his dinosaurs are waiting for him in the tub and need him to give them their bath to get ready for bed.
 
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