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My son won't sit down in the bath

922 Views 18 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  umsami
My two year old son won't sit in the bath if I don't get in it with him. He has slipped in the bath a few times because he won't sit down and he has frightened himself. He won't lie his head back in the water so it is not fun to try to wash his hair. All the water runs down his face and he hates it so we only wash his hair about once a week. He even hates having his body washed. We've tried to make washing a game and tried to get him interested in doing it himself but so far he is still against baths. He likes to play with toys in the bath but not to wash. Is anyone else dealing with this?
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DS hasn't sat in the tub since he was about 18 months old. I just wash him standing up, and when it comes to hair time, I soap his head up, then he just "looks up at the ceiling" and I use a washcloth to rinse the soap out...just keep dipping and wiping (don't wring it out). It took me about a week to get him to understand the "look up at the ceiling" thing, and I say it just before every wipe, and he'll look up so the water doesn't drip into his eyes.

We have a removable shower head with hose, so we're startign to get him used to that, too...maybe yours would be OK with a little squirt?

I would just let him play and try to wipe down/scrub as much as you can. If he'll stand and play happily and let you wash that way, I'd just do it like that. Get some grippy stuff on the bathtub and you should be fine. I wouldn't force the issue of sitting; after all, you stand to take a shower, right?
We went through this with both kids for a long time. It finally stopped when I let them take control of other parts of their bath. I give them a soapy washcloth and tell them specifically what to wash - "Wash your elbows! Now wash your fingers!" and they like to play along, because they feel like they're being independant and they are also showing off their bodily knowledge.
After I did that a few times (with them standing) I said, "Okay, now you have to sit on your heiny so you can wash your toes. Can you wash your toes?" That was pretty much all it took...they were hesitant at first, but they really wanted to wash their toes all by themselves so they did it.
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I'll second the detachable shower heads, or even putting him in the shower WITH you.
Yep. Sounds normal to me. I just bathe dd with me. Much easier.

Yeah my first thought just reading the title of the thread was to just have him take a shower with you. Another thing you can do for washing his hair is get one of those visor things. I know they sell them at TRU and BRU usually. We use them everytime and it helps a ton because Jake won't look up for me to rinse his hair and he has a fear of laying back in the water.
Make sure the water's not too warm! Also, do you have any kind of a mat/cushion for him to sit on? We use one with our son, and it gives him something to aim for, so to speak. He won't sit down until it's in place, if we happen to forget it before putting him in the tub. Maybe your DS would like a "special bath seat"?

Sometimes it's not convenient for us to bathe together, and he doesn't like showering yet -- I've tried. So it's nice to be able to have an alternative.

HTH. Good luck!
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I just coordinate our bath times so that we're in the bath together. He'll sit then. And then he'll lie the back of his head down on my belly for hairwashing time.
There's 2 things working for us. One, she will let me hose her down with the shower head while she stands in the tub--for those quick baths I soap up a wash cloth and then play tickle with it--she doesn't notice and is happy, then while hosing we sing "It's raining, It's pouring, the old man is snoring" and she thinks that is hilarious.
The other thing that we just started for longer baths is dh made her a stool with a sponge seat on it, every other bath he cuts an inch off the legs of it, as of now her stool is only 4" tall (we started out a 10") and she points and says "chair" when she comes into the bathroom.
I don't let DD stand in the tub. It's a safety rule. The few times she tried she slipped enough to scare herself and now heeds our warnings that she might get a big booboo if she doesn't sit.

That said, if it's easier for you to bathe with him and he's fine with that, do what works.

DD also likes to wash herself. She gets a kick out of doing almost anything for herself so it works out well that way. We also try to keep bathtime very quick. Her hair gets washed almost immediately with frequent reminders to tilt her head back.
neither one of my kids would ever sit down in the I have just gotten used to washing them standing up while they complain because they are freezing, lol.
Take a shower with him is the first thing that came to my mind. The others all have good ideas as well.

Neither DS nor DD#2 will sit in the tub. We have a handheld shower head so that makes it a little easier. I'm always so worried that they are going to fall, but we are quick. I don't wash their hair in the tub because they just cry and don't seem to get the "look at the ceiling" thing. We do hair in the kitchen. THey lay on the counter and lean their head back into the sink.
Thanks for all the ideas. I am going to go stick some pictures up on the ceiling above the tub for him to look up at. Glad to hear other kids won't sit either.
We too had the standing baths for awhile. I don't remember how long it lasted as she ended up taking a lot of showers with us during this time. We also look at the ceiling for hair washings. I don't remember seeing anyone mentioning a dam. Our dd holds a dry scrunched up wash cloth on her forehead when we rinse her hair. Then if she looks down it normally will catch the drips before they run down her face. Also it helped a lot when she would only stand because she seemed to be off balance if she looked at the ceiling too long. It just saved us from a major freak out during hair washings.

Now she HATES showers - which does come from a bad experience but I would love to help her get over. I guess just setting a relaxing mood and a little at a time? Anyone have any ideas for getting the water to hit her body right? Our shower head is stationary and it seems no matter how far I move her back in the tub it hits her in her face. Or she's out of the water and cold. Poor kid!
I use an empty shampoo bottle to pour water on my ds's head -- it's so directed that it doesn't get in his eyes (I also hold a washcloth on his forehead to catch stray drops). used to have super long bath mats -- they would cover the entire interior of the tub.
Do you have a bath mat or the strips? DD loves to stand in the bath but we have strips that give her traction.
Do you have a bath mat or the strips? DD loves to stand in the bath but we have strips that give her traction.
I was just gonna say, you mentionned that he slips when he stands- there's obviously no prob. with standing, but be sure it's done safely, I'd definitely invest in an in-tub mat! (or strips, or some kind of something to make standing safe)
My son likes to rinse himself standing with a bucket of water. He thinks that's a hoot. He hates having his hair rinsed as well (by me)... but he'll happily pour bucket after bucket of water over his own head.

He also likes to soap himself.

We got some of the Crayola Bath Crayons and my son had fun drawing on the walls and on himself as well!
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