Niagara Falls, Ontario, CAN
Number of kids: 1
Ages of kids: 19 months
Problem: My 19 month old son developed an intense fear of the bath. It happened overnight!! On one night he was happily splashing and playing in the tub, the next night he was screaming and crying so hard when I tried to put him in I thought he'd pass out. This had been going on for almost 2 months now and I don't know what else to try!! A friend told me that sometimes they get afraid of the drain but I don't think this is his problem. I've tried the sink, the shower, getting in with him (his Dad tried too). I even tried to put him in the tub when it's empty to show him that it won't hurt him, all to no avail. I've tried any game I could think of, even giving him a freezee. NOTHING WORKS!!! Any suggestions would be gratefully received.
Solution submitted by "Kaci" from Lomboc, CA: My son did the same thing to me about 2 months ago. He had pooped in the tub accidently. I said "UhOh!" It was no big deal. I cleaned the tub and him off. The next night he did not want to get in the bath tub. He said "UhOh! Oh no Poop!" I said, "The poop is all gone." He started to cry and I said, "Look, no poop." He calmed down and looked at the drain where the poop had landed and gone down. He understood that it did go down the drain. I just said, Do you want Bubbles? He said Booba? Yah! and I put bubbles in the tub and that was the end of that time. The next time he didn't want to get in the tub was after he had accidently turned the hot water down and got a blast of cold from the shower. I let him feel that the water was warm and then he go in the tub. The next time it happened was after his father had washed his hair. OH BOY! He just dumped a cup of water over his head and he cried. The next night I had to take the cup out of the bathroom so he would take a bath. You baby may have associated bath time with an object in the bathroom that he didn't really like. For my son it was poop, cold water, and water poured over his head. Just try putting bubbles in the tub and let them pick a tub toy. Have your baby get the towel and carry it in the bathroom. Let your baby have some control over the situation.
Another solution submitted by "Gina" from Eielson AFB, AK: I don't have a solution, just wanted to let you know that I went through the exact thing with my first born. We tryed everything to no avail. It got to the point that I had to tell my neighbors what was going on because she would scream at the top of her lungs and I was afraid they would call the child welfare dept. on me. This went on for quite a few months and it seemed to stop as mysteriously as it started. Needless to say bath time became a "quick wash her and get her out" chore. Now she loves bath time, we can't seem to get her out. So for the sake of your family's happiness, I hope yours too just outgrows this and you can move on to better days! Good luck and I hope this will pass soon.
Another solution submitted by "kazy" from Dayton, OH: My daughter is 14 months and she also overnight became petrified of the tub. I too think that she is too young to be fearful of the down the drain theory. But something definitely spooked her. It has gone on for the past 2 nights. Tonight, I let her stand outside the tub and distracted her with a toy and let her throw it in a couple of times. I gradually got her to stand in the water and then to sit down. She did okay but the washing up part was still a bit traumatic. I am curious to find out what triggered this. The first night she pointed to the faucet as the water was coming out. The second night, the water was off. She doesn't have any rashes on her bottom that would hurt in the water. I am clueless. I just hope it is short lived. She has been truly terrified. She comes out of the tub completely blotchy in the face from crying so hard. Once she is out, she calms down and is fine.