Baby & Toddler

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Baby Bath Blues

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elisabeth.jpg Posted by: Elisabeth Swennenhuis on May 20 2014
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What used to be a great experience for my little girl suddenly turned into a nightmare…

She always loved to splash around in the bathtub and she would get really excited if I tell her that we were going to have a bath. Then suddenly one day, she had this tremendous fear for the ‘big bad’ bathtub. I had no idea why, but what used to be a beautiful daily pre-bed time ritual was down the drain now.

Poor little one I thought but also poor me because how was I going get this ‘very active and full of dirt’ toddler clean at the end of the day? No need to be obvious but toddlers do need a bath once in a while.

In the next days, I tried the bathtub a couple of times but the nasty baby bath blues were here to stay. I could not even get her anywhere near to the sink or she would start to freak out.

After a week I was getting desperate and I was ready to pull my hair out. So I started searching on the Internet if there would be similar cases of this phenomenon and luckily I found a whole bunch of desperate mommies and daddies out there with the same problem. It seemed to be very common for toddlers that are in the phase of starting to walk to start developing fears. There are also very kind paediatrician’s and baby shrinks that have posted some interesting theories about ‘Baby Bath Fears’ as this seemed to be one of the more common of all fears.

After reading some articles I was not that far off with my thoughts of the ‘big bad bathtub’ as in our little one’s perspective there are a lot of scary things in a bathtub. I have the feeling that my little girl is particularly scared of the drain, that thing that sucks all the water down, makes a scary noise and maybe she’s wondering if she could fit through those hole’s too…

So now I understood a bit better why there was this sudden fear for the bath and could now stop wondering what kind of traumatic experience this may have caused.

You will receive a lot of different advice from whoever you talk to about this issue so if you have a similar problem - what do you do about it?

The main advice you get from paediatricians is not to force the bath as this is not a whim, the fear is real and forcing it will probably make things worse. The good news is that it will eventually pass but it may take a short while. So in the meantime, you could try the shower, kiddie pool, and big toy event in the bathtub that would help distract them. That last one didn’t work out for me but she still likes the kiddie pool so we can exclude the water from the fear list, we just needed to avoid anything with a drain.

Parenting tips: Help…My Toddler suddenly hates the Bath

Now I didn’t think I would need these Baby Washing Wipes and Gloves at home, that I normally only take with me when I travel with my little one, but this has proven to be a really good solution in this particular situation. A wash towel with detergent gets quite foamy and if I put her close to the sink to refresh the towel, she would call me a bloody murderer if she would be able to talk. It does cause some extra laundry, which is already exceptionally high with a toddler in the family; however, I will probably still use the Wash Gloves as well for a quick clean-up when time is short.

In the Netherlands I was able to buy all kinds of Baby Wash Gloves and Wipes but in Italy I haven’t found them yet. I hope my Dutch stock of Baby Wash Gloves will last until this ‘Baby Bath Blues’ passes.

Did you have similar experience with your little one(s) or do you use Baby Wash Gloves or Wipes in particular occasions?

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