Toddler Afraid of the Bath- What Would You Do?

by Alissa Marquess on May 3, 2012

How Do You Help a Toddler Who Is Afraid of the Bath?

This is a parenting first for me- my one year old is terrified of the bath and the shower.  She doesn’t even really like being in the water with me and will just cling miserably until we get out.  I’ve been bathing her in the sink (which she seems fine with) but that’s not a great long term solution.

I asked about how I could help my little one be less afraid of bathing on the Creative with Kids facebook page, and got great answers.  Because facebook threads tend to get swept away quickly I’m creating this post.  I’m hoping you’ll add your suggestions in the comments if you’ve found a successful way to deal with bathtime fears as well.

Toddler Afraid of Baths

How to deal with Toddler Bathtime Fears:

Start small– several people suggested using a smaller tub or a bucket in the big tub to get her used to the situation.

Make the location fun first– I loved the idea of blowing bubbles in the bath tub or playing with toys inside a bucket with soapy water before even attempting bathing so that she starts to associate the tub with fun activities.

Add some color-

  • Pop water balloons with colored water (using food coloring).
  • Color Bath Drops helped some parents get their kids clean.
  • Bath crayons and paints

Add some bubbles and toys.  Suggested toys included:

Let your child do most of the work– turning on the water, checking the water level and so on.

Make it unusual- maybe take a bath in the paddling pool outside or have a “bath party.”

Make it routine– One mom suggested using a picture schedule to show each part of the night time routine to help your child know what’s coming next.  I have found picture schedules to be extremely helpful with young children, but haven’t tried one with my one year old yet- maybe I ought to!

Thank you so much to my readers for your help.  I’d love to add to this list of suggestion, or hear variations of the ideas listed.

Have you dealt with having a toddler who’s afraid of the bath? Have any suggestions for me and all the other moms with dirt encrusted tots?

Please leave your suggestions in the comments, or if you have  a blog post that addresses this question, please leave a link to it!

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