Dealing with baby or toddler's fears

14 posts in this topic

Posted

I didn't want to clutter up the "oddball questions" thread so I started a new thread, hoping to use it to post questions specifically about discipline, dealing with fears in small ones. Feel free to edit if you come up with a better descriptive title!

 

About 3 weeks ago my husband was giving our nearly 10-month-old a bath. He lost his grip and the wee one slipped (it was a baby bathtub, filled with too much water we realized and now fill it up less) though he was not submerged in water. I don't know if it's a coincidence, but since then he cries when he gets bathed. As soon as we go with him into the bathroom and he nears the bathtub he whimpers. He used to whimper when we would put his feet in the water, but then he'd be alright. He never loved his baths, but he stayed calm. Not any more.

 

We regularly go swimming though. We use the same strategy as with a bath, put his feet in the water, let him kick his feet around, then get with him into the pool. He's never shown joy at being in the pool, rarely babbling, rarely smiling, but he splashes with his hands, kicks his feet and never whimpers, never cries. He still goes into the pool though.

 

My husband feels terribly guilty of course (like when he turned away from a moment last weekend and wee Elf fell from the bed. Ooh, I was livid!), but somehow we want to help our baby out. He doesn't mind having his hands or feet washed in the sink. I even left the bathtub in his play area for him to play with.

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Posted

Maybe he coincidentally reached a point in his development where he just doesn't like water any more. One of my children bathed all right, but was scared to death of the shower. The day that he was outside and it started to rain, he just ran in circles, screaming hysterically. I wouldn't worry too much about it, he'll get over it. Daughter #2 was scared to death of the swimming pool and would cry if I went in it. Useful, as I didn't have to worry about her getting close enough to fall in. By the time she was three, everything was OK. And I think that's when her brother got over his fear. Let your Elfkin just have sponge baths for a while.

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Posted

I agree go in the bath first then let your hubby pass baby to you or vice versa.

have lots of toys too, in fact if baby has a doll or teddy take them in with you and say 'come and help me bath dolly / teddy'.

works every time for us!

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Posted

A friends daughter had a phase of disliking baths. They put all her waterproof toys in the bath and very little water and let her mostly play in it instead of bathe but they also didn't push it if she didn't want to. She got over it after a while.

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Posted

My oldest was great with baths and loved the pool, but my youngest never did like baths and at some point developed a fear/hate of them. He also has very sensitive skin so when I took over bathing duties I made sure the temperature was a bit on the cooler side and used sensitive baby wash.

 

To this day the oldest showers every day and takes the odd bath on top of it, and getting the youngest to bathe/shower/wash is still like washing a cat. (Both in the double digits age wise). Kids will be kids, be considerate of your kiddo's sensitivities but don't let it panic you. :)

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Posted

I used to babysit for a child who was deathly afraid of baths, though she would play with water in other contexts. LeonG is definitely on to something -- make the bathtub a wet play area as opposed to a place to be submerged in water (being sure the room is well heated for baby's comfort if the outside temp is cool). You can still wash your child with a minimum of water - just a cm or two plus a washcloth would do it. In time your child will probably ask for more water in the tub (or you can offer it to him, one toy-full or pot-full at a time). Filling the tub from the tap while junior's in it may make him nervous, but if he happens to like it (eventually), you could also play "stop-go" with him, letting the water run into the tub gradually until it reaches "bath" depth.

GL!

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Posted

Maybe you could make the little tub look and feel a bit different by adding an extra mat with suction pads, so it feels even more rough and non-slippery?

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Posted

You need to have some kind of anti-skid bath pad in there so it's not slippery anymore.

 

Getting into the bath with the kid is the absolute best because you can play along, you don't have to hunch over the tub to wash the little one and it shows that baths are fun / not fatal. My 2-year-old loves the bath, and being in there with him makes me less afraid he'll drown. (He's rather daring, and has stood up and danced, intentionally inhaled water to see what would happen, tried to consume shampoo, etc.) If I'm in there with him, he's easier to grab and settle down.

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Posted

Glad everything is better now! If you are still searching for an easier way to bathe the little one, we use a bath ring in the regular tub, like this one.

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Safety-1st-Swivel-Bath-Primary/dp/B003WP5OYM/ref=sr_1_2?s=baby&ie=UTF8&qid=1357300196&sr=1-2

 

I have 10 year old twins and didn't have the option of bathing with them--too dangerous! These seats were a lifesaver. I now use one with my 8 month old. She feels secure and happy in the seat and it is not back breaking for me because my hands are free. I highly recommend!!

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Posted

errr

I tried to remove this and wound up with a new post. Sorry.

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Posted

My daughter is a bit older, but I have found she really needs the water temperature to be lower than I would otherwise make it. We also used an inflatable bath pillow (for adults) under her head an neck when she was younger. I continue to use it now I need to rinse her hair as she can't stand having water in her face.

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Posted

 

... I have found she really needs the water temperature to be lower than I would otherwise make it. ...

 

Ah, yes, I forgot to mention. When we used the "baby bath" marker on the bath thermometer, he would cry. so we also started making the water 2 or 3 degrees cooler and he seems to enjoy it more. it surprised me his body warmth, though his core temp is normal. but apparently that runs on my husbands side of the family.

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