What to do about my toddler who suddenly started screaming when I mention bathing or give her a bath?

Why is my toddler all of a sudden terrified of the bath?

A fear of bathing (called ablutophobia) and water, it turns out, is a very common toddler phobia, and usually shows up around ages 1-2. There’s a reason for that: During these years of rapid brain growth, toddlers develop what seems like a hyperawareness of their surroundings.

Why does my child scream in the bath?

If your children are sensitive to noise or temperature – there are many triggers around bath time that might overwhelm them. Parents do not always realize that their children may have some sensory issues . If children hold their ears around loud noises they might have some auditory sensitivities.

How do you stop bathing tantrums?

Try to allow time to end bath time with a few minutes of play after they’ve washed up. In that case your child will be able to remember that bath time ended on a fun note, and it’s likely they’ll remember how fun it was when it’s time for a bath the next day.

What do you do when your child hates a bath?

Parents say: What to do if your toddler hates baths

  1. Break out the bubbles.
  2. Turn the tub into an art zone.
  3. Bathe with favorite toys.
  4. Make every night showtime.
  5. Play beauty salon.
  6. Cover the drain or get out before draining.
  7. Use a washcloth or cup for rinsing out hair.
  8. Bring back the infant tub.

How do you cure Ablutophobia?

Psychotherapy is usually the most successful in treating ablutophobia. However, in some cases, your doctor may prescribe medications to help reduce your fear and anxiety. Medications are usually used as short-term treatment alongside psychotherapy.

How can I help my toddler overcome fear of baths?

7 tips to help your toddler overcome bath time fears

  1. Prepare the bath in front of your child. …
  2. Check the water temperature. …
  3. Add some bath toys to the tub or play music. …
  4. Make a bath for yourself too. …
  5. Focus on playing than washing. …
  6. Protect your child’s eyes. …
  7. Do not force your child.


What do you do when your toddler doesn’t want to shower?

Focus on What You Can Control



Don’t try to physically force your child to bathe or brush their teeth. Don’t get them to shower by shaming them, calling them names, telling them that they smell, or telling them that you don’t want to be around them.

How often should you bathe a toddler?

To stay clean, toddlers need a bath only 2-3 times a week. But they often enjoy baths more often than this. Clean toddlers’ faces and genitals daily even if they don’t bath every day. Never leave toddlers alone in the bath.

When should I stop bathing with my toddler?

Richard Beyer, a psychologist in California, suggests that we should not shower with our child after they reach school age. That’s is around 5 years old, but most kids don’t even know how to scrub and soap properly at this age. Many children will need longer to learn.

What causes Ablutophobia?

Trauma. Some people may develop ablutophobia after a frightening or traumatic experience with bathing or water, such as a brush with drowning or an abusive family situation.

What does Ablutophobia mean?

Ablutophobia, like all phobias, is an anxiety disorder. It’s clinically known as a specific phobia, which is an excessive or unreasonable fear of an object or situation. 1 It can manifest in many ways, from a fear of showering to a complete phobia of all washing.

How do I make my child more comfortable in water?

Tips to Help Children Feel Comfortable in the Water

  1. Submerging the head. Introduce children to the sensation of wetness by gently trickling water on their head and down their faces. …
  2. Splashing. …
  3. Blowing bubbles in the water. …
  4. Learning to float. …
  5. Practicing with goggles. …
  6. Playing games. …
  7. Mind the details.


Why is my 2 year old suddenly scared?

It is a typical stage of development for children this age to start developing fears. It’s actually a sign that their neurological system, which alerts them to danger, is developing, so it’s a good thing.

Why does my 11 month old hate baths all of a sudden?

Reasons to Fear a Bathtime



While you may not know the exact cause that triggered your baby’s sudden fear of the bath, it’s most likely because your toddler is developing awareness of her environment. She is aware of water going down the drain and thus she fears she will get sucked into the drain too.

How do I get my baby to like baths again?

Try doing bath time at a different time of the day. Make sure your baby is well-rested and in a good mood. (Once they start to like bath time, you can switch it back to the schedule you prefer). Let your baby play in the tub WITHOUT water to get used to it.

How do I make my child more comfortable in water?

Tips to Help Children Feel Comfortable in the Water

  1. Submerging the head. Introduce children to the sensation of wetness by gently trickling water on their head and down their faces. …
  2. Splashing. …
  3. Blowing bubbles in the water. …
  4. Learning to float. …
  5. Practicing with goggles. …
  6. Playing games. …
  7. Mind the details.


Why does my child not want to shower?

One of the most important things to consider about kids who have poor hygiene is that refusal to shower, bathe, or brush their teeth can sometimes be a symptom of depression, bipolar disorder, trauma, or another mental health issue.

How often should kids bathe?

Really, bathing two or three times a week is fine. In fact, for many kids, even just once or twice a week is fine. You can always do a quick wipe with a wet washcloth to the face, groin area, and any dirty spots. Stinky teenagers might need more bathing or showering, depending on activity level and deodorant use.

How often should a woman shower?

two to three times a week

Many doctors say a daily shower is fine for most people. (More than that could start to cause skin problems.) But for many people, two to three times a week is enough and may be even better to maintain good health.