87 Answers

Hi mums I need your help please. My 20 month old daughter is all of a sudden petrified of bath & shower. She screams & holds on to us. We’ve tried bathers to make it fun, face washer bathing, toys, ducks, bubbles which she’s ok with standing outside the bath & playing with. Shower bath hose thing which she is fine putting her hands under. Clothes on as she won’t let us take her clothes or nappy off. We don’t force her as it’s clearly a phobia and she just says no! She’s always loved bath/shower time. Any suggestions please? Thx!

Posted by Fiona, 6/7/2013

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  • Maybe the water was too hot or too cold at the last bath/shower? Hopefully with some gentle encouragement she will be okay… Maybe some water play outside? Sprinkler(depending on the weather where you live!)


  • it was probably just a phases lol


  • Is it a phase? My daughter went through this recently – then we found out she had hand foot and mouth disease and 6 teeth coming through so she wasn’t happy in general. She used to absolutely love the bath but now it’s the end of the world if her hair gets wet. Persistence pays off and make it fun. They pick up when we are stressed or tense so singing silly songs and making faces helps hide these emotions (brought on by them needing a bath and protesting so much!).


  • My son is the same, he just turned 3 and hates baths but is happy to play with the water when his brothers and sisters are bathing.


  • I agree with the mum who suggested bathing yourself and playing with the toys, including her in the play. She might forget the reason why she is afraid if she sees you are not afraid, and hopefully want to join you. good luck :)


  • Has she had a bad experience, try make it fun for her and just be gentle.


  • yeah it is also the age group


  • Is it the water? Have you ever taken her swimming which may have spooked her?


  • Hopefully she has overcome this stage by now!


  • just wondering if she doesn’t like the hot water for some reason, try making her bath just luke warm


  • Try getting in the bath yourself, playing and enjoying it without trying to get her in. Hopefully she will want to jump in once she sees mum or dad in there having fun.


  • could you make it more fun with bath toys and bubbles


  • maybe something happened . .


  • I don’t think you can really point the finger and say its the result of trauma


  • Something has happened when she has been in the care of someone else. You need to find the trauma and reason. In the meantime just give her sponge baths. Or put something in bath she really really likes eg toy?


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