As a toddler, I was no different. Having my mother take me for a bath was one of a terrifying thought. Back then my mother did not know what to do to help beat the fear of the bath. As for my kids though, they are lucky to have me as their mother.
I had to do extensive research to find means of helping my kids out. A crying baby will often make you a sad mother. It is the pride of a mother to see their kids smile.
Helping a toddler overcome the fear of a bath will take four stages. The first stage will be identifying the cause of the fear. The subsequent stages comprise dealing with the causes of the fear.
Identifying The Cause Of The Fear
I call this diagnosing the fear. It is putting yourself in a position of being able to handle the situation in an appropriate way. The following are the common causes of bath time phobia;
- Too much water might be scaring your kid
- The water temperatures are not right
- They are wary of the drain
- A change in routine
- Interfering the child’s playtime
Identifying the cause of the phobia is a bold step towards resolving it. Now the lay your strategy in three stages. Halfway through the strategy, your child might be already comfortable with bathing. It does not mean that you leave out the other steps.
As a mother, you might be having experiences with different kids. Each and every one of the experiences will be different. The complete strategy covers it all.
- Preparing for bath time
- During bath time
- After the bath
Preparing For The Bath
Most mothers will just take the child for a bath without notice. The act upsets the child a great deal. That alone could be the cause of the fear. The child needs prior preparation to help them gather the courage.
The worst time to interrupt the kid for a bath will be during playtime. Just do not be selfish. Let the child get enough play. After playing you could then proceed to give them the proper meal. If the child is hungry, that will only result in building up anxiety.
A full child translates to a zone of comfort, and that is the ideal time to take them to the tub. Before that convey in an appropriate manner that you are taking the child for a bath. They will know it is not playing time or feed time but time to clean up and they will know what to expect.
During The Bath
Once in the tub, the drain is one of the things that scare the baby. Explain to them that the drain is just a harmless outlet and it won’t drown them. If the convincing does not work, you still got one tactic at your disposal. The tactic is distracting the child’s attention. There are many ways to add some glamor to the bathtub. You could add color to the water, or you can use some glow bracelets.
To shift the child’s attention consider incorporating bath toys during shower time. A word of caution, if you use too many toys, it will not work. Ducks are specifically excellent toys to use. The ducks’ resemblance to the real ducks reassures the kid that they are safe in the tub.
Have you tried singing? Songs are awesome tools in keeping the kid’s mind away from the thoughts of fear. I also love the power of kid’s stories. The story could be about anything that captures the kid’s attention and somehow also excites the child.
Bubble baths are very exciting to toddlers. By blowing bubbles in the tub, you will be in a position to scrub the child clean without them caring much about the phobia.
Skin sensitivity is one of the reasons that your kid hates bathing so much. If it hurts in any way, then they will cry every time you want them to take a bath. Bathing products are the major cause of skin sensitivity. Ensure that the products you will be using don’t hurt the baby’s skin.
When the soap gets into sensitive parts. The nose and the eyes it records somewhere at the back of the baby’s mind. They will think it hurts all the time. To avoid the mentality all together invest in a bath time visor.
Another thing that upset the kid is the water jet during rinsing. You could let the baby know that it will not hurt. On the other hand, why don’t you start with the lowest jet pressure, and as the baby gets used you can use the normal flow.
The baby might cry by thinking that the water will hurt. What about getting in the tub with the kid? Once the baby can see that you are not hurting while in the tub they will also get comfortable.
After The Bath
Now, this is the time to make your little prince/princess a hero. Make them feel good about having taken a bath. Let them be aware of how good it feels after the shower. Make her believe that a bath is such a good thing. You could also reward the kid by giving them a treat. Treat them to what they love most, could be story-telling, or mother and child bonding.
If you get smart, your baby will end up looking forward to the bath. You will not believe how much things will turn around for you and your kid. You should that if you follow a routine, changing the routine will upset your kid. In such a case handle the baby like a human it is not a robot.
Explain why you had to change the routine and make them understand. Using the above tricks, the baby will no more loathe the shower. From now henceforth it might turn to be one of the most fun events for the kid.