What To Do When Your Baby Hates Bath Time

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When my oldest child was a baby, she would scream so loudly during bath time that I used to worry what the neighbors were thinking.  Should I explain to them that I was bathing her, or wait for them to show up on my doorstep and ask what was wrong?

The neighbors never showed up on my doorstep and eventually, she outgrew her bath phobia.  But I remember how stressful bath time was during the first few years of her life.  What do you do when your baby hates bath time?

Create a Routine

When I brought my son home from the hospital, I decided to get him used to a daily routine that included a daily bath because I wanted to avoid the issues I’d faced with my older children.

Every day, we’d go through the same routine.  I found a baby bath that claimed to help calm infants and I decided to try the product.  It actually worked! 

Stay Calm

With my oldest child, I used to get all upset when she got upset.  I worried, felt guilty, and actually tried to avoid bath time.  In fact, I started giving her a bath every other day because she seemed to hate baths so much.  This was probably the worst thing to do.

With my son, I realized that he was just upset because taking a bath was a new experience.  I persisted with my routine and about a week later, he no longer fussed during bath time.  Now, he loves taking a bath.  This is a good thing because he is an active toddler and gets VERY messy during the day.

Timing Is Everything

The key to making bath time fun is to schedule bath time before your child is overly tired.  I found that giving my son a bath about an hour to an hour and a half before his bed time worked very well.  If your child tends to be cranky at night, try bathing him in the morning when he gets up. 

 Some children find baths to be relaxing and it helps them to sleep better.  Bath time can also get certain children “wound up”.  My second child was that way.  Because of that, I had her take baths during the morning.

Be Safe, Not Sorry

It’s important to mention that you should carefully check the water temperature before you bathe your child.  Water that is too hot or too cold can be dangerous for your baby.  There are many products available at stores which can help you check the temperature of your water.  These are worth purchasing.

Most babies like water that is warm.  It shouldn’t be overly warm, but cool water doesn’t work well either. After a while, you’ll find out what your baby likes and doesn’t like.

Above all else, take comfort in the fact that bath time phobia is a fleeting stage in your child’s life.  My oldest child is now a teenager.  Instead of begging her to take a bath, I am now begging her to get out of the bathroom as she enjoys taking LONG showers.  Who would have guessed that this would be the case 15 years ago?


Colleen Lamont says:

My three year old son is terrified of baths. He used to be fine until it was time to wash his hair. Now even going into the bathroom when the water is running is like pulling teeth. He screams bloody murder to the point where i wouldn’t be surprised if the neighbors came to see what was wrong, and he kicks and shakes his whole body so bad that i’m afraid of dropping him. The whole time he’s in the bath he won’t sit down, and im afraid he’s gonna fall so im stressed yelling please sit down. I cry every time i give him a bath. It effects me and my husbands relationship because i don’t like being the bad guy when hes screaming for daddy and I take it out on him every time.

Michelle says:

Maybe you can try giving him a shower instead? This might work better than a bath.

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