ElenaPlummer's picture
ElenaPlummer

Getting My 5 Yaer Old to take a bath

I have no where else left to turn, I'm new here, and I already posted this problem but I must have not done it right becuase I haven't gotten any responses...Anyway I have the hardest time getting my daughter to take a bath and to wash her hair. I've tried everything from threats (no watching TV and taking her toys away) to rewards (taking her to the park or to MacDonalds) but nothing works anymore, I eventually get her in the bathtub but it's a nightmare washing her hair, I even had her PreSchool Teachers talk to her but nothing is working. I was able to give her a bath and wash her hair about 3 days ago and it was wonderfull she didn't cry or scream or complai so I thought wonderfull now that she has seen that there's nothing to be scared about I won't have any problems anymore but today I told her again that it was bath day and she started crying saying she doesn't want to take a bath. Help! I don't know what happened to make so afraid of baths nothing that I can think of....Anyways I have nowhere else to turn.

Thanks

Elena



ElenaPlummer's picture
ElenaPlummer

Yes I've alreay tried everything you've suggested. Taking a shower with her, having HER give me a bath and wash my hair by having her pour the water on my head and showing her that there's nothing to be afraid of, sitting down and talking to her about the importance of taking a bath and washing her hair and I've tried asking her what is she so afraid of and her answer is just "I don't know, I'm not brave" I've even tried just giving her a sponge bath by having her stand in the bathtub lathering down with soap and then rinsing her by pouring water on her with a cup, now that worked only the one time though so I though great now she knows that there's nothing to be afraid of but we're back at the beginning again.  I've already tried everything that you suggested I don't know what to do anymore.

camiesmom's picture
camiesmom

I too have a 5yr old who hates taking baths ... actually its getting her hair washed that she hates - the bath part is fun when she gets to play with toys and bubbles etc - but then it lasts for tooo long.  Anyway - for the past few months we have been washing her hair in the kitchen sink - laying her on the counter and propping her neck up with a hand towel ... she gets a washcloth to cover her eyes and I use the sprayer to wet her hair.  This has worked but it is getting old.  I have started showering with her - we say that showers are like playing naked in the rain - she will tolerate this but rinsing her hair is still difficult.  We have not had her hair cut by a stylist because of this irrational fear of water ...hopefully the sink thing will work and she can get a real haircut before school starts!

Try this sink - try the shower - don't give up!  I keep hoping it will get easier too!

ElenaPlummer's picture
ElenaPlummer

I've already tried the shower and it worked for a while but then that stopped working, I've even tried the sink but that was a Nightmare! So I don't know what else to do, I have tried taking stuff away from her like her toys or the TV and then I have to deal with the crying until it bothers my husband soooo much that he gives in and lets her watch TV like yesterday he told her it would be ok for her to watch TV if she agreed to take a bath today so she said Yes but now today I asked her again to take a bath and what do you think she said or did? Of course she said no and started her crying scene again. I don't know I just hope she grows out of this stage soon, I'm really getting tired of fighting with her just to keep her clean. Anyways I appreciate all the suggestions!

ElenaPlummer's picture
ElenaPlummer

Thanks Marti,

I don't know I just hope she grows out of this stage soon, I'm really getting tired of fighting with her just to keep her clean. Anyways I appreciate all the suggestions!

erica's picture
erica

MY SON HAS NEVER LIKED BATHS, HE IS 9 NOW AND I HAVE TO CHECK ON HIM REGULARLY WHEN HE IS IN THE BATH (TO SEE IF HE IS EVEN IN THE WATER AND IF HE IS BATHING)

I BOUGHT A PRETEND RAZOR AND SHAVING CREAM KIT FOR CHRISTMAS ONE YEAR AND I COULDN'T KEEP HIM OUT OF THE TUB.

NOW HE TAKES A BATH WITH HIS BABY BROTHER AND PLAYS WITH A KITCHEN SET AS WELL AS OLD SHAMPOO BOTTLES.

(MAYBE IS IS JUST HAVING SOMETHING TO DO IN THERE OR SOMEONE TO SHARE THE TIME WITH)

GOOD LUCK - I HAVE SIX KIDS (SO HE HAS LITTLE BROTHERS AND SISTERS TO HELP OUT WITH -SO MAYBE THAT HELPS, TOO)

WE ALSO HAVE A CHART FOR EACH ONE, (ONCE YOU FINISH YOUR CHART FOR THE WEEK YOU CAN BUY SOMETHING AT THE STORE OR GET AN ICECREAM FROM THE ICECREAM TRUCK)

P.S. WE MAKE A MONTHY/WEEKLY CHART FOR EACH CHILD (SOMETHING FOR THEM TO ACHIEVE FOR THE WEEK)

GL-ERICA

LR707AR's picture
LR707AR

Just a thought.... but have you tried giving your daughter a doll to bath herself while you bath her?  You know one of those "plastic" bath time dolls, Maybe if she has something to mimic you with she might be a little better.  She can wash the doll while you wash her and she can wash the dolls hair while you do the same.  Only let her use the doll when it's bath time, let it be her bath time friend.  Worth a try?! maybe?!

 

Lorie :)

Cristi555's picture
Cristi555

Actually, you are correct in that it is a phase. It's terrible when it lasts a long time, but it is a phase. Many kids are terrified of the bath (my first and third children were, too). The first one screamed bloody murder with each bath until the second one decided at 9 months old (she was almost 3 at that time) that he couldn't wait to get into the tub and play. She was angry that he was having fun and had to have fun then too. When the 3rd one came along, we had to start all over again. Back to screaming and tears. We knew that he would get over it as he got older. We let him scream and holler, we did not negotiate (AT ALL), we just reminded him that those were the rules. It was extremely frustrating. But here's the key, if you sound like you can't take the screaming, crying fits, she will continue to do them. At 5, it becomes more of a competition.

I started explaining to my kids at an early age that they have one job as children: to be the best person that they can be. I have one job as their mom, to help them BE the best person they can be.

During the day explain these jobs to her. Then, explain to her calmly that in order for her to be the best person she can be, she has to wash her body and her own hair in the bathtub. Explain that in order to HELP her be the best person she can be, you will show her how to do it herself every single night until she is ready to do it on her own. And that once she is able to complete this responsibility on her own, she may then take them every other night. (She may not get right away that you are planning on daily baths, but by the second night, she will). You have to be okay with her being angry, or screaming or yelling. Say this mantra to yourself "this is a temporary inconvenience for a permanent improvement". Be patient, be strong. Remember NOT to focus on her noise level, but on helping her improve who she is. In other words, if she thinks you are doing this to get her to be quiet, she will continue to make it difficult. At some point, you will be able to say to her, "hey, it's okay to be upset, it's not okay to yell like that". You'll get there, I can see that you are determined to get this right!

Brindy's picture
Brindy

Try buying a child bath kid with bubbles bath crayons and such and let her just sit and play. I would also make sure you use tear free shampoo.If it is fear of water in general  I would sign her up for swimming lessons. I have three sisters all of their children were afraid of water. My son was not but I always from the time he could hold his head up his self I laid him on his back in the tub washed the front side and washed his hair and then turned him over on his tummy and finished washing him. I would always drizzle a little water over his head and allow it to run down his face if he got excited and started kicking and put his face in the water it wasn't a big deasl he always picked his head back up. If we went to the springs or river swimming the only problem I had was he would crawl right on in he had no fear so I had to keep a close eye on him.

Cristi555's picture
Cristi555

Brindy obviously did not read what you wrote. You stated that you tried all the gimmicks. They do not work because your daughter thinks taking a bath is open for discussion.  Mom, it's time for you to be in charge. You said that she "agreed" to take a bath once. That means that she thinks it is up to her. It's not. It's up to you. Be the strong parent. Explain the rules to her. Don't back down. She will be a much happier child if you take charge because kids depend on the strength of their parents. If she doesn't trust you to make the decisions, she will continue to compete with you. You don't have to be mean, AT ALL, just don't argue (even if that means you don't say anything at all). Be firm in your rules. No punishments for not taking a bath. Taking a bath is not optional and not open for discussion. Discipline would be for the behavior she exhibits when it is time to take a bath.  Say, "you're still taking a bath. I am taking away whatever priviledge for choosing to behave this way". When she sees that you mean it, she will stop putting on the show for you.

moodymoose77's picture
moodymoose77

      I am a regular babysitter and I have sat for many kids who were scared of washing hair and bathing. I agree about not giving a choice about bathing but I never ask a child if they want to take a bath or not. Instead I get them interested in bathtime through toys like puppets, bubbles, etc. and I find out what is scaring them. The child and I discuss all of this long before bathtime. One little girl told me she was afraid of going under the water and getting soap in her eyes because it hurt. I said that I didn't like getting soap in my eyes or being put under water either. I let her know my methods were different and  what  my methods were First I showed her I would keep all the soap and water off her face by making coyote calls- looking up and howling to keep rinse water out of her face. I told her we would be making animal ears and asked her what animal she wanted to be. Lastly, I showed her toys I had  brought. She felt better about bathtime. When bath time came I reminded her I wouldn't get soap or water in her face and let her know it would be okay. I used a washcloth to wet and rinse her hair taking my time and reassuring her as needed. Once she was scared when I turned on the water to rinse the washcloth and began to whine. It's okay I said, Sweetheart, I'm only rinsing the washcloth. I'm not going to lay you under the water. She calmed right down and had a great time as I made her animal ears, played with toys with her, and kept my promise about keeping the soap and water out of her face. It took a little extra time (15 or 20 minutes) and it payed off royally because the next time I babysat for her she was begging me to bathe her and wash her hair so she could make animal ears and do coyote calls. Take time to find out what is so upsetting to her and listen. Then try some new positive methods. It takes changing things around to let your child see things from a new perspective, that bathing and washing hair can be fun. It always works not matter what kid I've worked with. Take  care and God bless!