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help! G.D. frightened of bath

(53 Posts)
Morgana Thu 11-May-17 10:03:07

2 year old granddaughter is refusing to get into bath or shower. It started after their bathroom was being refitted and they were a couple of weeks with no proper washing facilities. She is quite happy to help me water the garden! Any suggestions?

M0nica Thu 11-May-17 10:20:30

With the summer and the good weather coming perhaps playing in and out of a garden sprinkler and in a (small) paddling pool will help her overcome her fears.

Our local swimming pool has a row of showers beside the pool, if your local pool has anything like that could she be encouraged under a shower by seeing lots of people,including children, around her doing the same thing?

Jalima1108 Thu 11-May-17 10:27:16

Perhaps she is not keen on running water or water on her face.
Could her DP run a very shallow bath and put in bath toys - or let her throw them in herself, eg ducks and those submarines, frogs etc that can be wound up then go off across the water? She may want to then get in and play with them.
Have they tried bubble bath as well?

If she does decide she wants to get in and play, just let her splash around and don't try to wash her or wash her hair.
She'll be clean enough after a few minutes in the water with some nice gentle organic bubble bath in it.

Jalima1108 Thu 11-May-17 10:28:37

and don't pull the plug until she is out - it may sound odd but perhaps she is worried about the plug hole and the water disappearing down it.

vampirequeen Thu 11-May-17 10:36:33

DD1 thought she'd be sucked down the plug hole until she was about 4 and she hated showers until she was a teenager because she couldn't work out how to breathe.

Jalima1108 Thu 11-May-17 10:39:28

I don't think it's uncommon vq, about the plug hole.

annodomini Thu 11-May-17 10:39:35

I know for a fact that some families will bathe together. Has her mum tried getting in the shower with her?

Jalima1108 Thu 11-May-17 10:41:31

DSIL always had a shower with DGS from when he started having showers until DGS decided he was old enough to have one by himself.

vampirequeen Thu 11-May-17 10:42:49

Ooops forget my reason for posting. I let DD1 take charge of the shower spray. She found it easier to wet herself, let me wash her and then spray herself again. At first, she only wet her feet and I had to wet her and rinse her off with a flannel but gradually she gained confidence.

Water on the head for hair washing was a different matter. I got round that with a wide shower brim and she held a dry flannel on her face. Also don't use too much shampoo. Hair will clean with only a little. It's the adverts that persuade us we need to use enough to make a lot of lather so we have to buy the product more often. The less foam you create the quicker the hair wash will be over.

Luckygirl Thu 11-May-17 11:46:41

Sharing the bath or shower is a good idea - and just giving her a strip wash for the time being - it is not a big deal as long as she is reasonably clean. Let her do some of the wash herself.

I have two DGSs who never wash their faces (except in their weekly bath) and who never comb their hair. When they come over to stay and I have to get them ready for school they look at me in horror when I suggest either of these things - "We don't do THAT Grandma!" - and they don't at home - I have watched it happen there. They seem none the worse for it - they look a bit like absent minded professors!

What I am saying is that cleanliness is not to be fussed about! A "lick and a spit" now and again will see her through till she gets over this fear.

Morgana Thu 11-May-17 13:28:12

She won't get into bath even with mum or dad. Wouldn't even put feet into sink last night
Will try other suggestions

SueDonim Thu 11-May-17 14:40:00

I'd let it go for now, unless a child is filthy with mud or worse, they won't come to any harm. I'd use warm water and a flannel to wipe her down every evening.

Or you could try what my mum did with us kids one winter when it was too cold to use the unheated bathroom. She sat us on a towel on the kitchen draining board and slooshed us down, which we thought was great fun!

Jalima1108 Thu 11-May-17 14:50:07

I wouldn't push it for the time being; you could try the shallow bath with her throwing her toys in and she could want to get in with them and play.

Does she have a favourite dolly with its own bath? Perhaps bathing dolly could encourage her then perhaps she could have a bath herself with dolly (slowly, slowly, don't rush her)!

Jalima1108 Thu 11-May-17 14:51:40

ps she'll be fine with what we used to call 'topping and tailing' but just doing face and bottom and washing hands for the time being.

gillybob Thu 11-May-17 15:08:30

You mentioned that there had been a new bathroom fitted Morgana and I wonder if she has been scared by seeing something under where the bath would have been? A big spider maybe or even just pipes and holes? Silly things often scare the little ones. When he was around three, my DGS (now 7) was terrified of my downstairs loo and it turned out he has seen a spider in there.

Norah Thu 11-May-17 15:38:43

When my daughters and GC went through that phase (they all seem to), I started using the laundry tub. Bigger than a sink, smaller than proper bathroom tub. I let the splash bubbles and make dreadful puddles. I think all children get over fears eventually if the issue is well ignored.

Just washing with a flannel until her fears subside is also a good idea.

hildajenniJ Thu 11-May-17 16:03:46

My Mum used to sit us on the draining board with our feet in the warm water. We had a flannel to wash our hands and faces, then Mum would wash our bottoms. We only ever had a bath once a week.
Maybe your GD would do as we did.

Elrel Thu 11-May-17 18:29:16

A friend had this problem with an older child who had a fear of baths due to cold bath punishments. Warm shallow water, bubble bath,bath toys and some lurid product which coloured the water. With a lot of patience the problem was solved and the child realised baths could be fun.

Yorkshiregel Fri 12-May-17 10:21:14

Make it a fun place to be and she will love it. Give her bubbles to blow. Ducks to float, boats to sail along, cups to pour water from. Let her play and enjoy the warm water. Do not leave her alone or she will panic. I cannot believe that anyone would punish a child by putting them in a bath of cold water. How cruel is that?

Yorkshiregel Fri 12-May-17 10:24:02

Just had a thought. With most trendy youngsters opting for a shower and not a bath is it a case of the water pouring down upon her that she doesn't like? If so do not use the shower, use a jug instead and let her fill it up and pour it on herself. When finished wrap her in a warm towel. My DS2 hated getting out of the bath because his legs would get cold quickly.

radicalnan Fri 12-May-17 10:24:44

I have one of those tubs with handles from DIY shed......I use it for all sorts of things mainaly dog washing, but my grand daughters think it is a scream to have a garden bath and weather permitting are happy in there and blow buddes with bubble wands etc............not sure what the dog thinks

You could transfer it to inside the home bath if it was cold out.

Thy come in all colours and are useful for washing, carrying stuff, weeds, I have them in pink and purple the girls love them. Less than a fiver I think.

Jalima1108 Fri 12-May-17 10:30:07

They are also great for storing toys too

SewAddict Fri 12-May-17 10:33:45

I agree with others don't make a big thing of it , just wash her down with a flannel for now. Then do lots of exciting water play, bathing dollies/ toys is good fun. You could talk about why we need to wash - germs live on us, it's not nice to smell, etc.
Give her a dirty toy and ask what can be done about it - so getting her to suggest washing. Make it fun and she will get over the fear in time.

grannyqueenie Fri 12-May-17 10:36:20

I've got some like that luckygirl!!

Hollycat Fri 12-May-17 10:38:55

We used to be washed sitting on the draining board too, and then lie on the draining board with our heads over the sink for hair washing. Proper baths were reserved for the winter when the coal fire heated the back boiler. Anyone wanting a bath in the summer had to struggle upstairs with pans of boiling water which were cooled by the cold tap and gave a very shallow bath. Oh, the good old days!