-Have someone get in the bath with her (friend, parent, etc).
-Get those bath crayons for drawing on the tub & herself.
-Toys! And lots of them!
-LUSH smelly soaps (worked for a parent in my parent’s group)
I hated having my hair washed when I was about 2 or 3. I screamed so loud and so long one day that our elderly neighbor called the cops.
Finally my mom came up with the idea of making me a “brave” sign. After my bath, with clean hair, I got a sign that said BRAVE, with stars on it, and she hung it around my neck. So everyone would know I was so brave and had my hair washed. I still remember how proud I was to strut around wearing that sign. And the next time I didn’t scream because I knew I had to be quiet in order to get my brave sign.
If she’s old enough to understand the idea you might try that.
Any liquid baby wash or shampoo can be put into a foaming handsoap dispenser and turned into foamy soap, which she might like. Fill it 3/4 with soap and 1/4 with water and shake well.
I’d also consider a shower, as **Kalhoun **recommends. There’s no reason it has to be a bath. Just give her a rail or mom’s arm to hold onto. I’ve been showering with our 11 month old until this week, because she hated baths. (This week she learned to sit unassisted and her aunt got her little LED flashy light up rubber ducks. Our problem seems solved!)
Right now, babyx hates baths too, so one of us holds her next to the sink while the other scrubs and rinses her sponge-bath style, then we do her hair under the tap. But she’s only six months, so she’s small and pliable enough that it’s doable.
What if you put her in the bathtub while it was empty? Put one of those suction-cupped mats in there so it’s comfy, and plop her in there with a couple of her very favourite toys - or even buy her a brand - new very fun “just for the bath-tub” toy. She could sit there, fully dressed, and play maybe? Just to get used to being in there.
She might be afraid of the drain - I have read that many kids are afraid of getting sucked down in there with the water.
How about if she stands in the tub and you could use one of those shower-head-hose thingies to wash her and rinse her?
You could try making it FUN and giving her a great reward after - a toy or a new storybook or something.
you might try changing the bath time. Before nap, after nap, in the morning, etc. Just might be a little cranky at that time, and we all know when a toddler is a little cranky anything can set them off like Krakatoa
What are you like when it’s bath time? Are you calm or are you steeling yourself for a fight?
Do you know Mr Rogers song about never going down the drain? I used to sing that to my kids–that and Rubber Ducky etc. And silly voices help, as well as silly faces and silly words–you’re on–it’s show time,
18 months is a time of big fears for some kids.
Don’t take this the wrong way, but the question has to be asked: are you in some way perpetuating/reinforcing her tears in some way, even unconsciously?
I strongly doubt it, but the possiblity does exist.
I suggest you and kidlet making a special trip to the store and she can pickout a special bath toy/bubble bath (this may not work as she is so young). Put some music on in the bathroom–Joanie Bartell’s or whoever is popular now with lil ones–make them bathtime songs (rubber ducky, never go down the drain, etc), make sure the bath and bathroom are warm. KEEP CALM AND PLEASANT, no matter what. Let her play with the drain. Let her play with the water–make a mess, if necessary.
Lather, rinse and repeat.
I third the washcloth over the eyes for hairwashing–and let that go for a good week. Get her used to the tub and then move on to hair.
Worst comes to worst–she will grow out of it. In 14 years, you won’t be able to get her OUT of the tub…
If you have a porcelain tub it might be cold to her bottom. Try running really hot water for the bath, closing the bathroom door and letting it sit until the water is cool enough for her to get in. It’ll warm up the tub and the bathroom which may make it more comfortable.
Many kids are afraid of the tub. My older one was fine once we explained and demonstrated that he was too big to go down the drain, but our 18-month old screams if he goes into the tub. We have an big baby bathtub The Euro by Primo which has one side for infants to lay down in and the other side is for toddlers to sit up in, and he will only go in the tub if that second bathtub is inside it. We tried to entice him into the tub by putting him in with his older brother but he hated it. So, we figure for now we’ll put him in with the toddler tub and try again when he’s a little older. A bath chair, as mentioned by cher3, might help too.