Child, fears

Fear of bathing in the bathtub

Fear of bathing in the bathtub

Child is afraid of the bathtub

Most children love bath time and simply feel comfortable in the tub. Even little babies enjoy being able to splash around safely in the warm water on mom’s arm. But in some families, these moments have absolutely nothing to do with relaxation. On the contrary – because if you have a child who shies away from the water, then every bath day becomes a burden. Already when the offspring hears that water is let into the bathtub, it starts. Small babies become restless and fidget so much that parents have problems keeping them safe. Older children cry and vociferously proclaim their displeasure at what they see as an unnecessary procedure. But no child can avoid regular bathing as part of personal hygiene. So the question is: how can I take away my offspring’s fear of bathing?

Feeling limitations and trust

For a baby, water is actually something very familiar. Throughout pregnancy it has been enveloped by amniotic fluid, and it stands to reason that it will remember this feeling when it then lives in our midst. Water births are popular not only because they give the mother relief during labor, but also because the newborn glides from the familiar amniotic fluid into the water of the tub, experiencing a gentle transition in the midst of a familiar element. Nevertheless, the first bathing experiences outside the mother’s body can be frightening. Lights that are too bright and a tub that is too big often cause the little one to cry. Sometimes it really is enough to dim the light in the bathroom or change the position while bathing. In the womb, the baby always felt boundaries everywhere. These boundaries gave him security and it can be very helpful if he also experiences them when bathing. Why not hold your baby in such a way that he can feel the edge of the baby bath with his little feet? Or try a bathing bucket specially designed for newborns. You can also get into the tub together with your offspring – but then it’s helpful if your partner is standing by to hand you the baby and take him or her back after the bath.

My child is afraid of the bathtub – What to do?

External circumstances are not always to blame when a baby resists bathing. Often it is simply the parents who are very insecure in dealing with their child and the offspring instinctively feel this insecurity. This is understandable, because if you have never bathed a baby before, you are naturally afraid that you will hold it incorrectly and that it might slip out of your hands. The postpartum midwife is not only there to support the young mother in breastfeeding, but also to help with any questions about baby care and will certainly be happy to explain and show exactly the correct posture for bathing. More about bathing baby

Child is afraid of water -Even among toddlers there are water-shy specimens

Not only some babies are afraid of water – toddlers often still have their problems with bathing. Maybe they slipped in the tub and swallowed some water. Or while washing their hair, some shampoo got into their eyes and irritated them. Sometimes, however, you can’t figure out the reason for their anxiety. Whatever the case, talk to your child soothingly and do not force him into the tub. If your child is less afraid of bathing, but more afraid of washing their hair in the tub, then let them rinse their hair off themselves. The feeling of not being at the mercy and being in control can sometimes help a little. Give your child a dry washcloth to hold in front of their eyes when washing their hair. By the way, a mild children’s shampoo will prevent burning if any of it does run into the eyes. The amount of water in the tub can also be significant. So don’t let in too much water, and acknowledge it with a wink if your child virtually only lets himself bathe in a small puddle. Once he or she sits in it, he or she may want to let in a little more water all by itself. Let your child have a say – it’s bound to work out better that way.


Bath duck, diving goggles and crackling bath – try distraction

Fortunately, children can be distracted quite easily. Try making bathing fun for your offspring with a colorful bath additive. A crackling bath can also get water-shy kids to dare to take a bath after all. And last but not least, the good old rubber duck can do a good job. In addition, there is a whole range of water toys that can provide distraction: Water wheels, splash animals, little boats – just try out what your child jumps at. Or does it need goggles to feel safer? Does he want you to get into the tub with him? Sometimes it takes a little convincing before your child is tempted to take a bath. But as is often the case in life with children, this phase will pass and the day will surely come when you will have to persuade your offspring to finally get out of the tub, lest they grow webbed feet!

Bath additives for children

  • Crackling bath
  • Bubble bath
  • Bath pearls
  • Magic fairy bath
  • Pirate bath
  • Dream travel bath

Bath toy

  • Quitscheente
  • Waterproof baby book
  • Water mill
  • Boats
  • Bathtub pencils
  • Experiments for the bathtub


[Please note: Our articles cannot replace the advice of a doctor. In case of health problems, please always consult a doctor you trust].