Baby What should you do if your baby hates the bath?


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18 May 2022
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Your baby's bathroom isn't just for cleaning. It's supposed to be a warm, soothing ritual. It gives parents and babies a one-on-one, fun time for everyone - or is it?

If your baby screams at the sight, sound or touch of the bathroom, you are not alone. It may be upsetting for both of you, but eventually this phase will pass.

In the meantime, here are solutions that have worked for other moms and dads.

Bathe only when fed and well rested
"What worked for us was to make sure our baby wasn't tired or hungry during the bath."

Try a bath pillow
"My son is 8 months old and he hated taking a bath until I got him a great bath pillow. It's really padded and stays as hot as the water in the tub. Mine is made of fabric instead of rubber, so he"s really comfortable. His feet are drooping and he can jump around. She'll stay there for as long as possible or until I wash her hair. Then the fun is over."

Gradually transitioning to the baby bathtub
"I'd put our son in the baby tub with no water in it and fill another tub with warm water. I would start by pouring water on his toes with a glass and work my way up. That stopped most of the crying because we weren't dealing with a lot of water. If I whined a little, I would sing to him. And I always had a heater to make it comfortable. My son hated the sound of running water. I used to get everything ready before I went to the bathroom. Now he's 8 months old and he's sitting on the floor of our shower while we shower."

"My daughter also hated the bath. Then I realized what she hated was going into the water. Now we put her in the baby tub and then fill the tub with water. It seems like it will help her get used to the bath. It stopped the screaming completely. And the tears."

"My daughter hated the bath until she was 8 months old. She's always amazed at the running water though, so I finally sat her on my lap while she was running the water in her tub and then I let her put her hands in. We played like that for a few minutes and then I sat her down in the water. She was still hugging me but the bathroom We were able to get through the time without screaming."

Forget the tub for now
"My son took a 'counter bath' until he was 2 1/2 months old. I put a towel on the counter. In the sink was a bucket of warm water, baby soap and a washcloth. I was washing him very well with the cloth, squirting soap on the cloth and working it out. Over his little body "I just used a little soap so there was no need to soak it in water. I then had a dry towel to wrap it around so it could be completely warm and comfortable. When I finally got it in the tub, as long as the water was hot it was fine."

"I bathed my baby in the tub until he felt comfortable. I sprayed some diaper on the diaper with some warm water and cleaned it. It was fast, there was no screaming, and it always smelled good to me. Some struggles are not worth the effort. In the end, he loved taking a bath."

Distract your baby with songs and conversations
"Since my son's first bath, I've been talking to him and telling him what I've been doing ("We wash his left eye first, then his right eye...") and sing songs occasionally. He hasn't even been agitated at bath time because of the constant fun."