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Hi All,

I seem to see lots of help sheets, advice, FAQ, threads, etc for tantrums,& eating and sleeping disorders but I have a 2 yr old son who is terrified of a having bath or shower.
This does not seem to be just a phase that he is going through and will grow out of. He is genuinely frightened.

He shakes, convulses, crys, and has even ended up being sick. Real fear and panic.

We have tried all sorts, decorating bathroom, lots of toys in bath, washing his favourite teddy, bath with mummy & daddy, shower over bath on taps, stand up shower, special soap, shampoo, hugs, kisses, cuddles, even half nelsons and forcing him to have a bath or hair wash despite the crying. So we have tried both "extremes" of motivation

At best he just stands there crying, at worst he climbs out of bath, his "fight or flight" response.
Not a pleasurable experience for any of us

The irony is that he loves water.

He's always jumping in puddles,loves swimming and jumps into the pool, wants to help us with washing up, shaving, washing, etc, he will even stand at edge of bath and splash and play with toys while we are in the bath and splash us. But mention him having bath shower or hair wash and absolute panic sets in .

Any one have any similar tales to tell, and especially solutions, tips or where to turn to.
Do we need a child psycologist as something is bothering him about it?


Have you tried getting in to the bath first and letting him get in with you. If you are not happy about being naked in front of him put a swimming cossy on, as he may feel more secure if he is in the water with one of his parents.

Only other suggestion is if his phobia is more to do with him having his hair washed and water and soap running in to his eyes. You can buy a 'shield' especially for children which is worn like a halo and would prevent any water and soap getting in to his face and eyes.

Hope this helps, good luck.


thx angela,,

We have tried, shampoo shield, us in bath 1st.. in fact he will stand at the side & play with his toys with us in the bath but wont join "in the bath"
To be fair we havent tried with swimming

Its not the water or shampoo he seems scared of, he will shampoo mummy and daddy, its the actual "bath" or "shower" bit. it really traumatises him.
But thx for your suggestions.

Re: Re: Re: BATH PHOBIA ??

I seem to have the same problem, I've done all the same things you have and haven't had any luck either. My daughter is 5 and I have been having the same problems since she was about 2. She loved her baths up until she hit 2 or so and now it's a fight everytime. Help us please anyone.