Overcoming Bath Time Fear: Helping Newborns And Toddlers Feel Safe


The fear of bath time in newborns and toddlers is a common concern for many parents. While some babies may not enjoy the sensation of being in the bath, older babies and toddlers may develop a fear of the bath due to various reasons. It is important for parents to understand and address this fear in order to make bath time a positive and enjoyable experience for their child.

This article aims to provide tips and solutions for helping newborns and toddlers feel safe during bath time. By following these tips, parents can help their child overcome their fear and make bath time a fun and relaxing experience for both the child and the parent.


Understanding the Fear of Bath Time

For many parents, bath time can be a fun and relaxing activity with their little ones. However, for some babies and toddlers, it can be a source of fear and anxiety. This fear, known as ablutophobia, is a common toddler phobia that can appear around the ages of 1-2.

There are various reasons why a child may develop a fear of bath time. This can range from the change in temperature, the sensation of floating, the noise of rushing water, or discomfort from getting water or soap in their eyes. It is important to understand and acknowledge these reasons in order to address the issue effectively.

It is crucial to take a gentle and empathetic approach when dealing with a child's fear of bath time. Forcing them into the bath when they are upset can have long-term impacts and may worsen the fear. It is important to remember that their fear is real and should be taken seriously.

By understanding the reasons behind the fear and approaching it with care, parents can help their children feel safe and eventually overcome their fear of bath time. It is also important to have a routine in place and make bath time a positive and enjoyable experience for the child.


Establishing a Routine for Bath Time

Bath time can be a challenging experience for both parents and babies. However, establishing a consistent bathtime routine can have numerous benefits for both parties. According to baby sleep expert Maryanne Sayers, a bath time ritual can help your baby settle for a peaceful night's sleep and also serve as a bonding time for you and your little one.

To create a routine, it is important to plan out the week and pick a specific time of day for bath time. This can help keep things organized and consistent. Additionally, make sure to choose products that are gentle on your baby's skin and maintain the warmth of the bath to aid in relaxation.

Having a routine can also help reduce fear and anxiety associated with bath time. By following the same steps every day, your baby will become familiar and comfortable with the process, making it a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

Overall, establishing a bath time routine can not only make the cleaning process smoother but also promote a peaceful night's sleep for your baby and a special bonding time for you and your little one.


Bathing Newborns

Bath time can be a daunting experience for both parents and newborns. To make the process more comfortable and enjoyable, there are a few key tips to keep in mind.

  1. Using a small baby bath can help create a sense of security for your little one, as it mimics the feeling of being in the womb.

  2. Maintaining eye contact and talking to your baby throughout the bath can also help them feel safe and connected to you.

  3. The warm water can have a calming effect on babies, making bath time a soothing experience for them.

  4. When it comes to choosing products, it's important to use gentle and mild options specifically designed for babies. These can help prevent skin irritation and maintain the natural oils in their delicate skin.

By following these tips, bath time can become a special bonding experience for you and your newborn. Remember to always prioritize your baby's safety and comfort, and don't be afraid to adapt your routine to suit their individual needs.


Bathing Older Babies and Toddlers

Free Baby Inside White Bathtub With Water Stock Photo

Bathing older babies and toddlers can be a fun and enjoyable experience for both parents and children. However, it's important to take certain precautions to ensure their safety and comfort during bath time.

One key tip is to slowly introduce baths to avoid overwhelming the child. This can be done by starting with short baths and gradually increasing the time as the child becomes more comfortable.

Another important safety measure is to use a nonslip mat in the bathtub to prevent any accidents. This is especially important for toddlers who may be more active and prone to slipping.

When it's time to drain the water, make sure to take the child out of the bath first. The sound of the water draining can be scary for some children, so it's best to avoid this potential fear.

To make bath time more enjoyable, consider incorporating toys, songs, and games. This can help keep the child entertained and make bath time a positive experience.


Supervision and Safety

During bath time, it is crucial to provide constant supervision for babies and toddlers. This means always staying within arm's reach of the child and never leaving them unattended, even for a moment. According to StaySafe.org, drowning can occur in just a few inches of water, making it essential for caregivers to be vigilant at all times.

In addition to supervision, there are other precautions that can be taken to ensure a safe environment for the child. This includes monitoring the water temperature to prevent scalds or burns. Using a bath thermometer is recommended, but it is also important to always test the water with your elbow or wrist before placing the child in the bath. InfantCPR.com also emphasizes the importance of securing the child to prevent falls and potential drowning.

Leaving a child unattended during bath time can have serious consequences. Even if the caregiver needs to attend to something urgent, it is best to take the child out of the bath and bring them along. According to Raising Children Network, drowning is not always caused by being submerged under water, but can also occur from inhaling bathwater after slipping under the water's surface.


Seeking Professional Help

If your child's fear of bath time persists and affects their daily routine, it may be time to seek professional help. This is especially important if the fear is causing significant distress or hindering their development. A qualified practitioner, such as a developmental and educational psychologist, can provide support and guidance on how to address the issue. It is crucial to address the fear early on to prevent it from becoming a long-term issue. Some other professionals who can also provide support include paediatricians, child therapists, and occupational therapists. These professionals can help identify the root cause of the fear and develop strategies to help your child overcome it. Seeking professional help can also provide a safe and non-judgmental space for your child to express their fears and work through them. Remember, addressing your child's fear of bath time early on can prevent it from becoming a long-term issue. Seeking professional help can also provide valuable resources and support for both you and your child. Don't hesitate to reach out for help if your child's fear persists.



In conclusion, bath time fears are common among newborns and toddlers. However, with a gentle and understanding approach, parents can help their children overcome this fear and make bath time a safe and enjoyable experience. By following the tips provided, such as using bath toys, playing music, and creating a fun environment, parents can help their child feel more comfortable in the tub. It is also important to remember that every child is different and may require different methods to overcome their fear. If needed, do not hesitate to seek help from a pediatrician or child psychologist. Ultimately, the goal is to make bath time a positive and stress-free experience for both the child and the parent. Let's make bath time a time for bonding and fun for the whole family.