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My toddler seemingly has developed some fear to bath time.

My toddler (16 moths) used to love bath time. He would be smiling when I carried him naked to the bath and loved to play with his bath toys. Once or twice he had an unpleasant situation with soap on his eyes but apart from that, bathing him was enjoyable for him and easy for us.

He gets a short bath every other day. Around a week ago, at bath time, he started crying while sitting in the bathtub. We thought that maybe his bum was hurting (it looked a little bit red). We took him out, dried him and put the diaper with some butt paste. Two days later, he started crying as soon as his feet touched the water, and didn't event want to sit an play in the tub. We took him out, but a couple minutes later I put one of his favorite toys on the far end of the bathtub and he didn't mind being put in the tub and helped to reach the toy. He did not seem afraid of the water, just didn't seem in the mood for a bath (which was weird for us after the previous episode, specially since he always seemed to love bath time).

Tonight, after stripping him I held him to take him to the bath and he started crying when he understood where he was going. He was crying a lot and hanged really tight to me, never letting go. He got more upset as he got closer to the bath tub. He never made it to the bath and it took him a while to get calmer. He is not that upset when he falls or the like. Just being taken close to the tub seemed a very upsetting experience. If it wasn't because a week ago he loved bath time I would have said he was scared of it.

I don't know if he is going through something developmental at this stage that specifically makes him hate the bath now. He has not had scary or unpleasant experiences in the bathtub before (expect for the mentioned soap in the eyes).

Could it be that he is afraid of bath time now? If so, how do I help him to overcome this fear?

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  • Diego, if you can add details (e.g. why the linked question/answers don't answer your question), that would be very helpful in giving a good answer. Thanks! – anongoodnurse Oct 19 '15 at 4:22
  • @anongoodnurse something I did not include in order not to make the question too verbose is that we used the kitchen sink (we have no other bathtub) to clean him via washcloth and he didn't like it either. The suggestions on the "already asked" question may not work well, but that question has a linked related question that fits our problem better, and the suggestions may work better for us. I'll try those approaches and if it doesn't work I'll add the new info to the question and flag it for reopen. Thank you for your help. – Diego Oct 19 '15 at 13:49