I guess that I am lucky in some ways. My son, three months old. Loves being in the bath. He is not scared of water and loves to splash.

However, taking him out of the bath is a different matter, often it will set him off screaming, and crying which can last till after he is dried and dressed.

Is he upset about leaving the bath? Or is it likely to be the sensation of being wet but not in the bath that he likes. Are there ways to make getting out of the bath less shocking for him.

I normally pick him out and wrap him in a towel straight away.

  • 4
    How scratchy is the towel? How warm is the water vs how cold is the air?
    – mmr
    Jul 16, 2012 at 13:53
  • Have you tried a swaddling wrap when taking babba out of bath?
    – DanBeale
    Jul 24, 2012 at 1:05

7 Answers 7


If I was warm and happy in the tub I would probably scream too when you took me out ;)

It's probably a combination of being somewhere that is warm and feels natural (think that they spent 9 months floating in warm body temperature water) and just simple opposition to any kind of transition. I think that kids of all ages (even some of us old guys) need a little help to change from one state to another.

Just make sure that you don't do anything to make the bath less fun, this might introduce a bigger problem.... a kid that doesn't want to take a bath.

When bath time is over, have a nice towel, maybe a favorite toy, entice them to want to leave the bath. Make it a game. We have a giant mirror along one wall of our bathroom and always play "Kiss the Baby" and have them kiss their reflection. Getting out of the tub is as big a production as getting into it. In fact, my 6 year old still want to do kiss the baby.

Good luck.


Perhaps he is just cold. You could try warming the towel a bit just before taking him out, or warming his clothes. In the first days of my son's life, we would wrap his clothes and diaper around a hot water bottle (in opposite order of putting on him), then wrap a towel around all that.


try just letting the water out of the tub. Sitting in the bottom if the tub, with no water, is not fun. Perhaps then the idea of a towel and a hug will seem more attractive..

  • I tried this, thanks for the suggestion. However he seemed quite upset being in the tub with no water. Jul 20, 2012 at 11:59

I struggled at bath time with my children (now 2, 3, and 4) when they were very little. I found two things to be helpful. First, before the bath, I would turn the shower head on full hot, full blast for a minute or two with the door closed to fill the room with steam. That raised the temperature of the bathroom enough for a naked infant to be comfortable before and after the bath. It doesn't take more than a minute or two to steam up my 6' by 6' bathroom. I let the hot water go down the drain, and I touched the tub to make sure it wasn't hot. Then I started the normal bath routine with a warmed bathroom.

After the bath, I'd take my shirt off, put a diaper on the baby, and then let him/her rest on my chest for a while with a big towel wrapped around both of us. Google skin-to-skin contact with baby -- it helps calm them, even several months after birth.


My wife and I originally had the same problem with our newborn twins fussing when bath time was over. What worked for us was to have the towel ready to dry them off IMMEDIATELY and then talking to them the entire time from the moment we take them out of the bath until they are dry and in a new diaper.

Since we figured this out, we've seldom had a bad fuss after bathing.


Our daughter has always loved her bath, but coming out... not so much. All the other answers already say enough about wrapping him fast, preheating the towels...

All I want to add is: have a toy ready that he can play with - it'll distract him, and while he's playing you can dry him quite easily without any tears.


Our baby used to not like getting dried very much. In our case, it was because we were being playful at the bath, with games and songs, but drying time was all about getting the water off the skin. Here is some information about how we changed "the tone" of getting the baby dry so that the baby would have an easier time of it.

1. Lively music and dance.

Lively music and dancing around will mean that from the baby's point of view, he is not being dried, not really, but he is just having a dance to the lively music. So put some kind of song on which is about as long as it takes to dry your baby. I use this song because it's silly and lively, and on a topic that's dear to my heart. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl-kqz8CWaU&t=21s

2. Alternatives to towels.

Instead of rubbing the towel onto the baby, hold him in your arms so that your clothes will soak up most of the water. Okay, your t-shirt will be wet instead, but it saves the bother of an upset baby. And just wear a t-shirt you're not planning to wear for much longer.

A towel also makes a good way to play peek-a-boo, which is another very surreptitious way to dry a baby.

3. Toys to distract

A bouncy puppet-like toy which is attached to the wall at the correct height lets Baby play with the toy, while I am holding Baby and can proceed to talc the armpits or dab the ears dry or whatever. Pre-occupied baby = easier to dry.

A puppet which may be attached to the wall

A smart-phone or other small screen may be attached to your forehead with velcro or elastic or whatever. Now your baby will be distracted enough to lie still while you dry up. I have not tried this one but heard it works okay.

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