What to Do If My Baby Hates Taking Bath

If your baby hates bath time, you may have to find ways to make the situation more pleasant. Baths can go either way with babies. The majority of babies do like their bath, but every now and then, it brings fights and screams. New parents, and even well seasoned moms and dads may find themselves not knowing how to handle a baby that gets nervous with bathtime. This article will help you find a solution to make baths more tolerable, and maybe even fun!

Helpful Tips for when Baby Hates Bath Time

The biggest fear for babies with bathtime is having water in their faces. They usually object to hair washing and rinsing, but play seems to be accepted. With infants, there is a fear of falling when not being held by a parent. There are some things you can do to lessen the trauma of water fears, and soothe a nervous infant.

Try these things: 

1. Sponge Bath 

For babies 6 months old or younger, you can try giving them a sponge bath. This will reduce the fear of water, and falling. You can do this right in their crib or other safe place. Gather all your needed supplies; 2 towels, a large bowl of warm water, baby soap, lotion, fresh diapers, and clothing. Place one towel down for baby to lay on, and keep a towel on the side to cover baby with. Undress baby and cover with towel. Wash and then re-cover with towel as you work your way to each body part. Dry baby, apply lotion, and dress.

2. Try A Shower

If you have a toddler that can stand, try putting them in the shower. Little ones who protest the bathtub, will often do fine in the shower. Just make sure you point the water away from their face and head. You can also turn the shower on to wet their skin, then turn the shower off during washing, and turn it back on for a quick rinse. Another alternative is to get a removable sprayer that you control where the water goes.

3. Place A Washcloth Over Their Eyes

If your baby hates bath time because they don’t like having their hair washed, just place a washcloth over their eyes when rinsing their hair. This will help prevent them from seeing what you are doing, and block the water flow over their face.

You can also try giving them their own washcloth to hold onto and play with during bath time. They may even learn to cover their own eyes with time.

 4. Use The Sink

Many of us can probably remember being bathed in our grandmother’s kitchen sink. For the most part, it was done as a convenience when we went to nan’s to be babysat. But, for babies that are intimidated by the “big tub” the kitchen sink is smaller, and offers more security. Just be sure you have all your supplies close by on the counter, and stay with baby the entire time to prevent falls. This method can be easier on your back, as well!

5. Do a Time Switch

It is very normal to want to give your baby a bath before bedtime. It often helps them sleep better. If your baby is overtired, bath time may just be a battle for you. Try switching times, to a morning bath or do the bath just a little earlier in the evening.

Make sure you schedule bath times away from feeding times too. A hungry baby may not want to deal with a bath either.

6. Give Them a Toy

Try giving your baby a fun bath toy to play with. Rubber duckies are great for the tub, and waterproof. If your baby has a favorite rattle or teether, those are usually watertight. A distraction may be all your baby needs to get through bathtime peacefully.

An older baby may like to take a favorite doll in the bath. You can pretend to “bathe the baby” as you bathe your child. When they see the doll doesn’t cry, they may feel more comfortable and stop crying.

7. Get Some Bubbles

Bubbles are an excellent way to make bath time fun! They are made from harmless soap that will dissolve when they hit the bathwater. Just make sure your baby doesn’t have any skin sensitivities or allergies before you try this. Bubble soaps may be a bit harsher than bath soap. You can always blow bubbles away from the tub area.

8. Have them “Help”

Baby hates bath? Give your baby a cup, a washcloth, or a closed up bottle of baby wash to hold onto. Ask them to help you wash them up. Make sure there is a good “splash zone” around the tub since it can get messy, but they will be so caught up in “helping” you they will forget their anxiety.


9. Tub Crayons

You can easily make homemade bathtub crayons that will be safe for baby, and fun to use. Just shave a bar of all-natural soap with an old cheese grater. Put the shavings in a bowl and add hot water until the soap turns into a dough. Mix in a few drops of food coloring and mold into bars or sticks.

10. Share Bath Time With Siblings

If you have a slightly older child, bathe them together. The older child will both entertain the baby, but also show them that bath time isn’t scary. Just make sure the older child isn’t too rough or splashes water on the baby.

11. Try a Tub Cradle

They have tub cradles that you can place into the baby bath. If your baby hates bath time due to feeling insecure in the tub, these bath cradles snuggle around them. An added plus is they raise them up out of the water to help keep your hands free. 

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