Bathing & Water Sensitivity: My Child Doesn’t Like Getting Wet
My Child Doesn’t Like Getting a Bath or Having His Hair Washed:
Bath time can be a daily struggle. Your child may not want to get into the water with the faucet running due to the loud sound it makes or she may show discomfort having his hair washed or getting his face wet, due to fear of getting water in his eyes. Below are a few pointers to make bath time a fun experience for your child.
Tip #1: Play in an Empty Tub
- Playing in an empty tub can show your child that there is nothing to fear and that the tub can be fun! This can help decrease his overall stress and anxiety, making the transition to a tub filled with water a little more comfortable for all those involved.
Tip #2: Give Toys a Bath
Have your child give toys such as cars a carwash or a doll a bath in the tub. Start with very little water in the tub. If your child does not want to get in the tub, have him sit on the edge to wash the toys, slowing progressing to sitting in the tub (with or without water). This shows your child that it can be fun to bathe and that everything needs to get clean!
Tip #3: Avoid The Face
Avoid pouring water over your child’s face, as this can be uncomfortable and frightening to children that are sensitive to having things around their eyes as well as an overall scary sensation. Water provides extra pressure and sometimes this pressure can be unsettling for children.
- To avoid getting water into your child’s face, try using a washcloth or towel to protect your child’s eyes, while being mindful to tip his head slightly backwards. You can also utilize a bath time visor with will fit around your child’s head and protects his face from becoming wet.
- Have child enter bathtub after it has been filled and the faucet is no longer running if the noise or sight of running water causes anxiety. You can also decrease faucet pressure if this an option.
- Prior to bath time, have your child get ready for the activity with use of various deep pressure activities to provide calming sensory input. Activities such as animal walks, wall push-ups and deep squeezes/hugs can provide needed pressure to help them better self-regulate during this stressful time.