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how do I releave my son's sudden fear of water on his face?

my son is all of a sudden scared of water when I rinse off his head in the shower. He never had a problem in the past, and now he freaks out, jumping around in the tub and bites me out of frustration. How can I help him realize that it's okay? I tried talking him through it, holding my hand at his hairline to catch the water, but nothing helps him. I am scared that he is going to end up hurting himself from throwing around his body, that I'm afraid is going to slip right out of my hands.


Asked by m_lewis at 4:41 PM on Mar. 30, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (8)
  • Oh my gosh! Are you me? LOL I posted a question similar to this last week! LOL! I thought getting in the tub with him would do the trick for us and it didn't! :( The only trick that I have found is bubbles!!! The first night, I had DH blow bubbles constantly during his bath and he didn't ever shed a tear! Whew!! I use the washcloth to rinse the water out of his hair now and that is working better than the cup and shower wand. It takes longer though. I tried everything (the bucket with the rubber end that you put on the head makes no difference!) and the bubbles have been the only key to a peaceful bath for us! Good luck! I hope it will work for you, too!

    Answer by Glowing4Caleb at 9:29 AM on Mar. 31, 2009

  • Maybe get in the tub w/ him, (or have dad do it if your uncomfy) and make a game out of it. Pour a bucket over YOUR head & make it seem fun. HAHA, he'll probably look at you at first & think "you are SO crazy" but eventually, it MAY help him learn that it's no big deal if mom/dad can do it & laugh it off. Even better, make sound effects while your doing it.....

    Answer by samurai_chica at 4:46 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • When my son was younger he had a phase like that too. I think he must have gotten soap in his eyes or something. I gave him a pair of swimming goggles to wear, he loved it! GL

    Answer by Skyler11978 at 4:46 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • My son would do that, but, I just got the cup and started dousing him with water and his only defence was to close his eyes and hold his breath. He got over the fear quickly and had no ill effects and even was a great swimmer at four. I know most wouldn't advocate dousing and nearly drowning, but, mine was gonna hurt himself too. And, I wanted him to get over it before it got way out of hand. And no amount of talking or any other means was working. So, just cupfulls of water one after the other till he stopped fighting and just held his breath in anticipation really worked for him.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 5:04 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • Id let him throw water in ur face/on ur head or u do it urself and just laugh about, say like "all clean, look how pretty mommy looks" lol and then try. My son did that when I washed his hair til I discovered that laughter makes his forget his fear

    Answer by AntzMumi430 at 8:58 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • Im really not sure if anything is going to work right now cause hes still young. By the way how old is he exactly? My son never liked water on his face and still doesnt and hes 27 months old. However he is much better at taking it now then he used to be.

    Answer by LANDENSMOMMYlmk at 10:35 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • I started laying my son down on my legs so his head didnt get so much in the water but I could control his legs from kicking everywhere and still rinse his hair really good. I made up a song like the Elmo's world song "la la la la la la la la Aiden's bath" and played with him for a second to get his attention focused on the song. Turned out to be helpful in another way because he is learning to put words together now, he even sings the song! But I also tried telling him ok are you ready to go swimming...and while pushing and pulling him up and down the tub (with low water of course) I multi-task and rinse his hair too. Just one approach doesnt always work, sometimes combining things works much better...good luck

    Answer by aidengrant07 at 10:54 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • my son went through the same phase they will grow out of it eventually. but at toy r us or amazon, they have a bucket thing to pour water but instead of going down there face it goes back. i know it sounds dumb but here's the website of what it looks like.

    Answer by CubanFIre at 8:50 AM on Mar. 31, 2009