The fear of bathing, showering, or open water is known as hydrophobia. Usually a child is not afraid of the water itself, but of the dangers or discomfort associated with it.
For example, the baby may be afraid that he will be sucked into the hole in the bathroom, drops will fall into the eyes again and the water will turn out to be excessively warm.
Why is the child afraid of bathing – reasons
Fear of water is quite common: about three out of ten children under three years of age suffer from it to one degree or another. There are crumbs with innate fear, but as a rule, it manifests itself later. The most common causes of anxiety before swimming:
Bad experience . Perhaps the child is used to the mismatch of water temperature for delicate skin, the recommended rate is 37 ° C, and if it turns out to be slightly higher or lower, the newborn will cry loudly at the sight of a colored bath.
Sensitive skin remains until school age, but at the age of three, the baby can explain what he does not like, and until that time, crying or gestures remain the only way to communicate.
If the baby stops crying immediately after leaving the bathroom, check the temperature first – whether it is too warm or cool.
Getting injured. Active babies should not be left unattended for even a minute, and it is not surprising that many find themselves under water or hitting a hard surface while mommy turns away for a towel. Explanations about the prohibition of overindulgence in such places are correct, but the fear of a repetition of the situation persists for a long time.
Copying fear. Fear of water can also occur if the parents themselves do not like water or do not know how to swim, unconsciously transmitted fear is a kind of hereditary habit.
Try not to show concern at the sight of water, learn to swim in the pool and visit the seashore every year, even when the child refuses to approach it.
Also, refuse constant signals in the form of sentences “it is slippery here, you will fall”, “it is deep here, you can drown”.
Awareness of actions. Water can be fearful as the child grows, as the child becomes aware of the life risks associated with it.
Health problems. Slightly elevated body temperature, earache, feeling unwell are not the best bathing companions. Hygiene is important in any case, but during illness, it should be short.
The child is afraid of water – what to do
Don’t get angry if your child doesn’t want to swim even on the beach. If he does not refuse only the shower, consider the fact as an advantage. In extreme cases, you can use a damp sponge. Tomorrow will be a new day to try again.
Talk to the child about his fears, try to get rid of them together, following a gradual pace.
Choose the time for swimming, adjusting to the mood of the baby, for example, in the morning and evening, such an action can be annoying, and in the summer, on a hot day, on the contrary, it will become a positive moment.
If possible, bathe strictly at the same time, this approach will allow the child to feel more relaxed.
The child does not like to swim? More recommendations in our article
Bath toys make bathing so much more fun, use a doll or other toy as a role model to wash your hair or clean stained clothes.
Another way to help is to take a bath together, there is nothing more valuable than the closeness of a mother and a personal example.
Fear of water and swimming lessons
If a child is afraid of water, swimming lessons are not a good idea. Experts recommend waiting until he shows a desire on his own, which will require, first of all, complete freedom from fear and suggestion of safety under certain conditions (do not swim too far, listen to the instructor).
When you can’t solve the problem on your own, contact a psychologist, he will identify the cause and help resolve it with an individual approach.