Baby Crying at Bath Time: Reasons and What You Can Do About It

Baby Crying While Bathing – Know Why Your Child Hates Bath-Time

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Rashmi Prakash (Psychologist/Psychotherapist)
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Bathing is an ideal way to start or end your baby’s day. In addition to the hygiene requirement, a good relaxing bath will soothe your baby and make him sleep comfortably. However, babies don’t enjoy bathing all the time, and there might be several reasons why your baby resists and cries while bathing.

Video: Baby Crying While Bathing – Reasons and Solutions

Infographics: 6 Reasons Why Baby Cries While Bathing

6 Reasons Why Baby Cries While Bathing

Why Babies Cry During a Bath and What You Can Do About It

If you are wondering why a newborn hates having a bath, the following are the reasons why your baby might not be comfortable getting into the water and the solution to change this situation:

1. The Flow of Water Into the Eyes

Toddlers are not savvy with the concept of shutting their eyelids as a reflex to avoid foreign bodies from getting into the eyes. The continuous flow of water can be an irritant and make the baby cry.

What Can You Do?

Use a head visor to protect the eyes and avoid pouring too much water on the face.

2. Rashes or Sores That Burn

If your baby is suffering from rashes or sores, contact with water and soap can alleviate the burning sensation and can sting, resulting in discomfort to the child.

What You Can Do?

Avoid applying soap and excessive water on affected areas and wait until the rashes subside, to begin a full bathing regime.

3. Uncomfortable Water Temperature

Perhaps this is the most common reason why toddlers hate bath-time. Newborns are highly sensitive to change in temperature and water that is too cold or too hot can make them instantly uncomfortable. Body temperature, which is around 37 degree Celsius is the best temperature to bathe your baby.

What Can You Do?

Check the temperature of the water by using your elbow or use a thermometer to have an accurate reading. Dip your baby slowly into the water to allow them to get used to it.

4. Hunger

Hunger could be another reason for your baby to cry while bathing. If your baby is not properly fed, he is likely to get irritated, especially while bathing.

What Can You Do?

It is essential to feed the baby and wait for 30 minutes to 45 minutes before giving him to a bath to allow the food to get digested.

5. Fear of Soap

Selecting the right soap for your toddler is crucial. Soaps might cause skin irritation, or the child might have a fear of soap entering his eyes and creating a burning sensation.

What Can You Do?

Consulting a doctor is the best way to assess your little one’s skin type and the soap that will be most suited for the same. Use soaps and shampoo’s specially made for toddlers and avoid using those made for adults.

6. Baby is Already Tired

While bathing is supposed to relax the child, it might be counter-productive if the kid is already too tired and ready to sleep, especially if the bath routine is just before bedtime.

What Can You Do?

Try to advance the bathing routine to a little before the usual bed-time. This will not disturb your baby’s sleeping routine.

7. Unaccustomed to Water

Everything is a first time experience for a newborn and bathing is no different. The feel of water touching the skin might make the baby uncomfortable.

What Can You Do?

Get the baby used to water by starting with sponge baths and slowly progressing to regular bathing schedule.

8. Uncomfortable Bathing Area

Things which might seem immaterial to us can be a cause of concern for the babies. The temperature of your hand when you hold the baby, the room temperature in the bathroom, the presence of dust, allergens in the bathing area can all lead to the baby getting irritated and in turn starting to hate bath time.

What Can You Do?

Ensure that the bathing area is warm and free of dust. Make sure to warm your hands before holding the baby.

Nothing trumps the comfort and safety of your child. It is, therefore, critical to be cautious and sensitive towards the baby while bathing. Like all other things, your child will get used to this slowly and, hence, sufficient time should be given to the baby before getting too anxious about their reaction to water.

However, if the baby continues to remain defiant during bath time, it is best to consult a doctor on possible reasons for the reaction and the most viable solution for the same.

Also Read:

Tips on How to Do Baby’s First Bath
Reasons for Baby’s Fear during Bath Time
How to Manage Fake Crying in Infants

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