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Old 09-17-2012, 09:36 AM   #1
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2yr old has became TERRIFIED of the drain.

My soon to be 2yr old has all of a sudden become absolutely TERRIFIED of the drain during bath time. He still wants to get in but the time he spends in the tub before his freak out phase has been steadily decreasing to the point of not even being able to wash him or his hair with out screams of terror. He points to the drain and screams and throws all his toys out onto the floor. Nothing that I know of has ever happened in the tub and the only thing that has ever gone down the drain was the water. Im at a loss as to what to do. None of my nieces or nephews have done this. I tried getting in the tub when the water drained yesterday and sat and looked at me like I was crazy but didnt cry. Any ideas how to get him over his fear?

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Old 09-17-2012, 10:18 AM   #2
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Re: 2yr old has became TERRIFIED of the drain.

Poor baby. The most important thing to remember is that while this seems ridiculous and irrational to you, he is truly terrified, and you don't want to belittle or invalidate his feelings. It is a very real fear to him. How is his communication? Can you find out WHY it's scary? Does he think it will suck him down, etc? If not, you might try something silly, like a 'magic toy' that will protect him from the drain, until he gets over it.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:23 AM   #3
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My girls both went through that. I bathed with them for about a month. We'd get out, dry off, and then I would start draining the tub while I held them. I'd wave and say byebye to the water. Keeping it very cheerful. I'd say 'thank you for getting us clean!' And then we would leave the room. During the 2nd wk or so Id start draining(and talking lol) as we dried off and Id leave the toys in the tub to show them they didnt go down the drain. We'd talk about how the drain didnt want the toys, that the drain was just thristy and water was its favorite drink(like mama!), that the toys were to big to follow the water, that they were evn bigger! then the toys, ect. By the 3rd-4th wk theyd join in with saying bye and thank you and even hit the drain stopper to get it started. For a while after -even though I stopped bathing with them-I still took them out before we started draining the tub. After a couple months Id ask if they wanted to 'push the button' before removing them from the tub and shortly after they would want to stay and play until all the water was gone. Hang in there mama, this too shall pass.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:57 AM   #4
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Re: 2yr old has became TERRIFIED of the drain.

From what I've read, this is totally normal. At this developmental stage, they really don't understand that they are too big to fit in the drain. He really believes he can go down there and not come back.

My 2-yo DS hasn't had this problem, and I keep watching for it. Good suggestions above from other mamas.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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Re: 2yr old has became TERRIFIED of the drain.

Are there any cute drain stoppers for when he's in the tub so he can't see it?
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:30 PM   #6
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Re: 2yr old has became TERRIFIED of the drain.

Are you draining the water while he is in the tub? I suggest doing it after he is out of the bathroom. This is a very common fear for young children. They are afraid they(or their toys) are going to go down the drain.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:52 PM   #7
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Re: 2yr old has became TERRIFIED of the drain.

Well he used to stay on there while the water drained and would even pick up the rubber stopper and put it back down. It was just like a light switch. Fine one day scared the next. It doesnt irritate me and I try to calm him the entire time. I would never belittle my kids fears. Its just upsetting to me as im not sure what to do to help him. I will try bathing with him and see how he does since he seemed a tad better the day I stepped in the tub while it was draining.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:12 PM   #8
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One of my girls had the same fear. It came on suddenly too, just a sudden awareness. It didn't take too long for get to get over it..but she was extremely terrified at the time. Another daughter of mine had the same phobia of the toilet. They are afraid they are going to be sucked away as well. We did the "bye bye" water thing too.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:39 PM   #9
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My oldest DD had this same fear. We took turns putting drops of food coloring in the water to watch it swirl. She was fascinated. Then we raced toys to the drain and talked about how they never went in because they were too big. It seems to have worked. Now if we could just get past this fear of foxes....
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:24 PM   #10
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Re: 2yr old has became TERRIFIED of the drain.

See if you can find one of those cheap flat rubber drain covers. It comes from a fear of being sucked down the drain. I read something similar in a child psych book years ago..kids who are afraid of the potty generally fear being sucked down or flushed. While it may not be rational to adults to kids its a very real fear.
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