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Toddler Fears the Scary Drain!

Since my little guy was convinced that he was going to be sucked down the drains, I asked for some advice from all my bloggy friends and got some GREAT ideas! Tonya suggested having him stand on the drain while holding under his arms to show him that he’s not going to fall in, then gradually holding less and less as he becomes more comfortable. This might be the next step from what I’d been trying, which was to stand on the drain myself. He had no worries about mommy fitting down the drain, somehow I was too big ;). He still won’t step onto the drain by himself though.

Karen W. had an idea which I’d actually already tried – to try putting a small toy, which is too big to go down the drain, in the tub (or other object if he fears for his toy) and watch the water go down the drain, while both of you are standing outside the tub of course. Then you can reason with him.
Did the toy go down the drain? Are you bigger than the toy? You won’t go down the drain either.

Unfortunately that logic was lost on him, but it might work for another toddler…

Along the same lines, Kay suggested using a baby doll to illustrate that when the drain is plugged, and water swirls down, the baby boy doesn’t get sucked in. Of course, out of the millions of toys that he has, he doesn’t own a baby doll…. hmmmmm.

Drea suggested distraction – letting him pick a toy to take in the tub & not mentioning the drain, changing the subject and distracting when he mentions it with talk of “Let’s take your toy into the tub, wow!”. He’s always taken whatever toy he loves at the time into the shower/tub (other than the mechanical ones, altho the motorized Geo train did get a bath once as he tossed it in before we could catch it….) but I’ll have to work on using it as more of a diversion.

Carmen & Jared had a simple solution – using a drain cover to hide the problem altogether. Now, why didn’t I grab one when I was at Walmart this morning?!

A must-read post by Mike was inspired by my request for help:

First, I conquered the drain. I took one of my toy buckets and placed it upside down over the hole. I made sure it is full of water. I didn’t want one of those air pockets to make the bucket weigh nothing and float away. I stood next to the tub and yelled, Evil minions of the bathroom plumbing, consider yourselves thwarted by my magic bucket of containment.

Well, after that, my problems should be solved.

Finally, Nancy suggested a combination of the above suggestions – “inverting a small bucket, like a sand bucket, over the drain so he can’t see it. Then, face him AWAY from the drain and get his attention with some fun little bath stickers, like vinyl tub decor. Add a little water gun toy or soap paint. Let him decorate the sides and opposite end of the tub so that he is not concerned about the other end..with the bucket protecting him. Take him out and dry him before emtpying the tub. Pull the plug as you are leaving the room, while distracting him.”

Comments, Questions or Reviews:


7 Responses

  1. Lorri February 22, 2007 at 3:50 pm #

    From the time DD was little, we’d end the bath by “making the ducky swim”…..I’d flip the lever to let the water out and the toy would start to swim down to the drain. So far this has worked ~ no fears of the drain yet!

  2. Janet a.k.a Wonder Mom February 20, 2007 at 5:39 pm #

    We also sing!
    “You’re not gonna go down the drain…
    doo dah. doo dah.
    You’re not gonna go down the drain…
    Oh, dah doo dah day….!”

    It seems to work. When she wants it too…She’s 3. She picks and chooses her fears.

  3. Laurel Wreath February 18, 2007 at 3:47 pm #

    Oh my goodness I am sorry that is funny, my youngest was terrified of showers. And I loved Mike’s comment.

  4. Irene February 18, 2007 at 12:57 pm #

    Funny, isn’t it how kids’ minds work! I think much of parenting has to do with us trying to get into our kids’ shoes, trying to recall and figure out what fears and insecurities we used to have (or still have), while trying to address the actual issue.
    Best wishes on your journey together.
    (Here from Blogging Chicks Carnival)

  5. Sam February 13, 2007 at 10:24 pm #

    We, much like Duane, played the whirlpool game…it seemed to work well :)

  6. Duane February 13, 2007 at 4:00 pm #

    I missed the original post :(. What I found worked for my daughter was to help her watch for “whirlpools”, which at 2 years old are magical creatures that appear in the tub if she sat very still while the water drained out. I would point them out and she would have a grand old time “snipping” them with her fingers so that they disappeared, and then waiting quietly for the next one. Before you knew it, empty tub!

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  1. Anonymous - February 13, 2007

    Toddler fears – the scary drain!

    Since my little guy was convinced that he was going to be sucked down the drains, I asked for some advice from all my bloggy friends and got some GREAT ideas!