Impossible bath times

every week is a massive struggle for us bathing our 4 year old boy. He has autism and over the last 6 months has taken a dislike (putting it very very mildly)to bath time and having his hair washed. We have tried a variety of bath toys, lights, bubbles, water pistols, train tracks in the bath as trains are his favourite. The water pistols worked for 2 weeks but he has now lost interest in those. We've tried preparing him for bath times and tried springing it on him. I don't think it's the acoustics in the bathroom as he quite likes noise although we have tried a quieter environment. I'm at a total loss about what to try next. Does anybody else have a similar struggle that could help. 

Thank you in advance 


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  • With my daughter at that age I used a disc around her head at bath-times to keep the water off her face. It's like a sort of wide-brimmed hat but with the middle missing and we bought it at the local chemist, it was elastic around her head and allowed me to wash her hair (which was very long because she wouldn't have it cut) without her face getting wet at all. I think it was meant for old people rather than children because it was decorated with old-fashioned flowers. 

    If you buy two and allow one to be a little more stretched by putting it on yourself, he can pour water on your head and see that your face stays dry before he allows himself to try it. It worked for us anyway, as long as she sat still. 

    I also bought my daughter a huge bath sponge (it was sold as a bath-mattress thingy for newborns) that she could hold over her face but still breathe through. When she was about 6 she substituted that for a mask and snorkel which she seemed to enjoy more.

    I didn't wash her face. I gave her baby-wipes and a mirror when face-washing became a problem and I'm afraid that was the most water her face got for years.