I think this is the first bit of parenting advice I have given here. I’m sure more will follow. From my observations of other parents, it appears that raising a child or two makes one certain that one knows everything about raising all children.
I bathe S & V in a plastic baby tub that I put inside our normal bathtub. It has a sloped side that they can lay down on, and a protrusion in the middle that their legs straddle, keeping them from slipping down under the water. V always seemed to love the bath, laughing and splashing, but S was never happy in the bath. I wasn’t sure at first she was scared, since she didn’t cry, but she just got sort of wide-eyed and intense during the bath, and then started bawling once she was out of the bath and getting dried off.
My insight about this situation came the day we took the babies for a dip in our friend Joetta’s swimming pool. V was only mildly interested by the swimming, but S had a blast, laughing and splashing, etc. Just the opposite of how they were in the bathtub.
It occurred to me that this could be the result simply of the change in position. S & V have always had different preferences about how they like to be held (over the shoulder vs cradled in the arms, etc.) and maybe something similar was going on in the bath.
So the next time I gave S a bath, I tried letting her sit upright instead of leaning her back against the sloped back of the tub. Eureka! She loved it! Now baths are fun for everyone. It is a bit tricky keeping S from slipping around in this position, since it requires one hand holding her at all times. But it is worth the extra effort for her to enjoy the situation.
So my advice is that if your baby hates the bath, try a different bathing position.