How to Make Your Child Stop Screaming When You Wash Their Hair

You may have a child who loves to take a bath from start to finish, giggles at the bubbles and just blinks when they are dipped in water. Or you, dear reader, may have a child who howls as if his toenails are ripped off when the shampoo touches his head.

For kids preparing for pole vaulting from the bath, when you say it’s time to rinse, you will need to use some special techniques to get through the bath without Xanax or a broken eardrum. Here are a few that can help keep crying to a minimum.

Bathe them less often.

While this may not go well with being super hygienic, it turns out kids don’t need to bathe every day . It’s different in the summer when sunscreen, chlorine and sweat are present all the time, but the rest of the year, swimming every other day is perfectly normal, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics . And since excessive washing can strip the natural oils of the hair and dry out the scalp, a wash or two per week is enough (with tear-free shampoo, of course).

Use the right props to keep them busy and distracted

Keep a handheld mirror nearby and let your little one play with the “hair” by shampooing his hair. They can make mohawks, “twisty curls” (a technical term), or horns – whatever they want to give them a sense of play and keep the serotonin flowing. Washing and rinsing the doll’s hair while you are doing it is a great way to distract them from what they don’t like at the moment .

Let them make their own shampoo

For some children, it is not the rinsing that worries so much as the sensation of rubbing the shampoo into the scalp. Try shampooing on a loofah and applying it that way, or see if your child wants to massage the shampoo within themselves.

Turn on “what’s on the ceiling”

While repeating “look up … not down … up! »In an increasingly frustrated tone, it can be funny. If you want a break from this, try asking your child what he sees on the ceiling. Just like looking at clouds, water stains and small imperfections can magically turn into purple rabbits or tow trucks for an imaginative child. (You can also hang some character-themed plasters from the ceiling and have your toddler tell you who he sees.)

Give them a dry cloth to wash their face.

Some children feel much calmer when they cover their face with a dry cloth. This, combined with searching (if possible), can yield decent results without screaming. Note, however, that the fabric itself sometimes gets wet, which can make your face dry. But importantly, they will feel like they are in control , even if they are essentially losing themselves with water.

Take a shower cap or safety glasses.

In addition to the shower bucket with a soft, contoured rinse edge, you can always wear a pair of glasses that are not too tight to prevent water from getting into your eyes. (Of course, the nagging of a tight goggle strap can be counterproductive here.) And if your child is happy looking like a retired mall shopper heading to Early Bird Bingo, there’s always a shower visor.

Put them down or use the shower head to rinse

While some children may resist completely, lying down and submerging everything except their face to curl their hair in the tub works for others. For kids with longer curls, call it mermaid hair and boom, it’s an underwater party. Alternatively, using a hand shower attached to the bath mixer can make rinsing your hair much quieter.

Also, think seriously about swimming lessons.

Resistance to bathing is often just fear in disguise. Many children are outright afraid of getting water in their face. One of the best long-term ways to overcome this fear is to improve your child’s overall comfort in the water. Although it takes a while (and it’s much easier to start when they’re just a few months old than when they’re three or four), once they’ve learned to blow bubbles and immerse their heads in water, they don’t even notice that they are ” re-pouring a bucket of water in the bathtub.


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