Most toddlers and young children don’t like water pouring over their face when it’s time to rinse the shampoo. Some don’t even like getting it wet before the shampoo goes on!
Here are some ideas for different situations with hair washing. Some work easily and some don’t! Some children just cry no matter what you do but everything is worth a few tries! If your child is just going to cry, be reassuring so they can trust you. Let them know it’s time to rinse and just do it! Try to make it sound happy and giggly and they may eventually laugh too. No matter what it’s something that you have to do!
Try some of these suggestions and hopefully something will help!
· First, wash the hair at the beginning of the bath. If she likes having baths and playing in the tub, then she’ll learn that after her body and hair is washed she gets to play in the tub.
· Buy a foam visor for her to wear for rinsing. Most work pretty well. You can get them in the baby department at Target or Wal-Mart. Put a towel or dry washcloth over her forehead before you take the visor off because some water will drip down.
· Have your child hold a dry washcloth folded in thirds over her eyes and tip her head back when you rinse her hair. This makes a child feel like they have some control.
· Put some large stickers on the ceiling above the tub and have her try to find “Elmo” or the dog or whatever you put up there. Sometimes this works as a distractor!
· Get a large bath toy that you can fill with water and squeeze it out over her head. The water comes out in a stream so it’s easier to control. Just being a “bath toy” makes it look friendly!
· Use a wet washcloth and squeeze out the water and wipe it through her hair. Keep rinsing the washcloth, squeezing out excess water and repeating this until the shampoo is out. Sometime a child’s washcloth works better for this because they are smaller and less likely to drip.
· Some children love to wear swimming goggles to keep the water out of their eyes. They still need to tip their head back because the goggles don’t have a tight seal!
· When you’re rinsing her hair, blow on her face gently! Make a silly game out of it. You can even call it the “blowing game”. While her eyes are closed, rinse quickly!
· Some children are fearful of tilting their head back because they feel unbalanced. You can have her hold on the side of the tub or have her lie down in shallow water to rinse her hair.
· Tell her that she has to close her eyes or she will get water in them. She’ll learn from experience and will learn to close her eyes. Practice “open eyes, close eyes” at a time that’s not bath time so she learns.
· Some children love to “watch” using an unbreakable mirror.
· Using a plastic cup to rinse hair takes forever! Get a plastic pitcher with a handle and you can get it rinsed in one big pour!
· Sometimes children like to hold a cup of water and pour it over their bodies during rinsing time. That gives them the idea about rinsing the soap off of their skin. Someday she will graduate to pouring the water over her head too!
· When you pour the water over, pretend its rain! Be silly and upbeat!
· Some children do well with the hand held shower type of rinse. If you make the water pressure light this works well too.
· Just know that no matter what you try, something should eventually work! If it doesn’t, just know that it will pass. I know of some children that will cry when they’re four and some that don’t cry at all. Just do it quickly, be reassuring with your words, but speak in a monotone and don’t sound worried! Sometimes kids will just play into that.