How to Wash Toddler Hair Without Tears
And oh what a battle it can be… Our eldest son HATED having his hair washed. If you’ve come here looking for the ultimate answer on how to wash toddler hair, then I’m afraid I might not be able to help. What I can do is offer lots of different ideas that you can try, and hopefully figure out what works best for your little gem.
Silly as it may sound, once your child can understand you well, probably from around 18 months of age, by giving them simple and clear instructions, you may find that you can coerce them into being an absolute angel for their hair washing. Our boy is now 2 years old and by simply explaining to him that if he looks up and closes his eyes then the water won’t go into his eyes, we’ve made the hair washing experience a lot better for all of us.
Most children love playing with toys in the bath, so of course they won’t want the fun to stop in order for mummy or daddy to torture them with boring hair washing. So keep the playtime going during hair washing. When he was younger, we used to ask our son to look up to the lights and point to where they were, and as he got a bit older, turned this into a game of “how many lights are there on the ceiling?” (we have four spotlights in our bathroom so this was a good way to get him to start counting too). We’ve also played games like counting how quickly mummy can wash his hair, and then comparing it to daddy’s time at the next bath – nothing like a bit of healthy parental competition to liven things up!
Let him / her wash your hair
Another trick that worked for us for a little while was to allow our son to wash daddy’s hair during bath time. We did this by daddy leaning over the bath and trading one jug of water being tipped over daddy for one jug being tipped over our son, alternating who was being washed. Lucky mummy managed to dodge being involved in this one! Alternatively, you could get in the bath with your toddler and let them wash your hair properly. The key to this trick is to never show your little one that you are bothered by the water splashing your face, after all you are trying to show them that there’s nothing to be afraid of. If they do manage to get soap in your eyes, calmly take a towel and wipe your eyes and afterwards say “all better” so that they can see if water does go in their eyes, it’s easy to fix.
We never bought one of these, but one of my friends swears by it. While the “instructions” are written in very poorly translated English, it’s easy to figure out for yourself and does what it’s supposed to. The visor has a soft plastic edging that creates a watertight seal when pushed onto your child’s forehead, so that the water won’t run down their face. It may be tricky to get your child to agree to it being used the first time, but once they’ve realised it stops the water from going into their eyes, then they are likely to agree to its use in the future.
- If you don’t wash their hair at every bath time, on the days that they will be having their hair washed, let your child know earlier in the day that they need to have their hair washed at bath time.
- Your main aim is to gain your child’s trust that washing their hair won’t hurt or be traumatic.
- Make every possible effort you can to avoid getting water into their eyes.
- If you do get water into their eyes, quickly wipe it away. Tell them that you are sorry and that you will try not to let it happen again – and then STICK TO IT!
- Don’t stall – they need to have their hair washed frequently in order to get used to it. It doesn’t need to be every day though, twice a week will suffice.
- Wash hair towards the end of bath time so that they still get to enjoy the first part of their bath, otherwise they may start to hate baths altogether.
We’ve used most of these methods above at some point during the last 12 months, and our little boy still isn’t a fan of having his hair washed. However, we’ve now got him to accept it will be happening and there’s now no crying from him 9 times out of 10.
I would love to hear if anyone has any other tips that they can share in the comments below, or any wonder products which have made life easier for you and your toddler. Also, if anyone has an older child, please share what age they grew out of hating the hair washing, we would all love to hear that it’s just a phase!!!