Hi. Need advice on how to stop my child screaming when im trying to wash his hair. Its a 2 person job.

Vicky - posted on 04/13/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My son screams every time i wash his hair. Its a 2 person job He trys to climb out the bath and i need to be able to do it myself. He is 20 months old and getting worse every time he has a bath. Please help. Will give anything a go.

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SHONDA - posted on 04/13/2009

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I am a hair stylist and my daughter had the same problem. she is 4 and she just recently got her calm. I did like Alisa did cause the bath tub was a major fight. Her first day in my aunt shop she kicked, screamed and everything you could name. Come to find out she was scared she would get water in her ears and face. So i put her in the sink and put a towel over her face and tell her that mommy's here and I promise it wnt get in her ears or face. try the sink method using one hand to support his head and the other to wash. Just talk to him and let him  no u wnt let anything get in his, as the water is runnin just use ur hand and put it in his hair. not to hot but warm to where they can take it. dnt get me wrong, u will still experience the kicking crying for the first few times but after that you should be fine!! they have to be comfortable with u before they let there selves go. my daughter loves gettin her hair shampooed now!! keep a conversation going when u shampoo the hair to, they can fill the water but it also keeps them calm, or say it's just like gettin ur hair wet in the pool!!

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Vicky - posted on 04/14/2009

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Every1 has been really helpful. will try the sink method 2 moro be he goes in the bath. He a big boy tho so it might be fun lol.He neva used to mind getting water on his face so dont no wwhy he has started now. More helpful advice from other mums would be welcomed as well.

Susan - posted on 04/13/2009

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(SWIMMING LESSONS)

I have 4 children and 1 on the way. My 1st was absolutely petrified of water going in his face until he was 4. Finally I took him for swimming lessons and by the end of the summer, not only did he get over his fear in the tub, he was jumping off of diving boards!!

I gave my 2nd son with the same problem swimming lessons at age 2. Worked like a charm. My 3rd child was not going for the swimming thing at all, so with her and my youngest (ages 5 & 2 now) I just make them look straight up with my hand on their forehead to protect their face and I use a large cup for the water. Granted, sometimes the 2 year-old will put his head down before he should and a little will get in his face. He screams bloody murder and I just remind him not to look down til' I'm done. For the most part (95% of the time) we have no problems with just looking up. Hope I've been of some help. ; )

Alisa - posted on 04/13/2009

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Helllo,  I don't know if this will help but when my daughter was little. I used to put a towel on the counter in the kitchen by the sink and laid her down on the towel ( on her back) with her head hanging over the sink. I would use one hand to support her head and the other hand to wash her hair. It worked out good for me. Hope this helps.

Amy - posted on 04/13/2009

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i agree letting him do it himself.. that was the fight i had with my oldest child. when we started letting him do it, the fight stopped. it was just recently and he is almost 7 but we battled it since he was 2.



no tears shampoo is a good idea.. but try to teach child to cover his eyes.. or let you cover his eyes.



good luck

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Pretend to find imaginary animals in his hair. Make a game of "washing them out." Ask, "how did this ____ get in your hair?" Worked for my kids..

Stephanie - posted on 04/13/2009

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Our son would always fuss about that so i got the foam letters that stick on the inside of the shower. I just stick them up high so he has to look up and rinse it out that way while he's playing with them. Seems to work for us.

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does your child have any other signs or symptoms of a sensory processing disorder or autism? My autistic son hates his hair washed- he's 4 1/2 and still screams sometimes. Hair washing feels painful to him. Try a lighter touch or a different motion or just use 2 or three fingers instead of 2 hands. Also, try going very slow in big circles and singing a silly little song while you wash. It may distract him enough to get the job done. All these things have helped with my kiddo.

[deleted account]

My son had a visor (looked like a sunvisor) I would just dump the cup of water on to his head and it would run down the sides of the visor. But my friends son hates it as well and he has ear trouble and had to have tubes put in.  Have you checked into that

Becky - posted on 04/13/2009

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I agree with Adriana - use a "no tears" shampoo and let him scrub his own hair.  I also agree that giving the option of either getting the soap in his eyes or leaning his head back is the way to go, too.  Anything that he likes and makes it seem like a game, or makes him feel like a big boy, and anything you can make a celebration over when he gets it right is probably the best approach.  Good luck!  =)

Adriana - posted on 04/13/2009

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My son is 4 and I had the same problem up until 9 months ago. It helps to let him wash his own hair like a big boy. He used to put up a big fight and he would get water and baby shampoo all over his face. When I finally manage to wash his hair and not get any soap or water in his face we made a huge deal out of it.Clapping, cheering, praises the whole bit...then he understood..hey It really dosen't get in your eyes if your a big boy and just do what mommy says. Now for the contrevercial part,sometimes he still..well not so much anymore but I kinda threaten him I say "the soap is coming out of your hair..do you want me to just pour it over your head so it will get in your eyes or do you want to be a big boy and look up to the ceiling so I can do it right. It's your choice!" He always opts for the latter.

[deleted account]

I had the same problem... I actually went out and bought the crayola bath crayons which is actually colored soap that is ok to use on your childs body and hair. That made it fun for him and easy for me! Then after a few times I would just pretend and use the regular baby shampoo. WORKED FOR US AND MAY WORK FOR YOU!!!

Amanda - posted on 04/13/2009

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let him try to do it himself or lay him back just a little and use the shower haed if it comes off....My son was the same way with me and i have try doing everything and i let him do it himself and then i started to use the shower head..

Tiffany - posted on 04/13/2009

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I am having this exact same issue... I have been able to get him to look straight up a couple times, but even knowing that the water won't get in his face if he is looking up doesn't seem to change his mind about it... I have tried using a wash rag, a bath cup (the one with the soft side to place on the forehead to keep water from running into his face), have tried showers, and nothing seems to ease him for getting his hair washed.  So, because it is such a fight, I wash his hair maybe 2 times a week unless he played really hard and needs it washed more than that... otherwise I don't even bother with his hair, just wash his body and get done so that I don't have to hear him scream about it...

Sharon - posted on 04/13/2009

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I have the exact same problem with my 2 year old he screams til he makes him self sick he physically shakes in fear yet he has never slipped or had a bad bath experience so i too will be intersted to see what helpful replies u get

Isma - posted on 04/13/2009

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Is it just that he doesn't like to get soap or water on his face?  My son was like this and we got round it by him sitting on a chair and leaning with his head over the bath to get it washed before he actually went in to have his bath.  You also get special "bath hats" which help stop them getting soap and water in their eyes.  He did eventually grow out of his hair washing phobia at around 5, only to have developed a complete washing phobia at age 12.  Lovely!!

Nicola - posted on 04/13/2009

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my eldest has just turned 5 and he still screams but my 22month old ive turned it in to a game,i start a little water fight in the bath.and i use a sponge instead of a jug so it isnt to much water.try it,it might take time but it might work.

Serina - posted on 04/13/2009

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I have this exact problem with my 21/2 year old plus Im 8 mnths pregnant so its even worse. Hes been like this since he was about 16 mnths and its a fight every time!! I cant wait to see some of the advise other moms give, cuz I would like to know too!!! Sorry I cant help but want you to know your not alone!!

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