I don’t know what it is with toddlers and hair washing, but most of them consider it equal to murder. If you have one of those perfect toddlers that don’t scream murder the moment they realize it is time for dreadful hair washing, just keep on scrolling. You don’t want them to get some ideas. Just retreat quietly and don’t even mention to them that hair washing could be a problematic experience. If you are not one of those lucky parents, stay with me. We will think of something together.
You have a couple of strategies to survive washing your toddler’s hair.
- Just don’t wash the hair.
First and the one my toddler prefers is to just forget about it. It is already been a week since last hair washing? Just sniff them, if they don’t smell bad you just bought yourself another week. Unfortunately, it is not a really effective solution as eventually, you will have to tackle the dragon, and it will be anything but calm and relaxing experience you wish for.
- Involve them in the process.
What I have noticed with Emily is that she is more willing to cooperate if she has a choice, so we make bath time full-on immersive experience. She gets to choose the shampoo and the towel we will be using, which toys will join her during the bath time and even in which colour we will change the bathwater too.
You can even get them to practice hair washing on one of their dolls. Help them to wash the doll’s hair while you lead them through it and it might make them more comfortable when it is their turn.
- Find out what is making them scream less.
Emily is willing to jump out from the bath head first if we dare to turn on the handheld shower. The moment she hears it she is an uncontrollable crying mess while if we try rinsing with a jug of water, she will cry just for a second and then continue to moan and whine. The alternative is not ideal as she is still not happy to wash her hair, but it is making her less annoyed and more cooperative. Last time she even took a small cup and tried to rinse her own hair which is a win in my book.
Some kids also hate leaning the head back as they don’t feel safe, and they will be happier to lean forward. Just make sure you place a dry cloth over their eyes to make sure no water gets to their eyes. Hopefully, after a while they will learn this helps and they will hold it without any help.
- Never let them leave the bath while they are still crying.
The most important thing you need to do is to make sure they associate bath time with fun time, if you allow them to leave the bath while they are still crying, they will always associate it with being unhappy. If they just make a fuss when washing their hair but love taking a bath, try to wash the hair at the beginning and then bring on the fun. Give them different cups to play with, rubber ducky or any other bath toy. If you want my suggestion, invest in Bath crayons. They were a complete game-changer. Now she will cry during the rinsing, but stop the moment she gets her hand on the bath crayons.
Hopefully, some of these tips will work for you also so you will finally be able to relax during the bath time, but if you have any suggestion please share it with us. We need all help we can get to survive this toddlerhood.