Bath time: How do wash your toddler's hair?

Categories:: Kid Related Health Advice - Health and Healing

Wondering how the heck you wash your child's hair at bath time? Here PSP parents share how they do it.

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Use a shampoo shower nozzle:

"I use the detachable shampoo shower nozzle that hair stylists use.  It's a shower head on a long vinyl tube; the other end attaches to any faucet.  You can find them in most beauty supply stores (Sally's etc.) but I bought mine on for $8.  I bought it for washing my then-toddlers hair bc she screamed so much otherwise.    We have a faucet at the base of the tub and attach it there and leave it.  But you could store it under the sink as well.  I've also attached it to the sink faucet to rinse out my own conditioning treatment etc, without having to get in the tub. The best part is she's 4 now and loves to bathe with it bc it gives her sense of control over the water flow/direction (and its fun to spray things). Two tips:
#1 if your tub faucet is large, run the rubber attachment (the end that goes on the faucet) under hot water for a minute or 2 to soften it.  Then it stretches and pops right onto the tub faucet. once it cools it has a nice tight fit.  i thought i had to return it until somebody shared that tip with me.
#2 - water flow can't be too high or else it'll make it come off."


Buy special products intended for washing infants hair: 


"I bought what looked like a large rubber mug made just for this reason.  I used the tub water or just ran the tub spigot more and filled up this mug and she leaned her head back just a little and I poured it over her head.  She actually liked it and tried to do it herself sometimes (not a good idea).  By 4 she was taking showers so only temporary."

"Munchkin makes a pitcher that looks like it has an open top (it kind of looks like a milk jug with the top cut off) that we started using with better results. It's flexible and you can kind of press into their little heads so it molds to that shape and the water then can't go backwards into their eyes. I'm not describing it well but it's been a big help. We found it at target. Good luck!"

"We use this rinse bucket [pictured], and it works really well."

"I use this thing and I find that it does the job. The front part creates a seal so water doesn't get in baby's face or eyes."

 "We've used this with both of our kids and it has been a lifesaver.  Our son was SUPER crazy about getting water in his eyes and this has just eliminated any complaints."

"Have you tried this? Rubber flexes against their head and ensures their face stays dry."


 Use a rinse cup, guide, and distract:

 "I bought one of those rinse caps on amazon and she won't wear it. What has worked is getting her to tilt her head back /look up, through a combination of guidance and daddy distraction, and using a rinse cup.


Be gentle, go slowly, take breaks and pat eyes with a wash cloth:

"I use a rinse cup with a narrow pour spout and try to be gentle and efficient, doing all the back and sides first, sometimes taking a break.  After rinsing the top and front I pat her eyes down with a dry wash cloth and tell her she's brave and that some kids just cry and cry, but not her! I really hate this part of the bath, so we try to get it over with so we can play in the bath for a while. She cries much less these days, and recovers right away."


Use a plastic cup or beach pail:

"I have always just used a child's cup (plastic) of their choice or decorative beach pail. The kids tilt their head back and I just rinse it wither with the bathwater or the faucet water. I also happen to have a hand shower but it scares my little one so I don't use it on her in the bath."

"There's a 5$ colorful pouring rinse bucket I got from B r U the other day. Has a soft, rubber edge to create a seal so water doesn't get in eyes. My 1.5 y.o. just doesn't like anything poured on his head (but loves the water otherwise, go figure) so I *think* it works better than just a plain ole cup."


Use a bath visor:

How about a "bath visor" and a cup?  The bath visor (I never used one myself) keeps the shampoo from going down the kid's face.


Use a shower handset, if you have one:

"Well, if you're willing to do an actual plumbing change, perhaps you should consider a tub faucet that includes a shower handset (very european) -- that's what we have and we just use the sprayer from that for rinsing hair and bodies -- also great for cleaning out the tub in general and rinsing out bubble baths.  We have one like this. I know -- expensive solution -- and we did this while we were renovating the whole bathroom - but it is a very nice way around this problem!"


Explain and show them what you are doing:

"Even though [my daughter] is over her fear of the bath and can play in there a long time, she still really doesn't like hair washing. We tried all the same tricks as you, washcloth, skipping it altogether etc... I dug deep in my brain and remembered that some of the children I work with (as an OT) are sensitive to hair washing/water in the eyes and my suggestions include warning the child about what you're going to do, let them be involved and/or put a little mirror in front of them so it's not a surprise to them. That being said our babies are a couple of years younger than the kids I work with BUT just tonight I used a variation of this where I explained to [my daughter] step by step what I was going to do and even pretend demonstrated on myself what I was going to do (it took seconds, it sounds longer) and for the first time she just whined a bit and recovered quickly instead of crying. I have no idea if this will work again but I'd give it a shot, and I will continue this method for [my daughter] because it doesn't hurt."