HOW TO... wash a toddler's hair... and stay calm
We always fall into the same traps: children like water, so why do they cry when we wash their hair? It's a million dollar question to which no one has an answer! Relax, there's no perfect prescription, we all share this problem.
Just have in mind that some children really are oversensitive, and that washing their hair is an additional sensation and it's not like when they bathe in a pool, a river or in a sea, even when they dive and wet their head. And that sensitivity mostly goes away with time, as they grow older, and till then, it's our only solution to be as patient as we can.
Nevertheless, here are some advice:
1. Get the shield for washing hair. Better first borrow it from someone, so that you don't throw your money away if it fails. If that action is successful, then it's priceless, however costly it may be.
2. Bring also the bear, doll, favorite toy - wash its hair, also, or better yet, have the child wash it, just so that it may view the process from your position. This also goes for combing afterwards: all the toys are being combed till you've combed your kid's hair.
3. Change something: If you're used to washing your child in a tub full of water, try now with just showering, or the opposite, if the child's used to showering, try filling the bathtub, if you have it. The switch is confusing enough.
4. If the child is slightly older, 3-4 years, suggest the child washes its own hair, however that turns out in the end. The greatest risk is a flooded bathroom, but if this trick succeeds, all the following washings will bring lesser flooding.
5. Stick some image on the ceiling above the bathtub/shower - a favorite cartoon character or similar, and the task is that the child looks at the image every time you wash its hair. In that way, it will hold its head just so that the water won't flow over its face.
6. Buy some small stickers (if you're willing to have them on your tiles) and after every successful washing without crying, let, as a prize, the child place one sticker on your tiles. But only after a successful washing, never otherwise.
7. Try a gentle head massage, as at a hairdresser - a massage is certainly relaxing.
8. Try taking off your shower head and rinse the head with a small, weak stream directly from the hose, as those shower heads sometimes only let through tiny, sharp jets which can induce unpleasant sensations and additionally spray everywhere.
9. First put the shampoo on your palms, and then only little on the hair, so that it doesn't need to be rinsed for long.
10. Try putting a large towel on your child's shoulders, which will be soaked with warm water while you're washing the hair. The towel's warmth will be pleasant, and the wet towel is heavy and will create a mild and gentle pressure - a pleasing sensation which will soothe the unpleasant sensations on the head during the washing of the hair.