Why does my son love water but hates washing his hair?

My 18-month-old son loves the water but he hates when I wash his hair.  He fights me every time I rinse out the shampoo.  I have tried bands and hats, but I can't get him to keep those on long enough for me to rinse his hair. Could the reason be because he's had tubes inserted into his ears and numerous ear infections? We do put ear plugs into his ears to keep the water out and he has no problem with those.

Submitted by gravelyjune

It's not the ear infections that's the problem -- it is the age. Many toddlers protest invasion of their space--some protest toothbrushing, others protest haircuts, and stil others go on strike when it comes to diaper changes (a real challenge!). Make it clear that rinsing hair is not negotiable. Try to include him in the experience -- have a cup that he can play that he can use to pour water over his head. Whatever you come up with, it has to be done -- with or without a fight. Eventually, he will decide to let you do it.

Answered by Parents Team
Community Answers (3)

Tell him you know a way to keep soap and water out of his face that is fun. Tell him that you will use a puppet to wet his hair. He gets to make coyote calls. Demonstrate how. Tell him this will make all the water and soap stay out of his face. Also tell him you will be making him soapy animal ears and have him pick out what kind he wants eg cat, dog,. Tell him you can looka at them in the mirror. Have fun! You can do animal ears, puppets, coyote calls, and toys in 20 minutes withno screaming
Submitted by luvmoose77

I have dealt with this fear as a babysitter and this always works. Kids never cry when I wash their hair. First get or make some bath puppets. Puppets make a great distraction and kids would rather have the puppets washing a rinsing their hair. Buy a unbreakable mirror. At lunch or anytime way before bathtime show your son the puppets have them talk to him about having fun in the tub and allow him to play with them a bit. Tell your son you understand why he doesn't like to wash his hair. Cont.
Submitted by luvmoose77