Looking Good

From trimming nails to washing hair, how to master the art of baby grooming.

Hair-Washing Hints

baby getting his first hair cut

Ericka McConnell

Keeping your baby or toddler neat and clean requires more than baths and constant clothing changes (though there's certainly that). Hair, nail, and tooth care often require mildly unpleasant sensations (pulling, cutting, brushing). Is it any wonder your wiggly baby or on-the-go toddler has far better things to do than sitting still for these indignities? The good news is there are lots of ways to either involve or distract your child in order to get the job done. Surely some will work for you!

Most kids love their bath but hate the shampoo, specifically the rinsing phase. There are various tricks for getting soap off their head:

Encourage her to look up so she tilts her head back by...
* Putting decals on the ceiling
* Hanging a shower toy, preferably one that talks or plays a song, from the shower-curtain bar

Give your child a sense of control by...
* Letting him hold a towel over his eyes when you pour water over his head
* Buying a visor made for just this purpose
* Giving a countdown before you start pouring so he's prepared

Avoid the rinsing problem by...
* Using a washcloth to get the soap off
* Suggesting she go underwater like a scuba diver. Let her wear swimming goggles or a mask if you have them. If soap still remains, run your hand through her hair on the last "dive" to remove it
* Letting her have a turn pouring water on her head

When brushing hair, you'll pull less if you start at the bottom and work your way up. To cut down on tangles, use conditioner and braid your daughter's hair before she goes to bed.

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