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  1. #11
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    my ds2 is 2.5 and also screams the house down when i wash his hair. It's so bad i only do it once a week. I try to do it right at the start of his bath, then after I've washed and rinsed i distract him with high 5's and praise for being a brave big boy. Worked last week, he was fine after that. But it's an ongoing battle. He hates the hairdresser too. I have his daycare provider pushing autism onto me even though he's fine in all other ways. It's comforting to know there are other kids the same out there.

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (11-12-2015)

  3. #12
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    Default Help! Toddler terrified of washing her hair

    Quote Originally Posted by gingermillie View Post
    I don't want to come across as insensitive but does she see you freaking out about water on your face and this is contributing to her fear?
    Not insensitive at all. I've been so careful to not show it, washing my hair in front of her when we shower together - I'm ok with that I don't put my whole head under I just tip my head back. I've never been swimming in front of her- DH takes her into the water at the pool and at the beach and I thought maybe that's where she picked it up from- never seeing me do it. Or it could just be that age, her being my first I just don't know.

    I just feel so bad for her if she's unable to stand water on her face as I know it can be such a hindrance- the awfulness of mandatory school swimming lessons and carnivals, being left out at pool parties or sitting in the shallow part whilst friends play in deeper waves at the beach

    But overall my concern right now is just washing her damn hair. Food, sand, knots etc. She has beautiful long blonde hair and I want it clean!
    Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 11-12-2015 at 12:16.

  4. #13
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    Could you or your DH shower with her? Let her wash yours then you do hers? Make a game of it?
    Start my washing shoulders then work way up, wash ends of hair etc?

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (11-12-2015)

  6. #14
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    Default Help! Toddler terrified of washing her hair

    Today we did it by force. We had no other option. It looked and smelt like a homeless person's hair. We had offered bribes, told her she needed to smell nice for Santa, then started taking all her toys away/tv off... She remained firm. She hadn't had a shower in 4 days as she knew I wanted to wash it (she had been sick with a cold though)

    I held her whilst DH washed her. It was tough. She kicked me in the box a few times, ouch! She NEVER used to be like this. She is not on the spectrum either, she was just being a drama queen.

    I think it became such an issue because I pandered to her and allowed it to become a thing instead of just putting up with the tantrum.

    DH and I agreed we will continue to wash her hair every 2 days, so she will realise it's going to happen, become more compliant and hopefully stop it becoming a huge drama.

    But yes that sucked. But she seems totally over it now.

  7. #15
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    The hair washing sounds like an ordeal!

    Some advice on water generally, and I say this having qualified as a swim teacher and level 1 coach years ago and taught many kids including lots who had very strong fears.

    Your DD is in the peak age for water fear and you are spot on that she is reflecting your fear. The only way that is going to get better is if you change your approach to water.

    Until she sees that Mum likes the water she will be impossible to teach.

    My suggestions are: set aside time to go to a pool that has a flat entry baby pool - hopefully you can find one not too far away. Not the kids pool or shallow end but the super shallow flat bit for little babies. Spend time sitting there with her playing games and take toys along. Little watering cans are great because you can build up to watering your heads.

    Sing songs, splash about gently, get some straws and pick water up in a container and blow bubbles in it - water has to become fun and start at a super safe place.

    You may also want to get her some well fitted goggles for the shower and pool - ask the shop to fit them properly, it's a backwards step if they leak but just protecting her eyes might help a lot.

    You can play all the water games at home too but given the hair washing issues it might be better to separate from that at first.

    Goggles might help in the shower as well.

    Consistent practice playing in the very shallow water should get you to a point that she can wet her face and she starts to have fun, once that happens you could give lessons another go.

    You've got to show her you love it thought so get yourself some goggles too and maybe consider an adult lesson or two if you have a water fear?

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (22-12-2015)

  9. #16
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    Default Help! Toddler terrified of washing her hair

    Thanks for this advice @ScubaGal, will take this on board

    We are going away on holidays soon and the place has a pool so I'm determined to get in myself and have some fun.

    I will also make an effort to take her to the local pool with a baby pool over summer

  10. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Miss Sunshine View Post
    Thanks for this advice @ScubaGal, will take this on board

    We are going away on holidays soon and the place has a pool so I'm determined to get in myself and have some fun.

    I will also make an effort to take her to the local pool with a baby pool over summer
    Good plan 👍🏻

  11. #18
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    ...helps to get really excited about the goggles or even a mask (creates a little problem later with learning not to inhale through the nose when the mask is taken away but not insurmountable.

    For example get special princess goggles/mask or whatever she's into, make a big deal of them, going to see the fishies in the water and mermaids etc etc. has to be super exciting and special.

    It's amazing how some kids react just when they feel their eyes are protected.

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (22-12-2015)

  13. #19
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    DS hates having his hair washed. Turns out his scalp is quite sensitive. The OT suggested getting him to lay down in the bath for getting his hair wet/rinsing out shampoo. Also letting him control water being poured over his head.

    You could try skipping shampoo and just wiping a really wet cloth over it for a little while to get used to it.

    Would you consider cutting her hair short? Less to wash and might makes things a little easier.

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (22-12-2015)

  15. #20
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    When my kids were little, they used to scream when I washed their hair. They are good now at 8 and 11, they can wash their own hair. But what I had to end up doing was have a bath with them and get each child one at a time, to lay back in the water, me supporting them as they were scared of going too far back, and just washing their hair like that, making sure no water went on their faces. And for that extra relief, a washer over their eyes just to make sure no water whatso ever gets into their eyes.

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    Little Miss Sunshine  (22-12-2015),meandmyboys82  (22-12-2015)


 

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