What It’s Like to Wash A Kid’s Hair

I’m not a fan of washing Crappy Baby’s hair. Wait, it’s not actually the washing that is the problem, it is the rinsing after the washing. The part where I have to get the bloody soap out. (Not bloody as in the dark red stuff. Bloody like the people say in the UK. Just clarifying.)

It’s the same routine, you see. It has been the same routine his entire life.

There is just one thing he needs to do! Just one thing!


Tip. His. Head.

That’s it!

After the soap is rubbed in, he tips his head back so I can rinse it out.

So I ask him to tip.

And I ask him to tip again. I remind him about that pesky soap/eye/tipping connection.


I even gently press on his forehead to help him tip his head back.

He does it!


You see, I can get him to tip his head back after prompting a handful of times. It’s getting his head to stay tipped back during the rinsing that causes trouble.

I start to rinse for roughly three quarters of a second.

The moment the soap starts to rinse down in bubbly, dangerous streams…


He starts to look down. Every time. I’m not done rinsing! Tip your head back again!

I’m frantically using my hand to shield the soapy water from dripping down his forehead.

Just TIP your head back!!!

And, inevitably…


Yep. I did.


Before anyone even gets a chance to comment, yes, I know that tear-free shampoo has been invented. I’ve heard of it. I’m sure it’s brilliant stuff for loads of people. The few I’ve been willing to try haven’t worked well for us. Honestly, I’ve already been through this with one kid who eventually became a tipping master. So he’ll get there. No biggie.

For those of you that actually read these bottom footnote things, I want to let you know that the new, 2015 Parenting: Illustrated With Crappy Pictures 2015 Wall CALENDAR just came out! And the new, 2015 Parenting: Illustrated With Crappy Pictures 2015 ENGAGEMENT CALENDAR just came out! I didn’t even tell anyone I was DOING a calendar. So, surprise! I partnered with Willow Creek Press for these and just got my sample copies in the mail this weekend and they look amazing. I’m so freaking excited! More on these in tomorrow’s post where I might possibly wax poetic about their awesomeness. 

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300 Responses to What It’s Like to Wash A Kid’s Hair

  1. jane says:

    I will wash your kid’s hair if you can get mine to brush his teeth.

    • Kristen H says:

      I will brush your kid’s teeth if you figure out how to clip my 2-year-old’s toenails.

      • nickol says:


      • Julie Perry says:

        I’ll wash your kids hair and brush your kids teeth if you can get mine to eat dinner. Bonus points if he sits at the table and eats it.

        • Katy D. says:

          I’ll wash hair, brush teeth, clip finger AND toenails, IF you can get my kid to bed on time without fussing and STAY in bed in less than two hours.

          • Michelle says:

            I know most people say this is for adults only but you can get the lowest dose they have over the counter and crush it up and add to their milk just before bed time. It is called Melatonin 3mg. works great to get kids to sleep. i use it for mine after checking with my doctor about it.

          • tina says:

            I’ll do bedtime if you can get my kid to finally wipe her own butt properly! :p

      • diana says:

        I will wash your kids’ hair, make them brush their teeth *and* clip their toenails, even raise with a shopping session, if you get my 7yo to wipe his butt. Because that’s too gross.

        • amber says:

          Clearly, we need to start a commune. We could swap parenting duties for real.

          • Kristin says:

            hahahaha!!! So True! I really don’t understand why communes have such a bad reputation! (OK, I do, but in theory it’s SUCH an awesome idea!)

          • Jenny says:

            I was thinking the same thing! Commune times! It takes a village, people. 🙂

            (Prob not the actual Village People. That’s weird.)

          • Summer Sheldon says:

            Communes would be great if all the men were eunuchs. Too many creepers out there. The Amazons had it made.

        • Buffy Quinn says:

          You win!

        • Jen W says:

          The comments are as funny as the post!!!

        • Jennifer says:

          I swear I will be wiping my 7 year old’s butt until he gets married and his wife takes over.

          • Laura Almanza says:

            He will eventually do it. Both of my boys now 16 and 9 had me wipe their butts until they were 7 or 8ish! Eventually, I just had to say “NO MORE!” You can sit there ALLLL day waiting for me to come wipe you because I’m not. Or you can do the best you can and get up from there. Eventually, they got tired of waiting and learned to wipe their own butts. Both wouldn’t do it for the same reason: It was “gross.” Yes, yes it IS gross and I am having to wipe butts that aren’t even my own! lol All the previous comments had me laughing! 🙂

          • Tiffani says:

            LOLOLOLOL!!! It will get better, my son is 22 and I’m not wiping his butt, (not sure if his wife is though)

          • MB says:

            OMG I’m glad I’m not the only one with a son who hates wiping his bum. These replies made me laugh so hard.

          • laura says:

            Have you tried the wet wipes? Like Charmin freshmates? Those encouraged my girls to wipe better because the glide easier.

        • Jennie says:

          OMG.. this made me howl with laughter

        • Michelle says:

          Get baby wipes and tell him if he doesn’t start wiping his own butt you will do it in front of his friends just like when he was a baby and watch how fast he learns after you do it once or twice. lol…..

          • Jen DeVries says:

            We have the opposite problem. Both my husband and our 4 1/2 year old insist he can wipe his own butt. The dollop of poo I found on the bathroom floor not half an hour ago claims otherwise. And I had to repeat to my husband, for what seems like the millionth time, that I, also would love for the little monster to wipe his own butt, but HIS ARMS AREN’T FREAKING LONG ENOUGH TO REACH INTO HIS CRACK. It’s simple physics. If you can’t reach it, you can’t wipe it.

        • Wendy says:

          I will do all that (bath, brush, wipe) if you can get my 30 year old to call me once in
          a while!

      • Cyndi R says:

        I finally convinced my youngest to let me clip her toe nails by promising to paint them. And yes, in the beginning I clipped one nail and painted it. Clipped the second nail and painted it. Good Luck!

      • KathyChapman says:

        I do my daughter’s when she is asleep.

      • Ro says:

        My 2-year old lets me do it if I bribe her with nail polish.

        • Jill says:

          Oh my god. These are the best. Parenting is universal. We are all struggling with the same crap all over the world. I bet there is some Nepalese boy who won’t tip his head either and some Spanish girl that cries hysterically while parent brushes her teeth.

        • Sarah says:

          Yep, nail varnish bribery worked a treat on my 3 year old. Amazing how offering to paint them made the supposed agonising pain of the nails being clipped disappear in an instant .

      • Billie says:

        I used to bribe my twins with M&Ms at that age. It was the only time I allowed them to have them. One candy for each nail.

      • Larissa says:

        Do the “ow! It got me!” Technique if you haven’t tried it yet. Start with your own and pretend the clippings hit you in the eye, ear, forehead, you name it. When you’re all done with yours they’ll beg you to do theirs 🙂

      • Yvonne says:

        At night while he or she is sleeping. It’s the only time my 5 year old will tolerate the torture. 🙂

      • Lisa says:

        I’ll clip your 2-year-old’s nails if you clip my TEN-YEAR-OLD’s nails. I have to literally sit on his legs to get him to stop flailing, and he refuses to do it himself.

    • Jennifer says:

      I got my 2.5 y/o to agree to brush her teeth AND let me brush them after by telling her that if she doesn’t, the dentist will take her teeth out! We know two other kids her age who have really bad cavities and DO have to have their teeth removed, so it’s not a lie. 😉

      As for the head tipping for rinsing.. exact same thing as the comic. Every time. >_< And we USE tear-free shampoo! Still irritates her eyes. 😛

    • Tonight my 4 yr old refused to brush his teeth, stating his “legs hurt.” Then he said that poop was running through his blood and he couldn’t have his teeth brushed right now. If you could please come brush his teeth tomorrow night, I’d be forever grateful. I am a GREAT baby and toddler toe and fingernail clipper, btw. Trade?

  2. Kate says:

    I thought I was the only one who had to deal with this! #thestruggleisreal

    • Anna says:

      My 2-almost-3-year-old still does this. I’ve been telling him to tip since he was born and he STILL doesn’t do it. My 4 year old is a tipping master. I don’t understand how one can grasp the concept so completely and the other one completely miss it. Ugh. You’re right #thestruggleisreal

      • millie says:

        Dude! I still deal with this crap…..and my kiddo is six. Yes, that’s right. SIX!

        • Anita says:

          Mine is 6 and still freaks out. And the shower also freaks him out.

          • Julia says:

            Same here! Six years old and still freaks out every time he has to shower. Always gives the other Moms a great show after swimming lessons…

        • Denise says:

          Mine’s 9. He should totally be doing it himself, but it’s just so much easier to do it myself, plus I know it’s done right (he washes himself, though.). And he still doesn’t tip when he’s supposed to. 😉

      • Heather burchett says:

        My 8 year old still doesn’t get it and he’s washing his own hair now lol

        • sam says:

          My 17 year old just lets the water, hair, soap and all wash down his face. He showers himself obviously…but he still doesn’t tip. Some never master it. He gets out of the shower hair in his face and all.

      • Barbi Y says:

        My 4 year old refuses to tip.. so I hand him a wet baby rag and let him hang his head and then pour water…I’m 38 yrs old and am terrified of tipping my head back and water getting in my face and he’s the same way.. so I’m a downward facing hair washing fiend 😛

        Still no luck on the butt wiping 🙁 Tho he always insists on clipping his own finger and toe nails, when I do it he has no issues.. as long as the nail hits me in the face or chest and he howls in laughter.. lil bugger

    • Eva says:

      No, you’re not. I, too, was relieved to read this!

    • Elissa R says:

      And why are they getting mad at us, when we told them what was going to happen!?!? My daughter didn’t want to take baths for 2 days straight during summer break, I was like “whatever dude, I won’t fight you” but now that we’re back to school, yeah, #thestruggleisreal

  3. TeeJay says:

    I go through the same thing with my daughter. I hold a washcloth over her forehead to try and shield the water but she inevitably breathes some up her nose and acts like she’s drowning. Poor babies. If only they would just TIP!!

  4. Mandy says:

    Oh, this is our life, too.

    As for the tear free shampoos, they’re not truly tear free, generally have sulfates or other non-natural ingredients I’d rather not use, and/or are terrible at cleaning and detangling a thicker head of hair, especially a curly one. So use what works for you and keep on trying to teach that ultimate life skill of head tipping. They’ll need it their whole lives, after all.

  5. Mel says:

    I want that calendar, but its not available on Amazon.co.uk. Bummer.

  6. Quarterpint says:

    OMG- my 2 YO daughter does the EXACT SAME THING, every single time, and we go through the same routine! I was hoping it would get better with age. Apparently not…

  7. Angela says:

    I have this experience every time I give my three year old a bath. He tipped–once.

  8. I think this is totally universal. It’s like it’s instinctive to put your face down and away from the water, without realising that heads are round and not bowls and water drips around them. Fail.

    We tried everything, no tears shampoo (doesn’t work, even water in the eyes is uncomfortable and scary for little kids), those magic cups with a special shield, the weird baseball cap things, lying back and “being a mermaid”. Only thing that worked was a combination of time, serious bribery and breaking it down into little steps.

    But seriously. It’s bad when they scream like you’re murdering them and use every limb to propel themselves out of the bath and/or cling to and strangle you at once.

  9. Kim Q says:

    Bath time is my least favorite thing about parenting. Forever and ever infinity. Or until my kids become teenage hooligans. But until then. Bath time. Forever and ever infinity!

  10. Chi says:

    I have the same problem with daughter, age 2.5. We have some slightly better success telling her to look at the ceiling and count the pictures (wall decal stickers!)

    And yeah, the organic/natural “tear-free” shampoos are not that tear-free, and my daughter cries when clean water gets in them, too.

  11. Mrs. Sexy says:

    It took YEARS to get the tipping to happen and even now as a first grader he has nerves. Perhaps Baby Girl will have better luck…I hear girls are quick learners?

    • Charity says:

      Um, only with what they want to learn. I have two girls and only one will tip and she screams the whole time she does it.

    • Michelle says:

      Um no they aren’t trying to potty train my 3 yr old. She refuses to go poo on the toilet and half the time she won’t pee pee on it either. my 4 yr old was no trouble at all had him potty trained by 2 yrs old. anytime i went he went too and he did it girly style as well still does for the most part . But hey I’m not complaining at least this way I don’t have to wipe the seat before I sit down or lower the seat either. Happy days as A mother……..

      • Lana says:

        Oh Crap Potty Training. best potty training resource there is and you get help from the author Jaimie Glowacki should you really need it.

  12. Jessica says:

    I want the calendar!

  13. caren says:

    Yep…My younger one still can’t take instruction I just clean the back really well and slosh the front…cant’ be helped.
    My older one (who is 4) will act like she is blind…looking for a towel screaming the whole time. I hope that phase ends soon…

  14. Kirstie Farrar says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post!! I was just commenting the other day that my kids have done the “tip back thing” AT LEAST 1,000 times by now…and they still can’t get it right. They lean forward and look down…or tip their heads forward and then back…any other combination except the one that actually works! Why is this so complicated????

  15. Amanda R. says:

    My grandma had one of these bad boys for me when I was a kid. Total lifesaver.


  16. Sue says:

    I let my boy wear his swimming goggles, works great but only with short hair x

  17. Terri D says:

    I tell my son- look at the sky, no soap in your eye!

    It’s a chant I use and sometimes he can hear me through the screams.

    • jo says:

      you made me laugh out loud!
      “sometimes he can hear me through the screams”
      i was a screamer
      i do my kids face down with a washcloth over their face and a sprayer so they don’t scream and we actually enjoy bathtime, but i do remember crying EVERYtime my mom washed my hair!

  18. Holly Stewart says:

    My son is like that in a bath but he does great if we let him shower. He will just stick his head in the water and shut his eyes. He loves rinsing off that way but if I attempt to help by rubbing his head in any way, then we get screaming! I also use Watkins Baby shampoo and body wash combo (my mom sells their stuff) and it works great. He never says his eyes sting from it or hurt in any way. I’m also super sensitive to scents so he uses what I can stand the smell of! 🙂

  19. Willow says:

    Our boys are almost exactly one year older than yours, and we recently arrived at “Go and have a shower, don’t forget to wash your hair” and the child comes back clean 20 minutes later. I have no idea how this happened, I remember the difficult washes and 7 hour cold baths well.

  20. Julie says:

    What worked for my daughter was to say “now look up like a baby bird waiting for food” and she would look up and open her mouth wide (which doesn’t contribute to hair rinsing) but while I pretended to be mama bird with a juicy worm for the baby bird I would rinse her hair. Target sells a rinse pitcher that helps some too.

  21. Suzie says:

    I think we just sort of toughed it out until we got past that phase, honestly, but I did have one thought: swimming goggles? Fun and functional, yes?

  22. Cass says:

    Same problem here, but we discovered what works. Have your child look down (chin to chest). Then when you pour the water it streams down the sides of the face but doesn’t go near the eyes! Give it a go 🙂 (Still doesn’t solve the problem of them hating water on their head, though.)

  23. Marianne says:

    Dry face cloth over the face worked for us. Heck, even a wet face cloth. Whatever will make them close their eyes. I suppose you could use swimming goggles too for that mater. 😉

  24. Amanda says:

    Look at mommy, look up! Up at me! Tip your head babe. Please?

    Ugh, every time. It’s like the water is a lead weight and the head comes down and the soap (tear free or not) goes straight in the eyes!

  25. nickol says:

    OMG every kid, every time. Some traumatically, hysterically worse than others, some with water phobias, some that throw up from hysterics. Going thru it 5x, I’m the one who’s traumatized now. Just stay dirty, we’ll hose you off in the yard and pretend it’s a game. Where is my wine?

    • andraya says:

      This was me as well…requiring multiple adults to hold the child in the bath/shower while another frantically scrubs the head and rinses in as close to 2 seconds as possible before the child vomits from hysteria.

    • jo says:

      thanks for the laugh! i did actually once hose my boys off. they had played in a huge mud puddle. i stuck the hose in their pockets and it ran dirty for two minutes! they sure weren’t coming in my house like that!

  26. Caryn says:

    Have you tried dunking? I don’t have kids, but it’s what I used to do as a small child.

  27. Charlotte says:

    Washrag! My kids get a washrag that they put over their eyes. It forces them to close their eyes, even if they don’t tip their head back. I squeeze it out between kids to make it as dry as possible.

  28. Ruth says:

    Try getting him to tip his head down and holding a cloth over his face. It’s much more intuitive for them than tipping back when water is being dumped on them. And this method is actually pretty effective at keeping the soapy stuff out of their eyes…it runs off the sides of the head. It’s only when they have their head in the upright position that it runs directly into the eyes.

  29. Loni Gofran says:

    Yep, we don’t use tear free stuff, what makes it tear free is numbing agents that trick your body into not tearing :/

  30. Kristen says:

    I had a great idea (of course after my kids got good at tipping) so I never tried it, but put a decal of something they like on the ceiling. That way you can say “Look at Thomas” instead of tip your head.

  31. Victoria K says:

    And here I thought my kids were the only ones who wouldn’t tip back!!! It was soooo frustrating, and made absolutely no sense! I questioned their intelligence! Why wouldn’t they just tip back???? Now I see it’s a little-known but universal phenomenon. Of course, now, they wash their own hair.

  32. Valerie Parris says:

    Ok stupid question. ..whats the difference between the calendar and engagement calendar?

    • amber says:

      Good question! I will try not to wax poetic yet, but the calendar is a wall calendar. The regular, classic size that goes on a wall. The engagement calendar really should be called “crap I need to remember not to forget” planner calendar. With room for notes on each day, note pages at the back and it is covered in a plastic puke-resistant cover. It is the size of a book 6.5 x 8.5 and goes in your bag.

  33. Amanda says:

    Took mine forever. Evan as old enough to shower on their own I have to send them back in to finish rinsing “but Moooom- it gets in my eYEAS” SMH. tip. just. tip.

  34. Heather says:

    Since you have the hand-held shower head thing….I make my kids stand up,put their hands on the wall and look up. Sort of like a reverse line up. I don’t know why it works, but I have way better results in keeping the heads up and back. Plus if you have girls (I have 2), they like to see how far they can tip their heads & arch their backs to get their hair to touch their butts. That’s a banner day for them.

  35. Christine says:

    I bought my two-year-old a foam shampoo “hat,” and after one successful use my seven-year-old decided to try it on her big head while Dad left them alone and she ripped it. Ugh. My sympathies.

  36. Beverlea says:

    Lol. This morning:
    Me: “tip your head back so I can rinse your hair.”
    Toddler: “I AM I AM”
    Me: “NO that’s not back, that’s forward. Aaaaand you just dunked your face under.”
    Toddler: “No you can’t wash my hair today.”

  37. Beth N says:

    Hahahahahhaha!! 2 sons been there!!

    Finally told them to rinse their own hair (brush cuts), that worked fairly well, but that wasn’t until they were about 4 and 5, or maybe it was 3 and 4- it’s all a blur

    Hubby made them rinse their hair under the tap- laying on their backs- not sure how much water actually stayed in the tub as they flailed around lol

  38. Kate says:

    My daughter is 5 and she still does this. EXACTLY this!!! Every gosh dang time!

  39. Anita says:

    Tear-free doesn’t make any difference to the kid – at least not with mine. They totally freak out if any water gets in their eyes so I came up with two techniques for this: one is just a game where I keep asking silly questions about the ceiling. (What color is the ceiling, is it purple? Is there a rainbow? Are there any birds up there? Rhinoceros? and so on….) The other is that I made some bathtub clings by printing out pictures of things they like and sandwiching them in clear contact paper (with about 1/2 inch around the paper so the water can’t get in). I try to stick a few up high on the bath wall when they’re not looking then ask them to look up and find the pictures. Both those techniques work pretty good if you can keep them going long enough!

  40. Shelley says:

    My kids won’t even tip for 3/4 of a second. I can dump cups of water on the back of their heads…behind their ears. Once I get up front, I have to use a wash cloth and essentially wipe the soap out…starting at the top, and wiping down the sides. Such a pain!

  41. Rachel R says:

    I give my boys a washcloth to hold on forehead and it helps them not get soap in their eyes.

  42. Cheri says:

    My kids have taken showers ever since their belly button thing fell off. I handed a dirty baby to my husband and got a clean one handed back. I think we got this advice from our new parent class nurse. Best. Advice. Ever. Once they turned 2 and 3, they wanted to do it alone. You just have to peek in to make sure they are actually using soap. I never liked bath time. Not only do you have to fight to get them in the tub, you also have to fight to get them out, plus you have to clean squirmy kids and then completely clean your bathroom walls, floor, tub, etc.

  43. Kristi says:

    Same thing here. Goggles literally SAVED bath time.
    I swear it works like magic.

  44. Melinda says:

    Okay, I’ve got 5 daughters, ages all over the place. I have learned alot of things about washing little girls hair through the years. Here are some of those things:
    – Tell them to look at the ceiling or look for the moon. Way up high all the way at the tippiest top of the ceiling, where would the moon be? That’s where you look.
    – Tell them no tears shampoo is special made for whiney babies who can’t handle getting their hair washed and if they don’t wanna be a cry baby poo poo head, they should either close eyes tight or look up for the moon.
    – If all else fails, I let them scream bloody murder for a minute, but you better believe they are getting the stink washed out of that hair!!

  45. danielle says:

    Oh my gosh. Same bloody thing at my house with two crappy boys. The kids love baths. I love that they love baths until it’s time to wash hair when inevitably it ends with me screaming obscenities (mostly in my head but some verbally), kids crying because they think I’m actively trying to drown them, and the bathroom covered in water.
    Good times.

  46. Victoria Groh says:

    It’s like being attacked by the Kracken every time the water touches his face!

  47. Nicole says:

    Ugh, YES!! And it was even worse when he’s a little(er) and had tubes in his ears. Keep water out of eyes AND ears was friggin’ murder. And no-more-tears shampoo is a crock. I don’t care which brand.

  48. jody says:

    you need one of those face cones they used in the 1700’s to cover their faces while they applied hairspray. Can’t find a picture.

    or this…. Seems like a waste of $$ to me, but it’s a good idea.

  49. Annie says:

    I know the struggle! When my oldest was 4, he got tubes in his ears and it became even WORSE! “You got water in my toooooobbbbssssss”
    So I bought this, and it worked, but only on my son. My mini-headed peanut child can’t get it to stay on her head 🙂

  50. Amy says:

    I never could get them to tip back. I have a 3 year old and an 18 month old and since I’ve never gotten them to tip back, i just get them to tip way forward. They automatically close their eyes and they’ve learned how to “blow bubbles” so they don’t breath it in. So far so good!

  51. Nora says:

    I have a Crappy 8 Year Old who has still not yet mastered the tip! If you were to listen outside the door, you would think I was waterboarding a 3rd grader and call CPS on me. Hair washing days are my least favorite days of the week. And if you’re judging me because I am still washing an 8 year old’s hair, you obviously haven’t dealt with a child who cannot and does not rinse the shampoo out of her own hair herself.

    • jo says:

      my son is 10 and my eighth child, i still wash his hair
      it is long and i like it that way
      easier to do it myself
      will teach him later
      his sister makes him shower
      i just throw him in the tub with his toys
      i know he will grow up too soon
      no matter what i do
      i am tired and want easy

  52. Melissa says:

    I tell my kids “look up to the moon” It works for my girls. My oldest 6 year old boy goes crazy when the sprayer turns on, so he soaps and dunks himself.

  53. Sabrina says:

    I have my kids wear swim goggles during hair wash time! They LOVE it – and it makes the job so much easier!!!

  54. Amanda says:

    Tear-free shampoo is an utter & complete lie! My youngest was the worst, no amount of goggles, washcloth, or anything would keep her happy with hairwashing. Thank goodness she showers on her own now!

  55. Linda says:

    My daughter screams more with the ‘tearless shampoo’. I don’t understand why they can’t trust that we know how this works well. She is seven and still has not mastered ‘Tip Your Head Back’!!!

  56. Heather says:

    This STILL happens at the age of 7.
    And it could just be water. He swims underwater all of the time at the pool but heaven forbid some water streams down his forehead. Oy.

  57. Colleen says:

    We just gave up on trying to wash our daughter’s hair – she got soap in her eyes once and would not let us even THINK about washing it again. And then, the magical day arrived. She figured out how to dump water on herself. And thought it was really funny. She also happened to be in the gotta-use-soap-for-everything phase. Tada! She is now washing, and rinsing, her own hair at 3 years old. All we do is squeeze the soap in her hand 🙂 And she doesn’t even seem to care when she gets soap in her own eyes. Months of having a fairly dirty-headed kid paid off…

  58. Emily says:

    I use tear free shampoo and my son still freaks out when I rinse his hair… One of these days, he’ll figure it out! But he’s not even two yet so probably not soon haha.

  59. Maranda says:

    Same story here. I fold a washcloth and have the little one hold it over her eyes. It took a little getting used to but it really helps!

  60. Gwen says:

    Ditto on the kids hair! 4 yr old = great at it 2 = yr old face full of water every time.

    I love the calendar! I’d love them even more if they came with ways to break out different family member’s activities like:



    We’ve gotten the Boyton version for years, not because I like the art but because we can keep track of ourselves, the kids, and the hours the nanny world all in one spot. Just a suggestion!

  61. KathyM says:

    I remember this! I also remember eventually asking my little one to see if she could see Mary Poppins/Cinderella on the ceiling. Worked like a charm. Sort of. 😉

  62. Been there. SO frustrating! A washcloth over the face helps, though, if you are in any sort of hurry.

  63. Raji says:

    So true! The the other option is to tip head way forward, and then the shampoo actually flows over and around the face, in fact missing the eyes, especially if held closed by the child.

  64. Kendra Mitchell says:

    My mom came up with the best method for rinsing hair. She would tell us to stick our our tongue at the ceiling and try to sing the ABC’s. Can be any song. We always laughed and kept our heads up no matter how many times we did it. Has worked with all my kids, too. My mom had some pretty clever tricks!

  65. Malaprop says:

    I think we just turned a wonderful corner with my 2 year old, because up until last month, your drawings could have been based in our bathtub. What worked for me – I had the 2 older siblings get in the tub to have their hair washed, and I made a big deal about each step, praised them like they’d cured cancer for how well they looked at the ceiling, and showed the littlest how “the big kids” do it without any freakouts. She hasn’t cried since!

  66. Caryn says:

    Once, I just picked my son up, held him horizontally and stuck his head under the water. He didn’t like it, but he got over it quickly and no soap in his eyes. 🙂

  67. Melissa says:

    Oh. my. Goodness. I have 5 kids and gone through this exact scenario with every single one of them. Just the other day with my 2 1/2 yr old actually. It is hilariously exasperating.

  68. Rachael says:

    Maybe Crappy Baby can try what my 5 year old does – bends his head all the way forward between his knees and closes his eyes tight. It seems to work – easy to get soap out for me and no tears or fighting from him. The 2 year old on the other hand? Mimics everything the older one does but this! And then there are tears. Sigh.

  69. Sarah says:

    I get soap in my kids eyes on purpose… makes um stronger 😉 Actually… I think they just have dirty bangs all the time!!!

  70. KB says:

    My mother swears by the “hold a thick cushy washcloth folded into thirds tightly over your eyes while I pour water over your head” method, but naturally, I still use your method. We’ll get there someday.

  71. Lisa says:

    How about just saying “Close your eyes”?

  72. Andrea says:

    my oldest daughter is black. she has to tip for like ten minutes to get all that stuff out of those beautiful thick curls. I have taken to washing her hair by having her lay on the kitchen counter with her head over the sink, to prevent the neighbors from calling cps.
    I hate hair washing, and I only have to do hers like once a month (my other kid, who’s white, couldn’t care less about soap in her eyes. weirdo)

  73. Kari says:

    I can relate. Our daughter is getting better though, and she’s almost three. Maybe have him hold up whatever toy he’s playing with really high while you’re rinsing. At least you have a sprayer. I have a d@mn cup that needs to be refilled multiple times to get all the shampoo out… then the conditioner. If my daughter is playing with her foam letters on the shower wall, it helps a TON. She’s already looking up then.

  74. Tracy says:

    I have a solution for you!!!!!!!!! Swimming Goggles! We added them to bath/shower time for this reason & it is AWESOME! No more tears for sure & the kid LOVES it!!!!

  75. Samantha says:

    It doesn’t matter what type of shampoo you use. Even water will send kids into hyperventilation.

  76. Lissa says:

    Pretty sure that you have been spying in on our bath time. My 4 yr old and I go through the EXACT same thing pretty much every single day.

  77. Corinna L. says:

    Yes yes a thousand times yes. I cannot tell you how many times I have had this exact conversation and bargaining arrangement with my 4 year old. It’s to the point I’m considering buying him one of these hats http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Shower-Shampoo-Visor-Bath/dp/B002JH7NXO

  78. sarah fleming says:

    have the crappy baby look at a sticker high up on the wall. (Look at the elephant!) That should keep the chin up

  79. Mary Clare says:

    Yea, why IS head tipping so challenging to teach? My 6YO is pretty cooperative with hair washing, but the 3YO…Oh, the screams! I second the washcloth on the forehead technique. It helps as long as she sits still, which is sometimes.

  80. Bridget Wise says:

    Love it. Our son eventually used to have a foam peak cap as part of his hair washing apparatus. The type of cap that exposes the hair but shields the face.

  81. Laulau says:

    My boy has the amazing ability to to his head back and at the same time lean forward, so he feels like he is tipping back (and proclaims he is, loudly) but actually his head is still upright and the shampoo still goes on his face!!

  82. Kristi says:

    You’re a better mom than me! I give them one chance to look up. Then I rinse whether their head is back or not. Momma don’t play that! They’ve learned the hard way to either look up or close their eyes. 🙂

  83. Kathy in Ks says:

    After 5 kids, I’m sorry to report that not-Mommy (aka Daddy) finally figured out how to get hair rinsed. He told #5 to look at the light shining above the bathtub. Now all I get is “Moooooooooooooom, you blocking the light!!!!” Little shit.

  84. Mishka says:

    I get them to repeat “keep, keep, keep…” After their head is tipped up. Sometimes it works.

  85. Karen says:

    Hmm, maybe I’m in the minority, but I just don’t use shampoo on my children’s hair. Well, hardly ever. Maybe a few times a year. It really doesn’t seem to matter.

  86. Meghan says:

    I resorted to sticking stars and butterflies on the ceiling, and told them to look up and count! My son does it now, but my daughter still brings her head forward the moment a drop lands on her head…sigh…

  87. Heather says:

    Tear free soap is not tear free in my house! They still scream about it. I have found that bar shampoo works great though. There is far less soap in their hair to wash out. Also, laying down in the bathtub or playing hair salon and wash it in the kitchen sink with them laying on the counter. A towel under the neck to cushion. (I loved this as a kid)

    Oh and the wonderful joy when they use a huge handful of liquid body soap in their hair. That took FOREVER to get out.

  88. Diana says:

    My 4-year-old used to do the same thing. At some point I got tired of it and just told him to close his eyes real tight. That he does. He also covers them with his hands. And it helps! It’s not so smart, but at least there’s no more screaming about soap in the eyes.

  89. Barbra says:

    My 3.5yo son won’t tip either. He just closes his eyes tight. And we don’t even use baby shampoo, just our regular shampoo on him. It seems to work though because he doesn’t scream.

  90. Cory says:

    I got a 3-pack of craft foam visors from the dollar store. Tip head forward and the soap and water will run off the visor. Eventually we went to just using a washcloth.

  91. Sarah says:

    Live Clean 2 in 1 tear free shampoo/conditioner. It’s the only thing keeping me sane during my kids bathtime. It gets into their eyes as they HAVE NOT grasped the concept of tipping back but there are no screams of pain from soap in their eyes.

  92. Isabel says:

    Tear free shampoos have never worked for us either and I refuse to buy that weird device that you place on your child’s head to prevent the soap-in-the-eyes problem. I feel your pain. 😀

  93. Azarie says:

    I put a picture on the ceiling for my son to look at. It works almost every time.

  94. Cheryl says:

    Apparently they can go through life without ever tipping, especially if they are boys with short hair. My husband rinses his hair face down, toward the shower. I have tried, in vain, to get him to see the light, but alas, I cannot.

  95. Niki says:

    What worked for us is a sticker on the ceiling. I think “tip” was too abstract of a concept but once I started saying look at the sticker, it worked. It may also be because now she keeps her eyes open, which initially may sound problematic but if she keeps her head back there’s no problem. 🙂

  96. krisztina says:

    Yep.that is my 4 years old. I need hightech earplugs to wash her hair.
    Bathroom is freaky echoie( no clue how to spell that). It hurts. I saw some shields like the ones on the baseball hats to shield. I might need to give that one a try.

  97. Lisa Johns says:

    Missed you. Sorry you had such a rough Summer. So glad you are back. 🙂

  98. Evelyn Alejandro says:

    OK so we had this problem with our son till my hubby got smart and put angry birds stickers all over the ceiling… like TONS of them, so when its rinsing time I tell my son ok time to tell me the angry birds names, and he looks up at the ceiling and names of birds as i rinse…. we change the stickers every so often, skylanders, angry birds, ninja turtles… anything to attract his attention upwards… the first couple of times we had to explain it too him but by the third of fourth time he was a pro and couldn’t wait to have his hair washed so he could check out the stickers. and ps the tear free shampoo is crock, my son still cries even if its tear free shampoo.

  99. Julie says:

    I long since gave up on getting my youngest to tip. Instead, every half-year or so (ha!) when I decide I actually do have to use soap on him, I just get him to lie in the water on his back like he’s swimming. I scrub while he is in that position – even the submerged part – and then rinse his head while he’s there. I figure he’s about ninety percent rinsed, and he’s whole lot cleaner than when he started …

  100. April says:

    My 2.5 year old son begins screaming and wriggling as far away as he can the minute I say “Time to get washed up!” So, I just pour the water over his screaming head and get him out. He’s angry and tells me “Not nice! Mommy!”

  101. Ahhhhhhhh! That’s exactly how it is. We use a dry cloth to cover the eyes, but he tips forward and it will be wet… causing him to pull away. It’s just… I’ve contemplated cutting his hair military style short and juts wiping it with a wet cloth every couple of days. Okay, I have done that in summer. >_> It worked great, though.

  102. I can wash hair, but I can’t brush it. Someone please help me brush my daughter’s hair after a bath! She’s 7 and still running away from me.
    And yes, we have the wet brush.
    And yes, we use lovely spray in conditioner.

    • wendalette says:

      Have you tried using a wide tooth comb (or even finger combing) while she’s still IN the bath with super drippy hair? And/or maybe a slightly heavier-weight conditioner (dilute a regular weight conditioner in a spray bottle).
      I’ve done this too: While in slather conditioner in, comb it through, put it in a pony tail or semi-loose braid, THEN rinse it. Undo (or not) after bath, and voila! no (or few) tangles.
      [may not work on all hair types or child types. :-)]
      P.S. I was one of those kids who HATED water in my face and was terrified that it would touch my face even when I tipped back. Something about the feel of it running across my skin, so I had no trouble immersing my face or head underwater. Even now, I prefer to swim underwater than to have water splashing in my face doing any other stroke.

  103. Linz says:

    Erm. Get The kids to lie down in the bath, swish their heads from side to side and rinse that way. Avoids screams and tears. You may need to put your hand under the head to support it, but it’s so much easier!

    • Heather says:

      My son is petrified of laying on his back in the bath ever since he was doing it one day in the bath with his cousin right when she decided to show me how she learned to kick at swimming. Some water in his face, and he has never lay back in the bath again.

  104. Jhana says:

    so I realize that this is probably partly for laughs, so not sure a tip is really warranted, but i always have my daughter put a washcloth over her eyes while I rinse.

  105. Tamsin says:

    Ask them if they can see s spider on the ceiling – there usually is one in our house! – then they look up and find one. Keep them looking up by asking if they can see what the spiders are eating for dinner and make up loads of silly stuff you think they might be eating ‘ are they eating blue chips?’ that sort of story stuff, keep it going by asking The child what they think the spiders are eating. It’s always kept mine looking up juuuust long enough.

  106. Nif says:

    Mine will lie down in the tub if it is shallow enough to not get in his ears. This helps. Of course, so does the fact that he is a curly kid, so we only use conditioner and I’m not so fussed if I don’t rinse it all out.

  107. Michelle says:

    I made up a stupid song to get my 3 year old to tip his back…
    “Look up, look up, look up at the ceiling
    Look up, look up, look up, it is white.
    Look up, look up, look up at the ceiling
    We are washing your hair tonight.”

    Totally stupid but he loves it and actually does what the song says…sometimes I say the ceiling is purple or something funny if he is getting squirrely and needs to actually look up.

  108. sara says:

    We got a kid’s shower attachment for our son so he can take showers like Mom and Dad. He has been taking his own shower since he has been 3 years old and no more tipping issues!

  109. jenbloomer says:

    My kids will tip back for my husband but not for me. My 7yo says it’s because dad pours slower. Seriously?

  110. Britt says:

    Wow, you’re so much nicer than me. I go, “1,2,3 better close your eyes and mouth.” I just dump a small pitcher of water on his head. He obviously didn’t like it at first but now laughs and thinks it is some kind of game.

  111. Karelle says:

    Hehehehe! This made me giggle. I feel your pain. My youngest is now 5 and has only recently got it. Drove me near mental!!!! To the point where I too dreaded hair washing night and would often skip it if I could (she has super long hair so putting it in plaits disguises the fact it hasn’t been washed in 4 days!) You’d think I was trying to kill her the way she carried on. And the no more tears shampoo is a marketing fallacy!!! Oh and I had to go back and read again where you wrote bloody because I just seamlessly read it in a totally natural context – I’m an Aussie and we say bloody all the time!

  112. Mariah says:

    Is it bad that I gave up on getting them to tip their heads back? I just rinse and they shut their eyes.

  113. Sam M says:

    I have the same problem with our 4 year old daughter. My solution is to let her lie completely flat in the tub and rinse the bulk of the suds out. Then I have to rise with clean water for a shorter length of time. I also kept her hair in a short bob until this year. We have a deal that she can’t fuss when we wash or brush her hair, or I will cut it short again.

  114. amy says:

    I would like to buy your books sometime but I wish there was a rated pg version available in terms of language. I think the pg ones are hilarious and I would love all of them if they weren’t so colourful. It’s the one thing holding me back. The drawings are great. 🙂

    • Momma says:

      I agree!! It’s why I don’t have the books in my house. My kid is a good reader and if I so much as chuckle, he’s here reading and I’m cringing at the words we don’t use in this house. If that makes me a goody-goody, oh well. It’s the truth.

  115. Cheryl says:

    Give him a washcloth to hold over his eyes until it’s over.

  116. carolee says:

    use pool goggles ! get the kid’s size and it keeps the soap out of the eyes.

  117. Eva says:

    I can’t get my 3,5 yo daughter to tilt her head back, but she does want to tilt her head sideways. I then rinse her hair with water from a cup and no water or shampoo gets in her eyes AND there’s no panicking. I don’t particulary like tilting my head back either (it’s uncomfortable and you feel kinda helpless) so I can understand why they’re not cooperating all that well 😉

  118. Toms Mom says:

    They do learn, eventually. It won’t be long until they discover girls, and then you’ll have trouble getting them OUT of the bathroom.

  119. Mrs C says:

    i just have my son close his eyes and look down. after a few bucket loads, all of the evil soap suds are off of his face.

  120. Jessie says:

    Tear-free shampoo is a load of crock. My mother must have tried every version on the market when we kids were little, and NONE of them worked. What she eventually did was paint a decent sized smiley face on the ceiling above the bathtub, and whenever she had to rinse our hair she would tell us “look at the smiley face.” Worked like a charm.

  121. Heather says:

    Every. Single. Time. I’m just glad we finally got our toddler to allow us to pour water on his head. The way he’d scream before if we brought a cup/etc. near him – you’d think we were committing murder. It took watching his 10 month old sister allow us to dump water on her for him to agree to let us wash his hair without a fight… but he still can’t figure out the tipping thing. Sigh. Baby steps.

  122. Sonia says:

    There is a kind of rubber cup that has one soft side to put against the child forehead while you pour water on the head….don’t know if it works as I didn’t use shampoo on my baby yet so didn’t need it but it might be worth a try?! good luck!

  123. gaga says:

    we wash their hair in the sink. they lay down on the counter and so they’re automatically looking up. then we hop into the bathtub afterwards for the rest of bath time.

  124. Shannon says:

    Just ordered the calendar! So excited!

  125. Melanie says:

    I’ve lost all kid hair washing privileges to my husband, because according to my kids, “Mommy tries to do it too fast and gets soap in my eyes.” Solution – “We want Daddy to do it.” Score! Our problem can also be traced back to improper tipping, but if the kids claim it’s speed, who am I to argue? – One less job for me;)

  126. Jo says:

    I tell them to look at the ceiling. But it doesn’t always work. When I tell them that when they’re in the shower, they just stick their butts out. I have no idea why.

  127. Xingzi says:

    Well, my five year old has the same problem tipping backward. So when he started swimming lesson, and he’s too old to go into the lady’s locker room with me, I had my husband take him for a shower, somehow, hubby taught him to wash his own hair and take his own shower. So I say, let the husband deal with it!

  128. Betsy says:

    Wait, doesn’t everyone hold their children by the feet and dip them directly down into the water like biscotti into coffee?

  129. Valerie says:

    I’m stupid excited about the calendar. Ran straight over to Amazon for the engagement calendar. This is a big thing for me. I can’t buy 2015 calendars this early into 2014 because it kills me to let it just sit there, blank in all its glory of possibilities. But I did. Except it doesn’t show how the days are laid out. Day be day, week by week, vertical time slots or blocks with lines?
    Please take pity on people like me who live for the New Year because of fresh new calendars and outline those details in tomorrow’s post.

  130. Stephanie says:

    I’m the lazy mom that would hold my boys up in the shower, put a wash cloth over their face and just stick them under the water. By the time they would even think to scream, the soap would be out of their hair. 🙂

  131. ML says:

    Been there, done that with neglible success, too many times to count. Not a stellar moment in my parenting skills or lack thereof.

  132. Erica says:

    I am one who reads all the way to the bottom! I ordered a wall calendar. Can’t wait to put it on my crappy wall in my crappy office.

  133. Uli says:

    Just let your child cover its eyes with a small towel while you rinse. that helps.

    but I can very much relate to the problem. Nearly cried, when my girl’s hair was rinsed the first time without her crying…

  134. Briony says:

    Sounds very familiar.

    I used to have 3 cute little plastic gekkos that had suction cups for feet and their tails were hooks (I’d got them when I lived in Paris and used to buy nice cool things and had a life). So I cunningly stuck them high up on the wall in the bathroom, so my manic ‘keep tipping’ used to be interspersed with many ‘where’s the gekko? Look at the gekko!’ shrieks. Worked occasionally…

    Sadly the gekkos were too popular and got absorbed into the toys, dismantled and eventually all lost. Sadly I have distinctly failed to teach my children to look after possessions.

  135. Paula says:

    “Look up at the sky so the soap avoids your eye” <— I say this over and over and over and over…….

  136. Esta says:

    My guy is 10months old. I was given one of these at my baby shower http://www.amazon.co.uk/TrendyKid-SP001-Shampoo-Rinse-Cup/dp/B000SQE2KK
    No idea if they work. Failing that maybe goggles? I have so much to look forward to!

  137. September says:

    I’m right there with you. My 2.5 year old hates to have her hair rinsed. My 6 year old hated it until she was about 5. Oh! And I don’t think it tear free as in no crying but tear free as in no ripping. :-/

  138. Erinn says:

    So glad I’m not the only one. I haven’t even confessed it to my friends because I thought I was unique. Sometimes she doesn’t even tip her head back. My daughter is 3.5. I even use tear free shampoo but she still complains it hurts (I suspect it’s just the sensation of water in the eyes).

  139. Elizabeth says:

    Have him hold a wet washcloth over his face?Iy works!

  140. nds says:

    Crappy Mama, I’ve missed you over the summer.

    Your illustration holds the answer to your problem. That green thing in his hand. He is intrigued by it. He wants to look at it. Hang it from the shower curtain rod so it is about 2 feet above his head. He’ll look at it (or tell him to look at it) and you’ll rinse. At 2, he can’t really understand the future context yet (no prefrontal cortex development to speak of). But he can clearly understand simple commands like, “look at your cool green thing, can you see the special pink dot on it? Keep looking until you find it!” The other option is to cradle his head in your arm while you rinse with the other.

    And for all those making offers: I’ll do childcare in your home for a week, clipping toenails, reading stories, bath time, sleeping, feeding, etc. for any child under 5 if you can get my newly diagnosed ADHD son in college to accept that he has this, and start to use the accommodations to make studying easier before the end of this semester.

  141. Lyz says:

    I put a 6′ hose handheld shower on the showerhead in the kids’ bathroom. I had originally planned to use it for our dogs… but for washing the boys’ hair, it has been a lifesaver! It is a simple inexpensive plastic thing that is worth its weight in gold!

    My older son is autistic so he really struggled with the sensation of water on his head. Washing his hair was a huge challenge that we both dreaded. He still doesn’t like it, but gone are the days of screaming. The handheld shower helped immensely.

    • Lyz says:

      So I’m a goober and just realized you ARE using a handheld sprayer. I have better luck with the boys turned the other direction. I start spraying the water on the back of their heads first, gradually working my way up until I’m near their heads. It might help him relax a bit better that way.

      The picture on the ceiling is genius, though. Wish I’d known that one beforehand.

  142. My 5 year old is still convinced the tipping is a trick – we get pretty far with a wash cloth covering her eyes but my lord if she’d only trust me and tip her head!

  143. Jen may says:

    Is it bad that I’ve given up caring that my LO gets soap in his eye because he won’t listen?

  144. Lana says:

    I feel your pain. Yesterday I bought a special rinsing jug with a silicone edge that is supposed to keep the soap out of their eyes haven’t used it yet but it was $10 at Target so IF it works will come back and let you know.

    • Lana says:

      YES it does work!! I tried it a few times to be sure it wasn’t a fluke and while there are still nerves around the issue no one has gotten shampoo in their eyes using the cup.

  145. Jennifer says:

    Paul Mitchell makes a shampoo/body wash that does not sting. It’s not like the other “tear-free” those (as other posters have said) have numbing agents in them, but the PM stuff is actually PH neutral like saline so it doesn’t sting, I’ve tried on myself to test the BS meter and it’s true 🙂 I’m not a PM pusher, lol, just a satisfied customer who has kids that don’t cry when I rinse shampoo down their faces. Bonus is it’s not tested on animals.

  146. Denise says:

    “You’ve gotta keep your head up, oh oh
    So you can let your hair down, hey-ey
    Gotta keep your head up, oh oh
    So you can let your hair down, hey-ey
    I know it’s hard, know it’s hard, to remember sometimes (!!!!)…”

    When this doing was on the radio, I realized it sounded a lot like what I say when they’re in the tub. So we started singing it while I rinsed. It’s 2-3 years later, and we still sing it occasionally. (My girls are twins aged 7, and 10 – and we still struggle with this too.)

    (It makes more sense for long-haired kids, though!)

  147. Chrissy says:

    Sounds exactly like our house. Like exactly.

  148. Lisa M says:

    I have altogether stopped trying to get their heads back. I say it once, maybe twice if I’m being generous, and then rush to get the whole thing over with, so much less hassle! Also, I leave a towel handy to wipe/dry their faces afterwards.

  149. Andrew Burrows says:

    I pinned a (laminated) picture of peppa pig to the ceiling so even from an early age when they still got confused between up and down I could tell my daughters to “look at Peppa” and they knew what to do. For prolonged tipping we discuss what Peppa is wearing, doing etc. It is simple but it really does work.

  150. Aussie says:

    The first 8 or so comments are hilarious!
    Welcome back Amber. So sorry to hear you have had so much loss this year. Hope the next season of life is easier for you x

  151. Oluwatosin Sokoya says:

    I have stayed laying mine on the counter in the kitchen so she’s forced to hold her head back.

  152. April says:

    Same problem here with my three girls! What (kind of) worked for us was saying “look at the ceiling”. Maybe even put a sticker up there. Different way of saying the same thing but it works sometimes!

  153. Chelsea says:

    A tip my brilliant father used on us as small children (one of my early memories, actually)… He gave us a wet washcloth to hold over our eyes when he rinsed our hair. That way, if we did tip down, it went into the washcloth instead of our eyes. I usually hold my toddler’s head in a tipped back position by putting a finger under his chin and making silly faces while I frantically rinse.

  154. mirror says:

    Uhh..am I the only one whose parents didnt bother asking us to tip our heads? We were told to close our eyes and they just dumped water on top!

  155. Fiona says:

    Hi everyone – love this site, Amber – such a laugh.

    In the UK we have a shower cap thingy to keep shampoo out of kid’s eyes – works ok, if you can get them to wear it.

    Apparently, you have them in the States, too : http://www.amazon.com/Lil-Rinser-Splashguard-Blue-Pink/dp/B001B1FHIC

    Can’t suggest anything for the toenail/buttwipe/toothbrush/other-stuff though …

  156. meg says:

    I solved the tipping problem by putting stickers on the ceiling. We even had a song “look at the magic butterflies to keep the water from your eyes” she is 4 now and still sings the song every time even though the stickers fell off long ago

  157. Kelly says:

    My son has this issue, too! My 9 year old daughter just figured it out about six months ago, now she lets me give her shower!

  158. Kelly O. says:

    I once babysat a 3 year old girl, and her mom asked me to give her a bath and warned me that she would freak out when I washed her hair. When it was time to do it, I braced myself for the screams, but they never came. As I washed and rinsed her hair the little girl looked at me calmly and said, “I cry when Mommy does it.”

  159. rebecca says:

    We just made her hold a dry wash cloth to her eyes while we rinsed.

  160. alison says:

    We use goggles!

  161. Ebony says:

    My nearly 7 year old has been exactly the same his whole life, and now he has decided that when I try to cut his hair- it hurts. its very frustrating only getting about 3 cuts of razor runs in and he starts yelling. He will be looking like rapunzel soon- which would make hair washing even more interesting

  162. Zoe says:

    Love these comments and I’m going to try the ceiling stickers! We bought a shampoo cup and it has helped a lot. Now, if only he hadn’t recently realized that pooping in the bath is hilarious….

  163. Elizabeth says:

    “Mermaid Hair” works for us! It only took about 2 years to figure that out . . .

  164. Cathy P says:

    Head back. Head back. Head back. HEAD BACK! HEAD BAAAACK!!! Cue screaming and tears. Not pretty…

  165. Carrie says:

    I always rinsed my kiddos hair by having them lay on their backs while I rinsed the top and sides. Then all I had to rinse while they were sitting up was the very back part.

  166. Chakolate says:

    Put a big cut-out of his favorite cartoon character on the ceiling, and tell him “(favorite character) has a secret to tell you! Listen carefully!”

    Afterward, if you ask what the secret was, he’ll probably tell you. 🙂

  167. Shannon says:

    OK I will wash, wipe, cut, anything…if you all will BRUSH my kids for me…teeth (only slight arguments but I”m done telling them their teeth will fall out every single day) and hair (all 3 scream bloody murder…like really…I”m shocked DSS hasn’t been called out to investigate the torture happening in our small apartment yet!) Wash, lots of conditioner, lets brush the knots out …NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…and then when there is a BIG knot (cause you know…its been 3 days since I’ve forced a brush through their hair before school) MORE screaming and my oldest says “it’s not my fault there is a knot” well…if you BRUSHED it more than once a week there wouldn’t be a knot the size of the planet Earth nestled against the nape of your neck… oh wait sorry…we were talking about hair washing…I digress 😀

  168. MJ Lee says:

    Yup, gotta tilt your head back or soap will get in your eyes! The “no more tears” stuff has formaldehyde in it so probably NOT good. Also every child’s body is different so either way, TILT YOUR HEAD!

    Missed your blog and I’m so sorry for the summer you all had. 🙂 Looking forward to a brighter fall, winter and New Year! <3

  169. tasha says:

    My 4 year old is the same. Won’t tip back.. Then screams that i got water in her eyes. .. It’s like water boarding for toddlers. They are so dramatic. Just tip back!!!

  170. Sachin says:

    Very funny comments. Loved them!
    Btw, did anyone try a water tight swimming glasses while shampooing?

  171. Joy Gallagher says:

    Took my 8 yr old, then 2, to baby swim class. A lady n her 1 yr old would shower together after class. Baby would tip her head down in shower and water would fall around her face. Works for my boys if they keep eyes closed.

  172. Jennifer says:

    See if I actually CAN get my kid to tip his head back, he then proceeds to touch his soapy hair and rub it into his eyes. I swear to god it is intentional just to trip my guilt gland.

    And I will wash your kid’s hair if you will somehow convince mine not to eat lint and bite the dog.

  173. Stompyterp says:


    Just yes.

  174. Pennelope says:


    My 3 1/2yo has started to like when I tell him to “float like a boat” where he lays all the way back into the bath. It freaks him out but his way of dealing with it is giggling the entire time lol. My 2 1/2yo won’t have any of that so I usually just use a wet wash cloth, which takes foreverrrr.

    NOT looking forward of years more of wiping….I thought I was almost done D: Dx

  175. Tabitha says:

    Maybe put something on the ceiling? A favorite character… Or an “I spy” type picture. Something to get his attention on the ceiling for a few precious minutes?

  176. Jennifer says:

    I didn’t read through ALL the comments, but what works for us is I have him lay back and I hold his head just under the running faucet. Sometimes he will just lay back on his own in the bath water and then I do one last rinse to get the soapy bath water off but it isn’t as soapy then if he didn’t lay submerged in the water. He is 4. The best option that I like is the first one where I hold his head while he lays back under the faucet. Now he knows how to lean enough back on his own to get the front of his hair. It has still always been the most difficult part of bath and I still have to say 5 million times, wet your hair, is your hair wet, get under the faucet, you missed the front…sigh. Although my absolute favorite is when I bribe him that if he takes a shower I will let him watch TV or play the ipad. Since it is faster and easier to rinse off the hair. But he is used to the shower thing and closing his eyes, etc. because he has to shower off for swim lessons that he has taken year-round since he was 1. Again, still not perfect solution and still why I hate bath, but it has helped!

  177. Carolyn says:

    Sometimes I think the comments here are even better than the content 😉 You need to install a commenting system that allows people to “like” comments because they are just hilarious! Also, I got a sprayer attachment to spray their hair with instead of using a bucket, and I find that helps since it’s a more controlled spray and I can start/stop quickly. But mostly I do what you do, except that they’re usually actively trying to run away from me. While in a slippery bathtub. So that’s extra fun 😉

  178. Jenne says:

    Hey, I’m impressed you get him to tip his head back At All. I can’t get mine (age 5) to tip the head back or lie back in the tub or anything.

    Fortunately, after I gave up on this in frustration, his dad somehow magically got him to accept having his head washed with water from a cup. This means that he only gets hairwashing when Dad is there to do the rinsing, of course, but anything to avoid the flailing-screaming-angry-koala-imitation.

  179. Francesca says:

    My older daughter and I had the hair-tipping conversation every time, until she got to the age where she wanted to rinse it herself. My younger daughter from a very early age liked to lie back in the water, which gets the soap out pretty well.

    Now my younger daughter’s hair is curly enough that we only use conditioner most of the time… shampoo just makes it a tangled mess.

  180. Liz says:

    So impressed that your kiddo actually will tip his head at all so quickly. My daughter refused to believe me that tipping her head back would keep her face drier. She’s now 6 and it’s only 2 weeks ago that she FINALLY gave it a try.

    (And loved it.)

    • Liz says:

      Before this, we had to wash her hair in the kitchen sink.

      And I only wash hair when her scalp is dirty. I don’t see a point in washing silky soft odorless hair.

  181. Lenore says:

    I haven’t read *every* comment, so sorry if this is a repeat, but I found “Look up at the ceiling!” (or even asking her to look for spiders up there) to be much more effective and instant than “tip our head.” They aren’t very body-aware and may not really get what “tip your head” means–even if you’ve been doing the same routine for Their. Entire. Freaking. Lives.

  182. amwstevenson says:

    the comments on this thread are the best thing ever in life. also, word on the tipping issue; i felt like i was reliving bathtime. same problem in our household. nothing has changed for three years, kid…get it together…

  183. julie says:

    Same problems at our house. We give our kids a folded dry wash cloth to use to hold tight across the eyes. When done rinsing, if the first one got soaked in the process, we offer a second dry one to dry their face and eyes. (one child always needed both – another was better at tipping and only needs the first)

  184. Lorien says:

    Oh man, this is us, too! My husband says “look up” and raps his knuckles on the tub so that she is trained to look up to the sound. Like a puppy.

  185. Kara Hermann says:

    Love it! I gave up long ago – we use “no rinse” shampoo, it works pretty well.

  186. Tina says:

    I Love all the comments! I Also missed you a ton, glad you got a break when you needed it. So out of 3 kidos only 1 got the tip back thing on his own. I finally got smart and taped a picture of my middle sons favorite thing to the ceiling and told him to look up and to tell me what he saw. I did however find out that after one hot shower paper does not hold up well. So I started to put it in the plastic sleeves I would get about a week or so out of it. Not going to lie it was a pain for a mom who only stands at 5 ft. Tall to get up there but I did it so I did not have the argument. He is now 7 and showers on his own! And my youngest 3 yr. Old daughter has been insisting for the last 2 months to take a shower and not a bath. I still wash her hair and help with the body. But she washes better than my 11yr. Old son. I also hate the tear free. To all the moms out there remember that you are not alone. If you are dealing with it chances are three is someone else out there going through the same struggle! Keep your head up and tipped back!

  187. Jana says:

    The comments on here made me guffaw! I haven’t laughed that hard in a while… all so true. My 4 yr old actually wants to wipe her own butt, but her arms aren’t long enough to do an adequate job. She fights my attempts to help sometimes and I deal with the extra laundry. I clip my kids nails while they are watching cartoons and they don’t even notice.
    …if you can get my kids to flush the freaking toilet after they poop, I’ll give you a gold medal!

  188. Erin says:

    We had some luck with putting a sticker on the ceiling. It was far enough back that if they stood under the shower head and tilted their head back into the water stream they could see the sticker only if their head was back far enough to get the soap out of their hairline. Not sure how it could work if you have a shower hose thing, but i bet you could figure something out. Maybe sing a song while looking at the sticker to give you enough time to rinse. Good luck! So glad you’re back!

  189. Ha ha ha! I love this! This happens EVERY single time! I don’t understand it. I just saw Erin’s comment with the whole sticker on the ceiling thing. I’m totally doing that. I only give my kids baths once every 5-6 days (I might as well say once a week) because I can’t stand trauma of hair washing.

    Glad you’re back.

  190. Mrs Bee says:

    Oh my word, my kids do this EVERY TIME too. Even with the tear-free shampoo, just the water on their faces evokes tears. I’m so glad that other people go through this, too.

    I’m glad you’re back, too. 🙂 Love your posts! Sorry to hear about all of the stuff you went through over the past few months, though. 🙁

  191. carrie says:

    Best comments section ever.

  192. addie says:

    same exact thing in my house – only now, if he gets a speck of anything, including water in his eyes, he DEMANDS a dry towel with which to wipe them… sigh!

  193. Oyoa says:

    This. Is. Perfect! This is the same battle I deal with everyday!

  194. Lisa says:

    I see others have said this, but telling him to look up at the ceiling cracked it for us… Getting him to tip back farther was just a matter of telling him which object to look at. Unfortunately, now I have trouble getting him to stop tipping so I can clean the back of his head! Sigh….

  195. Angela DiBiase says:

    I used to have to put a swimming mask on my youngest in order to wash his hair. He’s 25 now. He got past it. 🙂

  196. Christine Brooks says:

    My mom used to cover my eyes with a folded washcloth, back in ye olden days. It worked perfectly.

  197. Rachael French says:

    I give my 5 year old a washrag to put over her eyes. The 3 year old won’t use one. Nor will he remember to tip. So I just rinse and there is torture and whining every time. Whatever, Little Dude. I gave you two ways to avoid it….

  198. Trinda Cooke says:

    I’m so happy you’re back!

    I go through this exact same thing with my daughter. Only recently after 5 years of life has she lessened this awful routine.

  199. Heather says:

    Ha ha ha! I used “howl like a wolf” and that got them to throw their heads back and howl so I could move ninja fast and get things rinsed. But then I decided that I hated bath time more than anything so handed that off to my husband. I don’t know what his method of attack is but occasionally they come out of the bath with washed hair so I guess it gets done once in awhile 🙂

  200. dani says:

    I just dump the water over their head. Two small cupfuls and it is over. I say, “close your eyes” and I pour. I figure they will get soap in their eye either way and this is faster.

  201. Margaret says:

    You could put a picture or something on the ceiling for him to look at…

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  203. Lisa K says:

    You need a crappy visor! Yes, a visor. No tipping required, just rinse and the water flows over the visor 4 inches from his face like a waterfall. Boom, there it is. You’re welcome.

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  205. LizC says:

    This reminds me, I need to put stickers on the ceilings in my bathrooms for this. Hmm, or maybe the visor will actually work with this kid.