Hates water on the head/face?

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Jumarse's picture
Joined: 02/27/07
Posts: 5219
Hates water on the head/face?

Anybody else dread bath time like I do??? Colby used to be a champ, washing his hair and face was never an issue. The last several months, it's HORRIBLE, and that's putting it nicely. He cannot stand for any water to be poured on his head, even with his head back...because some will dribble onto his face, in his ears, etc. Also goes for the face. The only way to possibly wash his face is to get as much water out of the washcloth as possible for both washing and rinsing. I don't know what to do anymore, I HATE bathtime. And since he's sweaty every day now, every day his head needs to be washed. Oddly, he's fine with going to the bath, never an issue. Til I start to wash his hair/face. He seriously flails around enough to have hurt us both, and I have to always wash him with just a bra on because I get soaked. Tried having him hold a washcloth on his face, getting that cup that's shaped for the head to rinse, showers with holding a washcloth on his face, washing his hair with just a washcloth...nothing works. I don't want to traumatize him more so I do my best to not get him any more upset, because at first I thought he was just being a butt, so in the beginning I did yell at him. I don't know what to do I guess, and any suggestions would help...although I'm not sure what else I can do!! :confused:

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

Violet has hated water since she was about 6 months old. Bath times are not fun. I also dread them. Once in awhile I can tempt her to sit in the tub for 5 minutes with a new toy, but they all lose their novelty fast. For hair washes, I don't do them in the tub. I swaddle her tight in a towel and lay her on the counter and wash her hair in the kitchen sink. I use the hand sprayer but am careful to never get any on her face or she'd flip. She's generally okay when I do this, but still cries sometimes and gets mad. I've tried doing it every possible way. Not swaddling, but that got dangerous when she tries to get away. With DH holding her, too. At this point, I have learned that when I get frustrated too it only makes it worse for both of us. So no matter how much protesting she does, I keep my tone light and happy and tell her she's okay. I have tried positive reinforcement, but after 3 years, I haven't noticed much difference.

The only time she enjoys water is at the splash pad by our house when I run through with her. She will get drenched. I have NO idea why this is any different than the backyard sprinkler, the backyard kiddie pool, the kitchen sink (which I still sit her in for baths sometimes when she will agree to it), the shower or the big tub. I even tried with a smaller blow up tub in the big tub to create a more snug atmosphere, but I guess that's not her issue.

A few things that have kept her in the tub for 5-10 min were: bubbles- the kind you blow and float around. water crayons. food colouring to make the water different colours, I let her do the squirt of the little bottle to 'help' then it seems like she feels obliged to enjoy her project.

For face washing, I just grab her and get it done pronto. She screams for 1 minute but then forgets about it. I can only let a dirty face get so dirty before I have to fight the battle. lol.

luangwa's picture
Joined: 06/29/07
Posts: 8898

Jax has never liked water on his face. a damp cloth to wipe his face is fine, but HATES showers or anyother situation where water runs down his face. He would make you believe that just plain water burns the eyes. :rolleyes: Funny though, he plays in the hose without issue, but does constantly wipe the water off his face, and he will absolutely not go under water in the pool.

Allie01979's picture
Joined: 10/10/07
Posts: 4706

Aidan went through a phase like this a while back, it was brutal and we have one of those old fashioned clawfoot tubs, so lots of water made it onto the floor during those tantrums. and sometimes he still does it.

Have you tried letting him do it? Aidan will pour buckets of water over his head if he gets to do it himself, also he loves the shower, so I just lather him up and let him play, eventually the water gets him to rinse him off.

Joined: 06/29/08
Posts: 1096

Totally right there with you. Washing is a NIGHTMARE.

Strangely enough though, we were in the pool yesterday and I was pouring water over his head and he thought it was HILARIOUS. So...he IS just being a butt in the bath.

Anyway, I get him in, wash as quickly as possible and then I'm finished. He loves to play in the bath and will stay in there for a long time after he's washed.

So, no help on how to deal with it, but I am totally right there with you. (Oh, and sadly, the pool counts for bathtime more than I'd like to admit during the summer, lol).

Jumarse's picture
Joined: 02/27/07
Posts: 5219

Jordan do you wrap Violet up and wash her hair yourself, or does DH hold her, etc? That might be an option using the sprayer....although I think he would freak as well if an errant drop got on his face. I like the wrapping up idea, the arms and legs flailing around in the tub, grabbing at me, pulling me down, screaming, etc....at least wrapping them up hopefully no one gets hurt!

I have tried letting him dump the water on his head too...no go lol! And Emily same here, twice now Colby has poured a bottle of water on his own head when he's been really hot at the park...no issues!!

He will get in a pool for about a minute, or the creek, but has no interest in being in water long term. Can't stand the sprinkler, freaked OUT when I turned it on and went running towards the road.

Well at least I'm glad to know we aren't alone in the bathtime fun!!

Joined: 07/03/11
Posts: 131

Have you tried one of those visors? You could use any visor really (as long as they are small enough) and they stop the water from coming in and still allows you to wash the hair. Good luck!! I HATE bathtime!!:puke2:

Joined: 01/18/06
Posts: 1626

I do it myself. Greg doesn't need to help, tbh, but it's nice when he is here, cause he sings to her. lol. She knows now that it's no use fighting. Especially now that she's obsessed with long hair and wants it so badly. I explain that only girls who get their hair washed and brushed have long hair, or their mommies cut it. lol.

Yeah, the no flailing was my goal. It makes it go much smoother and quicker. Less chance for slipping and injury, plus I can control the water much better and not get it in her face. At least compared to washing it in the tub.

toothy35's picture
Joined: 02/20/06
Posts: 4578

i am back to just putting a bout 2 inches of water for abby's tubs, i make her lay down on her back.....so the water isn't touching her face/ears......etc.......and i quickly wet her hair.......sit her up scrub it, and then i quickly make her lay back again, rinse it all out.....i have her "help" me with scrubbing the bubbles out and the hair is done........and then she insists on a facecloth to wipe her own face........i do it the second she gets in the tub.......and then at least the "hard" part is out of the way......if she doesn't listen....she isn't allowed to have toys, or play after...so she is really good about it now, as much as she still cries and yells the whole 2 seconds it takes me to do it!!!!!!!! good luck......ages and stages.........gahhhhh.......

mbowman's picture
Joined: 08/22/07
Posts: 1063

Delaney doesn't like water in her face. I usually just do it like a band-aid. Pour a cup of water over her head while she screams and we're done quickly. Oddly enough, she prefers a shower. We keep a towel nearby and she has to wipe her face frequently, but bathing isn't so horrible as it used to be.

PaulaJoFSU's picture
Joined: 08/12/07
Posts: 4019

Landon and I were actually talking about this tonight at bath time! lol. At one point Landon could have cared less when I dumped water over his head. It was so easy! He loves bath time, but HATES his hair to be washed. Ok, it has gotten much better. He gets a washcloth on his face now. I hold it up to his hairline and can even get it wet, but it keeps it from getting in his eyes. Then we just use it to wash his body after.

Today I did dumb it on his head though! I got the stink eye, but he didn't scream at me lol. He was dirty!!

Joined: 07/03/11
Posts: 131
Karrie5's picture
Joined: 05/29/08
Posts: 2993

Ethan is my only one that doesn't completely freak out when I wash his hair. He still doesn't like it but it's no where near as bad as the others. Logan was by far my worse. He still has issues but is so much better now. He takes showers and has to have a towel hanging right by the tub to constantly wipe his face. I have Joey do the lay down thing like Colleen does with Abby, that works for him. Right now Mikayla does pretty good with keeping her head tipped back and as long as I go slow, she keeps herself under control. Logan and Joey did the washcloth along the hair line thing too, that worked as long as I went super slow. And whenever they start getting upset/not cooperating, I tell them that they're gonna make me get it in their eyes and if they keep still, it won't get in their eyes. But other than hair and face washing, they all loved bath time.

Jumarse's picture
Joined: 02/27/07
Posts: 5219

Thank you guys!!! I think I'm going to try the visor first off, and if they don't work, well we'll have two fabulous visors to run around the house in lol! I'll try lying down again too, hasn't worked before even with NO water in the tub, but it's been a while since trying. Then I'll wrap him on up if the new stuff doesn't work, I'm not getting clawed or bruised anymore and he's not going to knock his head either in the sake of a clean head lol!