T.T. asks from Denver, CO on February 12, 2008
My 18 month daughter screams and screams whenever I wash, comb or style her hair or try to clip her finger and toe nails. I try and be very gentle, but she thrashes around so I end up pulling her hair or having to hold her down with my legs or something. I feel like I'm torturing her! Every once in a while I get her distracted with something and she'll sit just fine for me. TV doesn't work. Food doesn't work. I don't want to cut her hair, and I can't let her fingernails turn into claws....what has worked for you?? Is it a phase? Is she just sensitive? Is it stubborness? If I let her hair stay down, it's in her face all day. Help!
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So What Happened?™
Thanks for all the advise! I'm giving some thought to just cutting her hair, but I'm going to try some of the other things first. Letting her help at bathtime and having some special toys to play with only when I'm styling her hair or cutting her nails. I might try doing that at night but she's not a realy sound sleeper, so we'll see how it works. I also really like the idea of giving her a doll so she can brush the doll's hair while I brush her hair. Thanks so much ladies!
S.B. answers from Billings on February 14, 2008
Cut her nails when she is sleeping. The hair thing is a tuff one. My daughter still has trouble with the hair. Try using conditioner diluted in a spray bottle. Let her spray it and use a big tooth comb that she picks out. I've tried all kinds of things. Some have worked and some haven't. If she wants it long then explain that if she doesn't let you fix it then it will look like a wicked old witch's hair. Otherwise keep it short.
K.R. answers from Denver on February 13, 2008
T........as a mother of three, youngest 15, I can remember this scenario. Awe.............
Try putting her in the tub, and once she is relaxed, and you too.........clipping and combing will be a breeze.
L.V. answers from Salt Lake City on February 13, 2008
Try clipping her nails when she is asleep. As for her hair I have an eight year old that I fight with. Good luck.
V.W. answers from Salt Lake City on February 13, 2008
Two things to share with you. Hopefully one of them at least will help you feel better. My husband has cousins, two of them to be exact, with highly sensitive hair follicles. It really does hurt to cut, comb, wash. They are even growing up now (I think Mack is 15, Liz is around 12). For as long as I can remember, Mack's hair has been a buzz cut, that is just what works best for him. Liz has her hair long, and 90% of the time it is in a loose pony tail. Now your daughter is 18 months. She may be suffering from sensitive hair follicles OR she could just hate having her hair done. LIke my daughter who is now 6. I had a hell of a time doing her hair until she was 5. Now and then she'd get the yen to have her hair done and we'd give it a try. She just wouldn't sit still, and couldn't handle it most of the time. One thing that did help was doing her hair in front of the TV or a toy that sits still in her lap. So use something to distract her that doesn't move too far. You may have to do what I did and give up on having a cute kid until she's got her wiggles out. Use a good conditioner so that her hair is silky soft and doesn't knot easily and insist that it get brushed before you go anywhere and definitely before and after nap or bedtime. And maybe cut some bangs for her so her hair stays out of her face. You could try cutting it when she's out cold at naptime or bedtime. But be careful. You know scissors are sharp no matter when you are using them. OR, a cute clip for her bangs to stay out of her face? Just one, and chose one that doesn't slip out, doesn't rip hair, and is barely there. I know hard to do.
Finger and toenails, I let my husband do that. Our daughter doesn't sit still STILL for me for that. Maybe have grandma do it when she visits. It isn't that you're doing it wrong, (and this may sound harsh) but it may be that YOU are doing it. I think my daughter likes me only to do certain things and that is the spot I am to stay in. I hope that isn't your case, but maybe it is.
Hope that helped!!
V., PTSAHM mother of 1 girl age 6.
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D.M. answers from Denver on February 13, 2008
Hi T., I had a similar problem with my daughter as well at that age. She's 22 months now and fusses a little but generally she's come to enjoy/accept it.
What we did was I started letting her brush my hair, her doll's hair, her teddy bear's hair. I would tell her she's helping mama take care of her hair, she liked doing that. I wouldn't follow up with brushing her hair, just let her brush mine. We bought a special brush just for her hair, and I let her brush her own hair. We also made up a song about brushing our hair. Now, when I need to brush her hair, I let her brush mine at the same time I brush hers. I let her know she's so helpful for brushing mama's hair and making it pretty. Sometimes before I actually brush I'll just sit with her and "massage" her head, neck by lightly running my fingers around (I run my fingers through her hair to get some of the big snarls out very subtly).
She's generally much better, sometimes she objects a little so I just drop it and try again in 15-20 minutes. You don't want it to become an experience that she loathes and dreads. If she is really fighting you, throw a hat on her head if you're heading out and try again when you get back.
Nails are trickier, I let her watch me trim the cats nails, trim my nails. We made up a song about this too, but sometimes I can only get 2-3 nails at a time :)
I hope this helps. :)
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A.H. answers from Grand Junction on February 13, 2008
A few ideas:
-Let daddy or somebody else do it.
-put stickers on her toes after you clip them.
-go to the store together and let her buy a super special just-for-her hairbrush.
-groom after a bath at bedtime, with a couple of drops of lavender oil in the bath, or bits of chammomile tea, or melaleuca oil. These are all relaxants, and softer nails are easier to cut and put less pressure on the finger/toe tips
-get a hose sprayer thing for hair rinsing, and wash hair seperately in the shower instead of bath, letting her hold the sprayer on low pressure until you need it.
My little girl is 5 and is just now getting past "mom is torturing me when she grooms me"
K.L. answers from Salt Lake City on February 13, 2008
It depends on how your child sleeps, but you could try clipping her nails while she is taking a nap. I don't know what to do about the hair situation.
A.K. answers from Great Falls on February 13, 2008
My daughter was also like that, she is now almost 6 and does her hair herself (thank goodness)but still will not do the ponytail or braid thing. When she was little I would give her a brush and while she was "brushing" I would sneak my brush inbetween her strokes. It seemed to work fairly well. As for the finger and toe nails I kept a clipper in the car and when she would fall asleep in her carseat I would clip what I could before I moved her. Sometimes I would only get a few done at a time but was able to keep them under control. Good luck.
E.C. answers from Salt Lake City on February 13, 2008
Hi. I am a mother of 5 kids. My two oldest are boys, and did the same thing you described. I clipped their nails while they were asleep- they were never the wiser if I did so. About the washing and doing hair, my boys had short hair, so I just told them we'd be fast and assured them that I loved them while we worked. They really did grow out of it. For my boys who are now 8 and 6, it was just a phase. Good luck!
M.R. answers from Provo on February 13, 2008
I have a 21 month old daughter who has tons of hair so I have to do it. I've found that once she got used to me doing it, she's better about holding still. When we started out I would do her hair in her car seat right as we were leaving to go places. I've also done it while she was strapped in her high chair. Now I can just have her sit on our bathroom toilet and she's pretty good. As far as fingernails, I really like using the little scissors that are made for cutting fingernails. They are easy to use and I just do it when she's on her changing table after a bath. My daughter is a stubborn kid, but she will hold still when I sing songs or make a game out of things. She is also old enough that if I tell her she has to get her hair done or we can't play/go somewhere she's pretty good about listening.
T.C. answers from Colorado Springs on February 13, 2008
I played a little game with my child...I would take her hand and say, I hear an owl?!!! Do you hear it? Shhhh! And she would stop and listen, then I would continue with other animals. Just a funny little thing I would do and it worked. Good luck! Distraction is the key!