What Is the Best Way to Rinse a Toddler's Hair Without Getting Water in Eyes?

Updated on June 17, 2009
S.Y. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
8 answers

I traumatized my poor little one the other day. I was rinsing the back of her hair and she moved and water got dumped in her eyes. She sobbed hysterically for 20 minutes. I have tried using a plastic measuring cup and getting her to look up (unsuccessful), tried putting a washcloth over her face, and laying her back into the tub. Every kind of way I've tried upsets her. I even have a cheap "visor" but water slips right through (not airtight).

How do you rinse your child's hair? My dd is 20 months so she has somewhat limited comprehension. Are there "good" visors out there? A different method that won't scare kids? What I've been doing up until now is holding her in a sort of "footbal hold" over the tub but she is getting to big for that (so am I!).

Any products or ideas? Thanks, Mommas!

ADDED: I am so sorry, but I forgot to mention that we have also tried the cup with the rubber on it (for us it seemingly just dumps on her head..perhaps I am doing something wrong or she is too wriggly). Sorry I didn't mention it, but thanks for the reply!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hey S.,
Walmart sells a dumping device that has a rubber part that flatens to the head, the rest of it is a kind of like a pitcher. Its sold in the baby section for about $ 4-5.
Heres a pic of what the rinse pitcher looks like.

We also have a hose/shower also bought at Walmart or Target, I believe Water Pic is the make?
One other thing I did for a while was have them lay back in the shallow water and praised them for doing the back stroke lol.

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answers from York on

hi S.. my daughter is 2 1/2. for us, she screams whenever water is in her ears and eyes. its hard enough not to let any water get in the eyes let alone the ears!! before i just gave her a dry wash cloth, and did what i needed to do. no matter WHAT way i did it, she screamed. so i just used the detachable shower head and got it done real fast and she held the wash cloth over her eyes and had it there to wipe when she was all done.

now that shes a little older and wants to do everything all by herself... she wants to wash herself and everything. so i obviously do the once over, but then i let her play wash her body and her hair. and i noticed she is more brave about laying down and "swimming" in the water and getting her own head wet is fine then. so i leave it up to her. i tell her to lay back in the tub and swoosh her head around in the water till the bubbles are out of her hair. but shes older than yours so might understand it better. i do have to help her a little bit, but she does get most of the soap out by just getting her head wet in her bath water. and its all "her" doing instead of me being the bad guy.

i would prefer to rinse with fresh, cleaner water. but i have to pick and chose my battles with this. luckily, she always tells me when she needs to get out and use the potty... so at least i dont have to worry about that. eww!

good luck to you and your little girl! let us know if you come up with any better tips that work!

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answers from Philadelphia on

Swim goggles. Worked with all 4!

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answers from Philadelphia on

I also use the washcloth for my 3 yo, but I also started doing visualization with her while I rinse & it works really well. I have her close her eyes and ask her to tell me all the things she sees in the sky with her eyes closed while I quickly rinse her with a big measuring cup. (I usually have the faucet running for quick refills) I also tell her to keep looking up and it has the added benefit of her tipping her little head back. She comes up with pretty funny stuff and if she's particularly soapy, I can add goofy things like, "Do you see an elephant in the sky?", etc. - my 5 yo loves it too!

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answers from Philadelphia on

When I was growing up I put a rolled up towel or a wash cloth over my eyes. It helped me to keep my eyes closed.



answers from Philadelphia on

If the gadgets at Walmart or Target don't work, you could try a shower head that has a hose on it. That is what I use for my son, its easy to control exactly where the water goes and you can adjust the flow depending on the model you buy. There are tons to choose from.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I used to wash Tyler's hair when he was lying on his back in shallow water in the tub. I used one of those little yellow bath sponges for him to lie on.
Now he's 6 and I've been using a small plastic cup to rinse and I give him a washcloth to hold over his eyes. Now, MY QUESTION: How do I get him to start liking a shower!? LOL



answers from Philadelphia on

I found a head-rinsing cup at Target. It has 2 compartments so that a little water goes over the front of head and a lot over the back, and the side of the cup has a flexible part that fits against the forehead, so the water only flows back. I'm not explaining that well. Here's a link:


It works great. Even if you don't line it up great or baby wiggles, you only get a little bit of water on the face. It was cheap at Target, less than $10.

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