Building Water Confidence

My two-year-old daughter, Bird, loves water. She would happily spend all day in the bath, playing with her toys, making cups of ‘tea’, until it comes to hair-washing time. She hates, and I mean screaming-the-house-down-as-if-she’s-being-tortured hates, having water on her head. It’s not just on her face, but anywhere near. As soon as I begin tipping water at the nape of her neck she’s going crazy. I’ve tried using the (really weak) shower, pouring it gently with a jug, and even cradling her over the bath so none of the water can’t get to her face. She screams, always.

I hate putting her through it, and I realise that the more this happens, the worse it will get. She doesn’t even like to be near the shower when it’s on any more. I’ve stopped washing her hair. Sometimes I smooth some conditioner over it and wipe it off with a flannel, but it’s not really good enough. So my goal now is to build her confidence in the water, slowly but surely.

This week I am bringing her in the shower when I or her sister are in there. She’ll stand in the bath and wash herself at the opposite end to the shower spray, so I’m sticking with that for now. I ask her if she wants to touch the spray with her hands, meaning that she has to get that little bit closer, and sometimes she likes to. If she doesn’t, I let it go. I hope that eventually the presence of the shower will be no big deal, and gradually she will become less and less bothered by the water on her head.

Fingers crossed.

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