7 tips for washing baby's hair

Bathing & Dressing   |   Age: 9 weeks


7 tips for washing baby's hair

Many babies look forward to getting their hair washed as much as they look forward to bedtime, or tooth brushing, or any number of the thousands of other things that babies hate with the passion of 10,000 burning suns. Even if that's the case for your little duckling, though, there are ways to help make this dreaded event a bit more welcome, or at least tolerable.

  1. First of all, don’t over-do it. your baby’s hair doesn’t need to be washed every day, or probably even every other day, unless she took up marathon running a bit early. In fact, washing her hair too often could lead to dry skin and discomfort, which won’t help her enjoy bath time any better.
  2. your baby’s sensitive skin won’t do well in very hot water. Water that feels warm but not hot to touch is ideal. Test the water with your elbow or the inside of your wrist. If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for a baby. To avoid unexpected flashes of hot water, don’t put your baby in the water while the faucet is still running, and make sure to turn the cold water off last.
  3. With that said, stay warm! Most sources say your baby’s bath shouldn’t be deeper than 2 or 3 inches, which makes sense from a safety point of view, but can leave your baby in a drafty position. Make sure the room is warm before you start the bath, and consider using a cup to pour some warm water over her shoulders at intervals throughout the course of the bath so that your baby doesn’t get chilly.
  4. In fact, hair washing doesn’t have to happen during the bath at all, if your baby isn’t a fan of the water just yet. You can bathe your baby and then dry and dress her, and then wash her hair afterwards by massaging in the shampoo and then rinsing by tipping her head back into the faucet. You can check the temperature of the water in the faucet first in the same way that you do when running the bath--by testing with your elbow.
  5. Remember to shield your baby’s eyes with your hand when rinsing shampoo out. Just because your baby’s head is tilted back doesn’t mean there won’t be any stray drips.
  6. Save it for the end of bath time. A hatred of hair-washing is something that many babies have in common, so saving the shampoo for the end of bath time can help you avoid a conniption earlier on.
  7. Make sure the shampoo that you use is not just designed for babies’ more delicate skin, but also has a low pH. Shampoos with higher pH can make your baby’s hair tangled, which can drag out any bath-time non-fun a lot longer than it needs to be. The shampoo you use should have a pH between 4.5 and 6. Check the shampoo’s label for its pH level. If you can’t find it there, check the company’s website or call their information line.

  • Maria Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni Dias, et. al. “The Shampoo pH Can Affect the Hair: Myth or Reality?” International Journal of Trichology. 6(3): 95-99. July-September 2014. Retrieved June 28 2017.
  • “Washing and bathing your baby.” NHS Choices. Gov.UK, October 1 2015. Retrieved June 28 2017.
  • “Ready, Set, Bath!” Healthy Children. American Academy of Pediatrics, November 2 2009. Retrieved June 28 2017. 

More articles at this age

Making immunization visits less stressful

A regular immunization schedule for children means quite a few shots in the first year, and this can make even the chillest child lose their cool. But immunizations are hugely important in helping to keep your little one healthy and protected against serious disease.

Postpartum depression treatment matters for your whole family

Your emotional wellbeing as a parent affects not only you, but everyone around you - especially your family.

9 weeks old

If it doesn't seem like your baby is in complete control of each of her actions, you're probably right. But that doesn't mean that every jerky move she makes isn't getting her ready for the future.

Pros and cons of room-sharing

When it comes to room-sharing, what works for someone else just might not work for you. So before you open your bedroom door to your baby, make sure you consider both sides of the issue.

Things to share, and not share, between multiples

With multiples, they're not hand-me-downs so much as hand-me-arounds. Sharing is caring, right?

5 ways to manage diaper rash

Diaper rash is a common skin rash that babies get due to continuous wetness or infrequent diaper changes. If you see a patchwork of bright red skin on your baby's butt, don't panic. Diaper rash can be caused by a wide range of issues, including changes to your or your baby's diet, antibiotics, and diarrhea. Luckily, diaper rash is easily treatable at home, and with these five tips you'll have your baby's bottom as good as new in no time.

Welcome to lil'bee!

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. That's okay. Who doesn't? But without advertising-income, we can't keep making this site awesome. Please disable your ad blocker and refresh this page.

Thanks for understanding 🙏