I've always laid DS down in the bath to rinse his hair, so that he almost never gets any water in his eyes. Obviously, you're son won't go for that yet, but I might try telling him that you won't try to wash his hair at all and see if he'll at least play in the bath with very little water, or have him get in an empty bath and turn the water on on his own. That way he's in control. If he'll get in a pool that would be a great too. I would just use a wet washcloth to "wash" his hair for now until he gets comfortable with it.
Me 36, DH 40
IVF #1=DS 4 , FET #1=BFN, IVF #2=, IVF #3= DD brand new!
2 horses, 1 dog, 1 cat
Up until 2 and a half my DS loved the bath so much we'd use it as a bribe. Then one day he completely freaked out when we put him in and wouldn't stop crying. It was worse if he got water in his eyes. He became so scared of bathing that I wondered if something was seriously wrong -- then I googled and found out this was common at this age. What helped was this: I got in a bathing suit and lined up a bunch of new little frog toys on the edge of the tub. I asked him if the frogs wanted to jump in the pond. He said yes and plopped them in, then I asked, should mommy jump in the pond? After I got in I asked him if he wanted to jump in. He did but would not let me take off his clothes...so I let him get in fully clothed. After a little bit I was able to then get him undressed and wash him while we played with the toys. Now I can just sit on the edge with my feet in, though he occasionally asks for me to get in so he can sit on my lap. I'm hoping he'll get back to enjoying the bath like he used to. We only do it once a week now and have to use a washcloth on his diaper area so he doesn't smell funky.
I love it. This is what i have heard and tried on my DS. Not exactly the same as this very creative mom did, but making a game out of it. When he started to get freaked out about getting water poured over his head i made up a funny song about it and sang it as we washed his hair. All of a sudden it was fun!! I have also heard of making a big deal of pouring water over your own head first and then singing a song and making a big deal about pouring water over your child's hair. I think as long as we continue to "validate" our children's fears we make them more real and are not helping them get over them and realize that there is nothing to be afraid of. What this mom did is very creative and any variation that would be fun for your child and helps them realize that it is not really that bad is great. I also like what crunchy_mommy did also, very creative and fun.
I think a lot of kids go through this. Another fun thing to do in the shower is to use shaving cream. The cheap barbsol works great. You can use food coloring too. Today my DS started putting it on his body too. So then he got clean (he just smelled like an old man). He hates getting water in his face too but, honestly, he just has to scream for like 30 seconds and then I distract him with something else.
I have also given her sponge baths in a bucket in the living room with a movie on to distract her. LOL. But that's just to wash her body, not her hair.
Thanks for the ideas, encouragement, and reminder that phases don't last forever.