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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, hygiene has always been a struggle with DD. She hates to be messed with. Most of the time I let her play in the bath or shower and that is how she gets clean. We only washed hair occasionally, ect. But, as she is getting older there are more things that Im having to do. These are the things I have to do with her that she fights me on:<br>
Teethbrushing- daily<br>
Hair washing- weekly, sometimes twice a week. Depends on how much food gets in there.<br>
Toe/ Fingernail clipping: weekly. Her nails grow super fast and get nasty. Plus, now she has a little brother to scratch.<br>
Nose dealings: boogers, using the nose frida (she is sick), wiping her nose.<br>
Hairbrushing: daily<br><br>
The hair brushing isnt as bad as the rest, but for some of it- especially the teeth and nails- you would think she is dying. Her whole body goes deadweight, she screams and hits and kicks and in order to get it done I have to physically hold her do and do it one handed. Really, its a two person job, but DH is working 14 hours a day right now, so that isnt an option. I have bought fun toothbrushes, we sing a tooth brush song, we brush teeth at the same time, I have done everything I know to do to make it fun and she just doesnt want me to brush. She will chew on her toothbrush, but that isnt getting the real deal done. There have been a few times that I just threw my hands in the air and just didnt do it, and after a couple of days her teeth LOOK grimey. Basically, hygiene is such an issue for us that my kid is going around looking like a ragamuffin all the time because it is such a PIA to hold her down and deal with it. The kicking and hitting have to stop, and I usually just back away and try again later, but Im sick of my whole day revolving around when I can get a toothbrush in the kid's mouth. Not to mention, when she fights me like that, I inevitably wind up cutting one of her nails too short and then she bleeds and screams even more. So, today I swadddled her with my bedsheet and sat on her legs to be able to get a good, two handed tooth brushing in.<br><br>
What am I supposed to do??? Singing songs and distraction and making it cool and fun is not working.
 

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<p>You know, my DD is pretty much like this, and she is the same age.  I think it might be normal.  We do insist on tooth brushing at bedtime and she can do it or else we will do it, right to the point of holding her down.   Fortunately she chooses to do it most of the time.  The rest?  She rarely washes her hair - we brush it and occasionally it gets wet.  She doesn't look too bad, in my opinion, and I am fairly fastidious.  Have you ever gotten "boogie wipes"? I feel mildly wasteful buying them but DD loves to use them and will go and get one and wipe her face herself.  They are just saline on soft baby wipe like things with a grape smell.  If we have boogie wipes in the house, her face is sparkling.  If we don't she looks like a gross little kid, lol.  Baby wipes do not work nearly as well.  I think it's the saline solution in it.  Totally dissolves the booger crust away.</p>
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<p>I got nothing on the nails.  We did not cut her nails for about two years, because I couldn't get her to hold still, and the one time DP did cut her nails, he made her bleed.  So we gave up on the idea because we were wussy new parents :).  Then one day she saw me cutting mine and was like, "Cut my nails?  Cut my nails?"  *shrug*  I don't cut her nails as often as I'd like to, but what are you gonna do, right?</p>
 

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I try to let her do as much as she can or alternate her turn and my turn. Luckily she loves to wash her hands and her bath, but she doesn't usually brush her teeth well and doesn't like if I do it and she varies on being ok or not with me doing other hygiene things. Sometimes I just skip it, sometimes she really wants to do X and be done with toothbrushing, so I will say she can't do X until Mommy has a turn brushing her teeth, that usually works for me. I don't do it like a bribe, just a fact that you can't do something you want until you complete this other taks that Mommy wants you to do. And there are times when I just skip thorough tooth brushing if it is really going badly. For hair combing, usually letting her brush my hair makes her more willing for me to comb hers.<br><br>
Making it fun with songs and what not sometimes work, but turn taking and making it clear we aren't doing fun thing X until this is done work best with my DD.
 

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<p>Hi There! My DS (22 months) is pretty much the same way. He just got over having a runny nose for more than a month and it was mostly him screaming every time I wiped it, ugh! He has had phases of getting really upset about hand wiping / washing and diaper changes, although both of those phases did pass and I learned a lot of good distraction methods for the dipe changes and would just do the hand wiping real quick. He used to get really screamy when I washed his hair and it was a total disaster and then.....he started freaking out about bathing altogether. I considered that maybe he had sensory issues, but alas that isn't the case (after consulting with our pediatrician and realizing that he LOVES water play). It's been about 5 months since he freaks out about bathing (he used to love it) and for the last six weeks or so we are able to get him in the tub with one of us, without any screaming (usually only 1x/week as DH works like crazy all week and it takes both of us to get it done) and I even washed his hair last weekend! What I'm saying is: it's been winter and he really didn't need a bath so I just used wet washcloths to keep his diaper area clean and believe it or not his hair leveled out and got less greasy over time! Sometimes he looked all raggedy but mostly it wasn't as bad as you'd think. I also put powder (the Dr. Haushka non-talc kind) in his hair when it gets greasy and that helps. I am concerned about the upcoming warm summer weather and he will start needing daily baths again so I guess we are in the same boat. We are trying to slowly get him used to it again though so I am just hoping by high summer it's not such an issue anymore. If it is then I am going to try getting a kiddie pool and using that (and water play) to bathe and/or sponge bathe him.</p>
<p>Since he was 5 months old he has not let me cut or file his nails, so I do it in his sleep. I always end up cutting them too short so I use a file instead. It's really not such a hassle and it never wakes him up. Try it!</p>
<p>As for tooth brushing, I started a thread some months back because I was so unsure if it was the right thing to do it by force. I have done that at times, but generally I decided it wasn't worth it. I know some here will disagree, but to me the potential trauma of him getting cavities is less damaging than the damage done to our relationship, trust and connection when I perform a torture routine on him regularly ~ here is a great article with many ideas and she also explains pretty well the reasons why the pin-down method is not very clever after all : <a href="http://www.ahaparenting.com/ask-the-doctor-1/how-to-get-toddler-to-brush-teeth?A=SearchResult&SearchID=3784407&ObjectID=3594596&ObjectType=35" target="_blank">http://www.ahaparenting.com/ask-the-doctor-1/how-to-get-toddler-to-brush-teeth?A=SearchResult&SearchID=3784407&ObjectID=3594596&ObjectType=35</a>   I highly recommend trying some of her ideas. I have found that when I let him brush my teeth (with my toothbrush of course) and then put on a silly act like I really don't want him to and he chases me and does it anyway, he cracks up and has fun, and I can usually get in a few good swipes while we play that game. Plus, he feels empowered that he gets to do it to me. Or try using a doll, or the mirror, or songs. I know how hard it is, believe me. It takes a lot of consistency and patience but I have found progress happens when I put in the time and tried various "tricks".</p>
<p> </p>
<p>In general I found that when I relaxed a bit and let go of him having to be real clean all the time it got easier and less of a struggle (with bathing). As for the other things there usually is a creative solution. I don't always have the patience and hence I have done the forceful tooth-brushing on occasion. We'll see what happens come summer when he really will need to bathe more, but I know I don't want to make it into a huge traumatic struggle. There <em>has</em> to be a creative solution! May we both find the ones that work! Good luck!</p>
 

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<p>oh man, any more tips on the teeth brushing???? My DS is 18 months and was pretty compliant a out most of this stuff till now. Luckily he LOVES water, so at least rinshing him down each day (which we have to do or else his ezema gets bad) is totally doable. But everything else is huge fight! I have no idea how to do the teeth well. How do you even keep thier mouth open and not get bit! When he was younger I could give him 2 toothbrushes to fill his hands while I brushed them and it wasn't that big of deal. Now he screams and bites and pushes me away. He will brush my teeth, but not his, and he won't let me do it either. I always do it at bedtime, but I really think with how much he eats I should do it in the AM too, but I don't want 2 huge fights a day. :/ </p>
 

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<p>For teeth brushing I just think- either he is gonna scream for the 1-2 minutes it takes for me to clean his teeth well every night, or he will get decay and then really have to go through something hard. So I just hold him down and do it. He has gotten more used to it and actually doesn't mind but we still have to hold him down. At first he resisted a lot but I think he is used to it.</p>
<p>Nail clipping is a two person job here. MY dh does it and I hold ds still. I am too scared to cut his nails-! Dh has it down thankfully.</p>
 

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<p>DD is 24 mos. Nailing cutting used to be terrible, (toes still are <img alt="shrug.gif" id="user_yui_3_4_1_2_1333326017262_183" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/shrug.gif">), but one thing that helped was letting her "play" to cut her doll/stuffed animal's "nails" before I do hers. The scissors are blunt ended and I put her in my lap while pretending right before I do hers. She still complains but it is nothing like it used to be.</p>
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<p>Everything else for me is hit or miss depending on the day. Somedays loves baths, no problems, otherdays, screams constantly. Teethbrushing, same way... The good days I try to take advantage and brush *really* well, but I will hold her down if need be. I always tell her for teethbrushing, "mommy do then DD do"... but her "doing" just usually means biting the brush a few times then trying to brush her toes...<img alt="redface.gif" id="user_yui_3_4_1_2_1333326017262_322" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/redface.gif"></p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
 

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I give DD a washcloth with soap and she washes some of her toys and then will usually wash herself at least a little bit. The rest comes from just playing in the water. Her hair needs to be washed sometimes and she hates it but she gets cradle cap like stuff on her head and the only thing I have found to get it off is washing it. I use a washcloth and give her things to play with that she doesn't expect like a big pot or whisk or something. That changes for the next bath and usually keeps her distracted enough to get her scalp washed.<br>
For tooth brushing there are no compromises but I only do it at night. I used to have to sit on the floor and hold her while I did it and hated making her cry about it. I kept singing and telling her how important it was even though she really wasn't paying attention. However, having her teeth capped or rotting is much worse than a few minutes of her being mad about brushing. Actually, after a while she started cooperating and enjoyed standing on the step stool and getting cups of water to rinse her mouth. They usually ended up dumped all over but she had fun and her teeth were clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/community/t/1349294/toddler-hygiene#post_16931215" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>P.J.</strong> <a href="/community/t/1349294/toddler-hygiene#post_16931215"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><p>As for tooth brushing, I started a thread some months back because I was so unsure if it was the right thing to do it by force. I have done that at times, but generally I decided it wasn't worth it. I know some here will disagree, but to me the potential trauma of him getting cavities is less damaging than the damage done to our relationship, trust and connection when I perform a torture routine on him regularly ~ here is a great article with many ideas and she also explains pretty well the reasons why the pin-down method is not very clever after all : <a href="http://www.ahaparenting.com/ask-the-doctor-1/how-to-get-toddler-to-brush-teeth?A=SearchResult&SearchID=3784407&ObjectID=3594596&ObjectType=35" target="_blank">http://www.ahaparenting.com/ask-the-doctor-1/how-to-get-toddler-to-brush-teeth?A=SearchResult&SearchID=3784407&ObjectID=3594596&ObjectType=35</a>   I highly recommend trying some of her ideas. <b>I have found that when I let him brush my teeth (with my toothbrush of course) and then put on a silly act like I really don't want him to and he chases me and does it anyway, he cracks up and has fun, and I can usually get in a few good swipes while we play that game. Plus, he feels empowered that he gets to do it to me. Or try using a doll, or the mirror, or songs. I know how hard it is, believe me. It takes a lot of consistency and patience but I have found progress happens when I put in the time and tried various "tricks".</b></p>
<p> </p>
<p>In general I found that when I relaxed a bit and let go of him having to be real clean all the time it got easier and less of a struggle (with bathing). As for the other things there usually is a creative solution. I don't always have the patience and hence I have done the forceful tooth-brushing on occasion. We'll see what happens come summer when he really will need to bathe more, but I know I don't want to make it into a huge traumatic struggle. There <em>has</em> to be a creative solution! May we both find the ones that work! Good luck!</p>
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But this is kind of my issue, I <i>have</i> tried all these types of things and she doesnt care. She doesnt want to do anything except play, if I get a swipe in at all her tantrum starts and then it is impossible to get a toothbrush in her mouth.<br><br>
As far as holding a child down to get their teeth clean vs. making sure you have a good relationship with your kid goes, I do have to respectfully disagree with you. I am not going to allow my child's teeth to rot out of her head so that she will "trust" me or "have a connection" with me. To me, that is a sacrifice I am willing to make as a parent. I believe it to be my job to make sure that her teeth arent rotting out, even if she doesnt like it. Im not uptight about cleanliness. My kid looks like a ragamuffin most of the time, and Im okay with it. But, when she has snot crusted to the outside of her face and plaque building up on her teeth, its a problem. Some kids just dont respond to making things fun when they know what the end result is going to be.<br><br>
As far as nails go, I treasure the tiny amount times that DD spends asleep. Im not about to wake her up by cutting her nails.<br><br><br><div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/community/t/1349294/toddler-hygiene#post_16933047" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Snapdragon</strong> <a href="/community/t/1349294/toddler-hygiene#post_16933047"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><p>For teeth brushing I just think- either he is gonna scream for the 1-2 minutes it takes for me to clean his teeth well every night, or he will get decay and then really have to go through something hard. So I just hold him down and do it. He has gotten more used to it and actually doesn't mind but we still have to hold him down. At first he resisted a lot but I think he is used to it.</p>
<p>Nail clipping is a two person job here. MY dh does it and I hold ds still. I am too scared to cut his nails-! Dh has it down thankfully.</p>
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How long do you think it took him to get used to it?
 

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<p>How do you do this and not get bit?? My son will just hold his mouth closed. I actually wish he would cry becuase then its so easy to brush his teeth. But he clamps down either before I even get the brush in, or on the tooth brush, or on my finger! OUCH! </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I swaddle her with a sheet and then I put each knee on the sides of her head and use one hand to hold her chin down and one hand to brush. It sucks.
 

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<p>I guess it took him a month or so to get less upset about it. now he is just used to it. every night after he gets into his pajamas Dh gives him a thorough brushing. He doesn't really mind it anymore! I also brush his teeth once in the day if he has had sugary foods, and also when I brush my teeth in the morning I will give him his toothbrush w- a little paste on it and let him chew on it. I feel that as long as he gets a good brushing once a day before bed that this is okay. I also had a bunch of dental issues when I was younger (in my 20's) due to not taking enough care of my teeth- so as a result I am vigilant now abuot my own dental care and also about ds's. I take him to the dentist every 6 months and will his whole childhood. And I know that decay really can happen if I don't take preventative measures so I feel it is a basic responsibilty I owe my son.</p>
 

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<p>Toothbrushing  is a nightmare, oh, yes.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I take cavities very seriously - some fillings are more biocompatible than others but nothing I'm happy with really - so not brushing is not an option.</p>
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<p>Toothbrushing, have you tried:</p>
<p>- doing it together, let her 'brush' yours while you brush hers?</p>
<p>- do it super fast but only the top-half or bottom-half?  Do most-top-some-bottom in the morning, and most-bottom-some-top at night. </p>
<p>I try to do it consistently, otherwise I'd forget which half I do when.</p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>My lil guy didn't mind teeth brushing much, we'd get it in once a day...but after his first dentist appt, he began to LOVE it, he's want to brush 4 times a day! Have you gone to the dentist yet? First visits are very low key and 'fun'.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Have you tried a reward? There are some non toxic fingernail polishes out there.</p>
<p>WHat about detangler spray? Or just getting a pixie hair cut?</p>
 

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<p>Ahh--so refreshing to hear that I'm not the only one who's toddler looks like a raggamuffin! I've mostly given up on keeping his face yogurt and booger free--occasionally I'll snag him with a wet washcloth and endure the tantrum that ensues, but usually I just let it be. We wash hair once or twice a week, and again, I just deal with the screaming.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>But the teeth brushing and nail clipping are definitely two battles I haven't won....</p>
<p>Occasionally I'll have luck clipping my little one's finger nails while he's absorbed watching a show---we do very little TV so he gets instantly sucked in when it's on and I can often clip away without much protest. That being said, his nails look more like claws right now, so obviously I haven't had much luck recently.</p>
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<p>And the tooth brushing--gagh! Reapplying toothpaste every few brushes is the only thing that does it for us--other than holding him down. We're still using some horrible sparkly Crest stuff that we got at the dentist but I'm headed out to pick up some Tom's or xylitol paste. I imagine my son's stomach is probably sparkly blue after we brush.....</p>
<p>About the dentist--I know it's recommended and probably a great idea, but our first dentist visit was a disaster. My son had no problem brushing his teeth before we went (although I was less serious about it than I should have been) but now he's really resistant. It was pretty traumatizing for all--I held him face up on my lap while one nurse held his mouth open and the other did the cleaning. My son was screaming, gagging, and choking--not fun! I knew it had to be done and I'm glad they got his teeth cleaned (turns out he had two cavities :/  ) but he didn't stop shaking and crying for an hour afterwards and still talks about it---three weeks later. Maybe I should have been more careful in choosing our dentist!</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>Something that really helped my DS with toothbrushing is seeing his older friend who he really looks up to brush his teeth with no problems or fight.  We also talk about how his cousins and other friends brush teeth too and how he can do it like them and that seems to help.  We have had to use the pin down method, which I don't know that I would do on my own, but DH is SOOO adamant about the vital importance of dental hygeine... for the most part he's gotten better with tooth brushing with time and consistency.</p>
 

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<p>We rarely have issues taking a bath, DS (19mon) loves the water.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Clipping his nails was a battle in the past, but he seems to accept it now. In the past, I would do 2-3 nails, then the next day do a few more, each day until I got them all done.</p>
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<p>Brushing his teeth is still an issue. I do have a routine of "brushing his teeth" each night after bathtime, however the routine is mostly him sticking the toothbrush in his mouth and sucking the toddler toothpaste off. He had his first dental appointment and the dentist recommended pinning him down to brush his teeth. I was horrified at the idea, but reading this thread opened my eyes that some people do just that. I have been making an effort to really brush his teeth for him each night. I *hope* I can slowly build it up to a full brushing each night. I had bad teeth growing up, I don't want DS to go through it like I did. I just hope I don't need to do the pinning down to brush.</p>
 

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<p>I cut my son's nails while he's eating in his high chair. I kind of do a "piggies" thing where I go, "first little piggie goes snip! Snip! Snip!" and I cut his toenails. He can't really see what I'm doing below the tray, and then I move on to his hands and do them one at a time, like I move in and snip one really quick and make a delighted sound. I use blunt tip scissors, because I can't manoeuver the clippers that fast. He doesn't mind the toenails, but sometimes he doesn't let me finish the fingers in one session, so I just do it again at the next meal. </p>
 

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<p>Sometimes my son and I will brush our teeth together.  So I hold him while we brush our teeth and I let him watch me.  then when I am done I try to "help" him by trying to quickly brush them myself.  I have also read you can let your kid practice brushing your teeth (let's them feel empowered) but I have not tried this yet.</p>
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<p>My kid loves bath but HATES having his hair washed- It is pretty much a once a week thing and then I have to do it quickly with very little water involved.  I think I am going to try one of those hats and see how that goes.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>We used to have quite a battle with nail clipping but he seems to tolerate it now - even holds his fingers out.  The toes are a little harder.  I did let him play with the clippers a few times and I think that helped.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>gitanamama</strong> <a href="/community/t/1349294/toddler-hygiene#post_16936433"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>Ahh--so refreshing to hear that I'm not the only one who's toddler looks like a raggamuffin! I've mostly given up on keeping his face yogurt and booger free--occasionally I'll snag him with a wet washcloth and endure the tantrum that ensues, but usually I just let it be. We wash hair once or twice a week, and again, I just deal with the screaming.</p>
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<p>HA!  LOVE IT! </p>
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<p>DS always is a bit of a mess.  I often volunteer for a teen-mom ministry;  I babysit while my friend works with the moms, and they dress their kids up very nice.  I think it is a little bit of an overcompensation;  they often think people are judging them already, so their kids look very nice.  Also, many treat their babies like live dolls, so they are all pretty-in-pink-or-blue.</p>
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<p>My son is usually a mess from playing all day.  And also, I don't really care.  We keep his hair short.  He takes a bath 2 days a week.  Sometimes I soap, but most times, not so much.  I probably shampoo once a month.  He does brush his teeth 2X a day, he starts then I follow.  No fights.  However, if I get clean clothes on him and wipe his face down, he looks fine for public occasions. </p>
 
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