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Stress-Free Baby Bathing

We repeatedly dump cups of water over our babies' heads-seemingly (for them) out of nowhere-and then wonder why they get scared. Try these sudsing strategies for making hair washing easier for both of you:

Distract him. Have your spouse or an older sib sing or talk to your infant while you shampoo. Or hand him a bath toy to play with, says Harris.

Keep a facecloth handy. Gently press a folded washcloth to your baby's forehead; it serves as a barrier to the suds and helps keep water off his face when it's time to rinse.

Use less shampoo than you think you need. Babies don't require much, and it will minimize the chances of it dripping down his forehead.

Control the flow. If your baby doesn't have much hair, use a spray bottle to rinse it out. For hairier babies, try a watering can or spray nozzle. We like the Shampoo Rinse Cup ($10; onestepahead.com), a plastic pitcher with a rubber lip that rests on your baby's forehead while you pour the water over his head, preventing it from going in his eyes.

Howl like a wolf. Babies are natural mimics, so show yours how to tip his head back and howl; you'll have an easier time rinsing. If that doesn't work (or only works once), point enthusiastically at the ceiling in hopes he'll look up.

Maria Livingstone is a freelance writer and a mom.

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