Hair, Eyes, Ears, Skin, Nails, and Tooth Care

Your two year old’s oil glands on her scalp and body don’t become fully functional until puberty, so shampoo only as needed. Once a week is usually plenty.

Hair Care

Your two year old’s oil glands on her scalp and body don’t become fully functional until puberty, so shampoo only as needed. Once a week is usually plenty.


Brushing hair can help bring oils to the surface of the scalp. When trying to get out knots and tangles, try using a detangling spray and a widetoothed comb or a brush with round-tipped bristles. Start combing or brushing out the ends and then work your way up to the scalp to avoid tugging and pulling.

Working Together
- Let your child use the comb in her hair or on a doll before combing her hair yourself.
- When in the bath, let your child rub her f ingers in the shampoo just like you do. You can let her wash her doll’s hair in the tub as well.
- Let your child watch you wash her hair by placing a mirror next to the bathtub.

Curly and Textured Hair

There are a number of products out there for curly and textured hair. Try a variety of products to see which one fits your child best. A good product for your child’s hair is one that doesn’t dry it out or weigh it down. With curly or textured hair, it is also a good idea to keep the hair short, let it air dry, and brush through it with just your hands or a widetoothed comb only when wet to avoid frizz.

Eye Care

Your child’s eyes can still change up to the age of two.

Check your child’s eyes regularly to see if:

- your child’s eyes are crossed

- they are sensitive to light

- one eye is wandering

- both eyes cannot follow an object as it moves back and forth in front of her.

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Conjunctivitis has three forms: viral, bacterial, or allergic. Symptoms usually include:

- watery discharge,
- veiny redness in the white area of an eye,
- itchy and swollen eyes,
- stringy discharge that causes eyelids to stick together, especially after sleeping.

Viral and bacterial conjunctivitis are contagious and usually occur from an upper respiratory tract infection, sore throat, or cold. Conjunctivitis requires a doctor; you will need a prescription for antibiotic drops or ointments. Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious and is usually connected to seasonal allergies, irritation, or intolerance to medication or anything topical that is put on the face and comes in contact with your child’s eyes. A cold compress can also relieve discomfort.

Ear Care

At bath time, clean the outside crevices of your child’s ear with a damp, soft cloth.

DO NOT probe the inside of the ear. The middle ear is not fully developed, and you could end up puncturing the eardrum or pushing wax farther into your child’s ear.

Ear infections are most common in the middle ear. Signs that your child has an ear infection may be pulling on her ear or seeing drainage come from her ear.

Skin Care

Dry skin can occur due to the weather as well as dehydration. When caring for your child’s skin:

- Try cutting back on bath time and sticking to 10-minute baths.
- Use a moisturizer on your two year old’s body as soon as he gets out of the bath, before all the moisture in the skin evaporates.
- Have your two year old drink more fluids.
- Add more fatty foods to his diet such as avocados, flax seed, and olive oil.

When cleaning dry skin:
- Pat down skin and make sure not to wipe rough, chapped skin (especially face and cheeks).
- Use warm water (avoid hot water).
- Use an alcohol- and perfume-free moisturizer.
- Apply sunscreen when going outside because your child’s sensitive skin can burn easily, causing his cheeks to be dry and predisposing him to skin cancer later in life.

Nail Care

Your two year old is constantly playing and exploring, so it is not uncommon for him to get play dough, food, or dirt in his fingernails. Try to keep your child’s fingernails short so that they collect the least amount of dirt. Wash your two year old’s hands frequently, especially after activities or outside time. You can use a nail brush or toothbrush to help clean under your two year old’s fingernails.


Trim your two year old’s fingernails after getting out of the bath. The water softens the nails, making them easier to trim and cut. Sing a counting song or count the fingers to keep your child engaged and patient while you finish.

Tooth Care

Try to get your child in the habit of brushing her teeth as more teeth start to come in. Get a small-head toothbrush with soft, round bristles and brush your two year old’s teeth gently in a circular motion along the sides and along the outer gum lines.

Brushing can help clean any food stuck in teeth and massage your two year old’s gums while she is teething. Let her brush her own teeth for a little while before you take over. Skip toothpaste until your child masters spitting out the toothpaste.

Skip toothpaste until your child masters spitting out the toothpaste. Teach your child to rinse by leaning over the sink and spitting. Have your child say words like nuts or tooth to help her spit into the sink.

Diet and your child’s teeth:

Diet plays a key role in your child having healthy teeth. It is important to have her rinse her mouth out after eating or snacking. This is why brushing at night time is the most important!

Here are a few tips for snacking and mealtime:

- Snacks and meals should be served around the same time each day.
- Limit snacks in between meals. One reason is because you want your child to be hungry for mealtime. The other is because frequent snacking without brushing immediately afterward leads to plaque and tooth decay.
- When your child does snack include food that will help support healthy teeth. For example, raw broccoli, low-fat yogurt, or fruits like pear and melon cut into bite-size pieces.
- Remember to choose foods with low sugar content. Try to avoid processed foods whenever possible.