It was one of those perfect parenting scenes.  Early Friday evening.  After a week of barely seeing each other for longer than a hello or goodbye, the husband and I had a romantic evening planned.  Dinner and Netflix and chill.  And by Netflix and chill I mean the parenting version of a movie and fall asleep on the sofa.

The little one was happily driving his cars around the floor and the big one was snuggled on the sofa with me watching Cars for the 157th time.  He was scratching his head.  A lot. He’s a scratcher and a picker by nature, combined with being a sweaty head boy it was nothing out of the ordinary.  Until I noticed that the little one kept scratching too.  This is unusual.

I often do random spot checks for nits driven by the dreaded nit letter from school or a particularly over zealous scratching session.  I have no idea what I am exactly looking for, and never have I found anything.

So whilst he was curled up by my side I began a subtle check through his hair.  In a matter of seconds I saw the first unmistakable critter.  After 10 seconds I had seen another two.  My romantic evening flashed before my eyes and I sent the husband an emergency text:

Shit! Big’s got nits. Get nit shampoo on the way home. And wine.  We definitely need wine.  And chocolate. x

And thus began our process of:

How to get rid of nits in 8 easy steps:

How to get rid of nits heading with cartoon critter

Be thankful I have used a cute cartoon image.  If you want to give yourself nightmares and a serious case of itching all over, google images of head lice.

Step One: Remain calm

It is essential not to freak the small people out about the small creatures taking up residence on their scalp.  Everything is going to be fine.  Even though you actually have no idea how to get rid of nits.  Both parents must remain calm, particularly your husband when he phones from the supermarket to complain about the cost of nit shampoo.

Step Two: Apply the nit solution to everyone’s hair 

In doing so resist all urges to squeal and shudder every time you find one of the little buggers.  Be prepared to say “sit still” on repeat for the next 60 minutes whilst your child whinges and whines through the entire process.  Topsy and Tim’s mum did not have to put up with this shit.  

Be prepared for a vigorous workout when applying nit solution to a two year old who NEVER stands still as you chase him around the house for half an hour. This process will lead to the urge to just shave everyone’s hair off, including your own.  That is not the solution here.

Step Three: Answer any questions your child may have about his lice infestation

How they got there. Whether his friend Luke now has them. If they have names. Can they fly? This includes allowing him to look at the collected menaces now removed and dead on a cotton wool pad.  Allow your child the opportunity to chat with the evicted bugs and tell them “don’t come back because you are very naughty and I don’t want an itchy head anymore.”

Step Four: Strip all beds and remake 

Even though you only did this two days ago, and the last set are still in your already overflowing laundry bin.  Contemplate taking your husband seriously when he advises you to burn them.

Step Five: Drink wine

Resume your romantic evening with greasy hair that you can’t stop itching despite having found no evidence of an infestation in your own hair. It is at this pint in the process that you can cry.

Step Six: Gag your child

Okay this one is not really advisable, but be prepared for him to blab to anyone who will listen that he has “the nits,” and watch people back away in a hasty and not so subtle retreat.  Keep muttering under your breath about the bastards only being attracted to clean hair, and wondering if that’s actually true.

Step Seven: Become neurotic

Pounce on your child at any given opportunity for a good route around his scalp in case any offending critters didn’t get the not welcome message.  Eye anyone scratching even their nose with deep suspicion.  Become paranoid that everyone knows and contemplate wearing a bell around your neck and shout “unclean” if anyone comes to close.

Step Eight: Repeat all of the above steps

Because the nit solution requires you to do all of this again in one week. You’re going to need a lot more wine. You may cry again now, if you so wish.

Congratulations, you have successfully survived a nit infestation, and completed the ‘how to get rid of nits’ crash parenting course. In about a year you may be able to laugh about it. That’s another parenting badge of honour well and truly earned.

They don’t warn you about this crap in the brochures.
Edit: Having been through this process a few times since writing this post, I can tell you that a nitty gritty comb is the best and essential for your ‘how to get rid of nits’ arsenal.  You can grab yours here… (affiliate link)

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Claire Kirby

23 Comments on How to get rid of nits in 8 easy steps

  1. My oldest had them in second grade and I had three little beneath her who didnt have them- I have never worked so hard in my entire life, scrubbing, vaccuuming, cleaning sheets, mattresses, pillows, couches on the daily. Combing, vinegar rinse, chemicals…


  2. We’ve only dealt with nits twice thankfully and that was back in Reception and shamefully it was pointed out by the after school childminder as I thought she just had a dry scalp as couldn’t see the little buggers to begin with. We use a tea tree shampoo regularly as that helps repel them apparently! Well done for surviving! #effitfriday

  3. Haha! I live in dread of this! I don’t think I will succeed in not squealing! Topsy & Tim’s mum took being calm to insane extremes! When I consider how I will deal with nits, I have to admit that I consider the options of shaving everyone’s heads & moving house! #FridayFrolics

  4. Oh wow, I am dreading the nit capers. I remember vividly having them as children and all of us sitting in front of the fire (surely a hazard?) covered in the noxious shampoo. I think you were so right about the wine. Surely that’s the best way to cope. (Going to check out prices in Boots a bit later to prepare myself). #FridayFrolics

  5. Ohhhhhhhhh I feel your pain and itchiness! I am now itching – thanks ;- ). I am dreading this happening and I know it will happen. I will be following your steps to the letter – especially the wine! I will need all the wine #FridayFrolics

  6. I am still having nightmares about the last time I had nits. I was 23 (UNACCEPTABLE) and as I was neither a parent nor a teacher at that point in my life, I didn’t suspect that was the cause of the itching until one morning, after having a nightmare that someone was pulling flies out of my hair, I went downstairs and my brother leaned over and pulled the biggest louse I have ever had the misfortune to see out of my hair. I don’t think I’ve ever quite got over it. #FridayFrolics

  7. Brilliant, laughed the whole way through this. Totally agree with your husband regarding the price and how you got the priority item of wine on that list straight away. Really agree with the muttering how they only go to clean hair, it keeps us sane kind of haha! Can’t tell you how many times I have itched my head typing this! #fridayfrolics

  8. Oh how you have my empathy. This was an awful time in our household, and we had mice at the same time. I started looking for locusts and flash floods. One of the most awful experiences of my our two mommy lives! I wish you success in exiling those little buggers. Ugh. 🙁 #fridayfrolics #stayclassy #fartglitter

  9. Very funny! Nits were the bane of my life earlier this year, Eva had them for six weeks solid, we literally could not get rid of them!! They seemed to grow each week, like some kind of mutant breed that would not die, and she of course wanted to shout it from the rooftops, “I’ve got creepy crawlies living in my hair!!”….agghh! Eventually bought a nitty gritty comb and it’s the best thing we ever got, I still shudder when I think about it though! #fridayfrolics

  10. This made me laugh out loud!! Mine haven’t had nits yet, but it’s only a matter of time I’m sure. Love the bit about your husband moaning about cost, that’s what mine would do. A lot!! #FridayFrolics

  11. Very funny indeed, getting nits can feel like a personal insult can’t it ha ha. My daughter has had nits twice and the first time I used every potion going and nothing worked so the second time I did the cheap conditioner and nit comb every two days for a fortnight and it worked a treat! She also had proper shiny hair too!!#fridayfrolics

  12. Brilliantly documented! I’ve been contemplating writing a nit post, as everyone goes through it, but I don’t need to bother now because yours just sums it all up. They ALWAYS come at the worst possible time, so I had to grin and nod at your Netflix evening being disrupted. Oh and the wine – I always pour myself a large glass for the denitting process and call for regular refills, while I’m stuck in the bathroom. Well done for getting through it…that’s just the practice run!! In 10 years time you will be a pro 🙂 Alison x #FridayFrolics

  13. My brother and I had nits several times when we were in school – I have memories of my mum going through my hair with one of those combs to get them out. I really hope the Popple avoids them – the idea of having to pick them out myself makes me shudder. Wine would definitely be needed. #FridayFrolics

  14. I am so dreading the bits ahhhhhh! I hated them as a child though all they had then was that horrible chemical solution that stayed on your head all night. #fridayfrolics

  15. Arrhgghghgh! I feel your pain! I just found nits on my littlest a couple of weeks ago and have been thinking of doing a blog post about the experience I had finding nits in MY OWN hair a few years ago… I’m still working up the courage to write it! #FridayFrolics

  16. Thank god for that, there is step 5… I remember when I got some from school one day. I stayed at my granny and she dealt with it. I also had very long hair. Horrendous! #FridayFrolics

  17. Funny as usual but I have to confess I would have found it even funnier if it weren’t Day twentyeffingone of nit infestation in the Prabuous household..and not for the first time this year! We had them over the Christmas holidays too. I’m meant to be taking a blog break soon and I’m doomed to spend the whole time still trying to delouse everyone, including myself. I am so fed up. I am also typing this having sprayed everyone with vinegar and tea tree oil waiting to do the next round of treatment because the last one clearly didn’t work. We’ve tried 3 types of over the counter treatments in the past and they were hopeless and the combs DON’T WORK! I’ll shut up now. Even though I could actually write an entire blog post right here right now. Pfffft.

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