Regardless of when a baby’s first haircut occurs (at 6 months or 2 years), it is a big occasion for parents and, potentially, a scary one for children. Just as the age a child is when he or she gets his or her first haircut varies, so do kids’ temperaments. A first haircut may elicit coos, giggles, and grins for one baby and a full-blown panic attack for the next. Here are some tips to help moms make sure their baby’s first haircut goes as smoothly as possible.
Consider a Specialty Kid Salon
Children’s hair salons cater to kids with colorful décor and child-friendly amenities that may include chairs that look like cars (complete with steering wheels), TVs playing cartoons or kid-friendly movies, and waiting areas equipped with playgrounds. Stylists are used to meltdowns and are adept at diversionary tactics to keep their youngest haircut clients happy. If your child has a screaming fit in a kid salon, the other customers are far more likely to send sympathetic (not judgmental) glances your way.
Consider Doing it Yourself
When a baby sees a stranger approaching his head with a pair of scissors, he’ll usually be alarmed. When a baby sees his mom approaching his head with a pair of scissors, he may be a bit alarmed but usually will trust that she’s got a good reason. A baby’s first haircut usually involves just a quick bang trim and/or cutting off a little length. In most cases, if you buy hair-cutting scissors, you can do a find job yourself.
Whether you opt to take your baby to standard salon, kid salon, or your kitchen countertop for his first haircut, make sure to take plenty of props along. The goal is to deflect your baby’s attention away from the haircut so he or she won’t have an opportunity to become upset or too curious to hold still. Play-Doh, paper and crayons, a container full of Cheerios, a toy truck, a favorite stuffed animal, or an iPad loaded with the latest Disney movie … all can keep your baby occupied during their first haircut. Does your child intently eat finger foods? If so, cut his hair at lunch time when he’s too busy eating to pay much attention to what you’re doing.
Make Sure to Save a Memento of Baby’s Milestone
A baby’s first haircut ranks right up there with a child’s first lost tooth in terms of sentimentality. Another benefit of going to a kid salon is that many of them will send you home with a Polaroid and a lock of hair. In other cases, make sure to grab a lock of hair and snap a photo yourself.