Baby's First Haircut: What You Need to Know

Filed under: Babies, Toddlers Preschoolers

baby's first haircut picture

Is it time for your kid to get a trim? Credit: Getty Images

That first haircut is a major milestone in a child's life. Just like first steps and first words, it's a moment a parent never forgets.

However, unlike walking and talking, getting a haircut can be a little scary for some kids. And who can blame them? Sitting in a tall, swivel chair, wrapped in a smock with a stranger coming at you with scissors is a completely new and bewildering experience. Here's how to make it less traumatic and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

When to go: There is no right age to get that first haircut. As a parent, you will know when the length of your child's hair becomes too long. Remember: Cutting off those curls often means they won't grow back the same. Be prepared for a child who looks less like a baby and more like a toddler after that first trim.

Prepare: If you're concerned that your child is going to react badly to the experience, prepare him first. Avoid using the word "cut" when describing what will happen, as that can conjure up scary images for a child. To introduce him to the strange sights, smells and sounds of the salon or barber shop, bring him in before the big day just to observe.

Where to go: There are many salons that cater just to children. These often have fun and safe chairs for kids to sit in, toys and movies to keep them occupied and staff who are specially trained to deal with first timers.

What to bring: A favorite toy can go a long way to calming a nervous child. Give her something she cherishes to hold on to while she's getting her trim. If you want to take pictures (and what parent doesn't?), be sure to bring along a friend or family member to act as photographer. This way, you can focus on your child while your partner captures the moment.

In case of meltdown: If your child has a tantrum, it's best to stop and reschedule for another day. A bad experience with a first haircut can set a negative tone for future visits to the salon. Likewise, if your child wakes up on the wrong side of the bed on the big day, go ahead and reschedule. Better to wait a few days than needlessly traumatize your child.

Saving a lock of hair: Along with capturing the moment on film, many parents like to save a lock of hair from the first haircut. If there is enough hair, ask the barber to wrap a little bit in a small elastic before cutting.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.