I never imagined a baby’s first haircut being such an emotional experience…then I became a mom. I wondered if I would have to cut my baby’s first locks early on since I was born with so much hair that my mother’s hairstylist and family friend had to cut my bangs as a newborn. It turns out that both my babies were born with a head full of hair.
Some parents wait until their baby turns one and others, like me, choose to cut their baby’s hair within the first year. Babies can be born bald or with a head full of hair. The rate at which the hair grows varies from child to child so the right time for their first haircut is different for each and every baby. I personally chose to cut my children’s hair because it was getting in their eyes no matter how many times I brushed it to the side (or in my daughter’s case- clipped it with a hair bow). I also wanted to give their hairstyle a more uniform cut since baby hair tends to grow unevenly. Cutting their hair, even if it’s just the ends, helps it to grow faster and fuller too. In our case, it did!
So whether you’re thinking about cutting your child’s hair for the first time now or in the near future here are some things to think about and prepare for to survive your child’s first haircut.
Will you DIY? Whether you’re skilled or just brave it may be easier for you and your child to cut their hair from the comfort of your home. Now-a-days, there are so many helpful resources to guide you such as YouTube videos. Perhaps you prefer to have a hair stylist cut your child’s hair at home vs. a salon. If you want the full experience then narrow down your choices: Children salon, your salon, or barbershop.
When is the best time to schedule an appointment? Try to prevent scheduling your child’s hair appointment right before or doing their usual nap time. I also recommend giving them a meal or even a snack before their hair appointment. A well rested and fed baby or toddler will most likely be more cooperative. You may be asking yourself, “How will I keep my baby/toddler still during their hair cut?” Sprinkle a little mom magic and TA-DA! Whether you choose to sit your child on their own or hold them on your lap the best way to keep them from moving so much is by distracting them with a little entertainment. Take their favorite toy, a book, or play a show on your phone or tablet to distract. Your child may feel nervous so familiar items that serve a purpose to keep them entertained usually works wonders. When all else fails, bring out another snack from your handy dandy diaper bag.
Now remember, this isn’t just any hair cut. It’s your child’s FIRST hair cut. Be patient and take breaks, if necessary. The goal is not only to cut your child’s hair but to ensure they feel comfortable while doing so. Don’t feel ashamed to pause whenever you feel your baby needs to take a little break. Just ease them back into it when they feel ready. Celebrate and give them a special treat such as a lollipop or sticker for a job well done. This is a BIG milestone! Before you make your way out, change their shirt. Although the stylist will blow or brush the little hairs away changing your baby into a clean shirt will prevent them from feeling itchy and irritable on the ride back home.
Don’t forget to snap a picture of your big boy or girl (tears and all) as it’s sure to be a memory they’ll want to look back in the years to come.