First tooth, first steps, first haircut. Your baby’s early years are filled with memorable milestones that you’ll want to document in the baby book for reflection for years to come. While some of these milestones occur around the same age for every baby, others, like baby’s first haircut, do not.
Some kids are born with a head full of hair, and others make it to their first birthday with just a little peach fuzz. My three babies fell into the latter category, so first haircuts were one of our last milestones to reach. In fact, my girls didn’t have their first haircut until almost age 3 because I just couldn’t part with that still short, wispy hair they spent so long growing.
So, if you’re anything like me, you want that first haircut to be perfect. You want to keep your baby happy––perhaps even make it fun––and work with a stylist who’s patient enough to deal with a potentially fussy client. Read on for more tips as you prepare for your baby’s first haircut.
Deciding When It’s Time
Deciding when to get your baby’s haircut is a truly personal decision, one that’s determined by a number of factors. So, even though your sister might have taken your niece for a haircut at 11 months old doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Consider these factors when determining the right time for your baby’s first trip to the salon.
- Hair length: Obviously, the more hair your little one has, the earlier they’ll need a haircut. If you find that your baby’s thick hair is getting in their eyes or turning into an unwanted mullet, it’s probably time for a trim. On the other hand, if your baby’s hair is growing evenly and not bothering them, you can forego the haircut if longer hair is more your style.
- Demeanor: You don’t want the first haircut to end in tears if you can avoid them. So, consider your baby’s demeanor before you schedule that first haircut. If your baby is going through an especially fussy or clingy stage, you might want to delay the haircut. On the other hand, if your happy-go-lucky youngster is easygoing, that first haircut might be a breeze.
- Styling: If brushing your baby’s hair has become a source of frustration, it’s probably time for a haircut. Long hair in the eyes isn’t your only giveaway that your little one needs a trim. Frustrating flyaways at the end of your baby’s strands that you can’t tame can also be fixed with a tiny trim. If your baby’s hair feels out of control, it might be time for a haircut.
Choosing Your Salon
In order for your baby’s first haircut to be a success, you want to go to a stylist who is experienced in cutting kids’ hair. If you trust your stylist, that might be a good place to start. During your next haircut, ask your stylist about their interest in cutting your little one’s hair. If they’re an adults-only stylist, keep looking.
Check to see if your area has a kid-friendly salon, which can offer a fun experience for the first haircut. I took all three of my children to a kids’ salon that felt more like a playground than a salon itself. The indoor slide, fun chairs designed like cars, and post-haircut balloons and lollipops certainly helped ease any first-haircut jitters for my kids. Plus, at a salon like this, these stylists are adept at dealing with squirmy kids and have the patience to deal with even the fussiest client.
Preparing for Your Appointment
Now, you want to prepare your family for baby’s first haircut to increase the chances of success. Try to get your baby used to the idea of a haircut by talking about it.
How well your little one understands what is about to happen obviously depends on their age. Consider picking up a book at the library about haircuts. Or, if your child is a bit older, introduce them to a TV show about haircuts. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, for example, has an episode when Daniel gets his first haircut. That episode was a hit in my house!
When you schedule your appointment, keep timing in mind. You don’t want to take your baby during naptime––or right before naptime, for that matter. Try to schedule the appointment for your baby’s most content hours of the day. For most little ones, that’s soon after they wake up or after their morning nap. Also, be sure to bring the baby in with a full tummy. As you well know, a hungry baby can be extra fussy, so you want to reduce the chances of that during the first haircut.
Tips for the Appointment
It’s time for yet another milestone for your baby as you prepare for the first haircut. You want to soak in this memorable moment, so don’t be distracted by some anxiety you might have related to how your baby will react. Many little ones breeze through their first haircut, and some might even enjoy it.
Here are a few helpful tips for haircut day:
Pack an Extra Shirt
Some kids might not want to drape the salon’s apron over their shoulders––and that’s OK. You want to keep your little one content. So, just let the stylist trim their hair without an apron, and then you can swap shirts after the trim.
Bring Some Comfort
Pack a favorite blanket or stuffed animal in the diaper bag to give your baby some comfort if they get nervous. Snuggling their cherished item can help calm your baby during the haircut.
Bring Your Camera
Don’t forget to pack your camera to capture all of the moments of your baby’s first haircut. Whether you end up with smiles or tears, you’ll want to have some photos and videos to enjoy later on.
Ask About a Memory Package
Some kid-friendly salons offer a package that includes a certificate honoring this milestone moment. Some will even save and package a lock of hair for you, and you can add these items to your baby book.
Milestone moments call for preparation and celebration. Give your little one a new ‘do with the help of a trusted stylist and some comforts that will keep your baby calm. Take a deep breath, Mom and Dad, and fight back the tears as you watch those wispy baby strands fall to the floor.