About a month ago, I decided that Ian’s hair was just getting too long and was starting to get in the way. It was hanging down into his eyes and was looking a bit mullet-y (is that a word??). We had waited to get it cut since it was his FIRST haircut, but I couldn’t wait any longer. I could tell it was starting to bother him, and it was definitely bothering me!
Even though I was ready to get it cut, I was kind of at a loss about how to do it. Kids get their hair cut all the time, I realize, but he was only 18 months only! How do you make sure a wiggly, potentially freaked out (if he didn’t like the hair cut person) toddler stays put and gets a trim?? I asked friends for suggestions, held my breath, and embarked on the “adventure”. And you know what? He did just fine. Here are some tips for making it through that first hair cut without too much drama.
1. Take your toddler with you (or your significant other) when you get your hair cut
I know that Ian likes to watch my husband and I do things. He’s not exactly what I would call cautious, but he does like to know what is going to happen before he tries something too drastically new. My husband was in desperate need of a hair cut, so Ian and I tagged along so we could watch daddy- and then get his hair cut there afterwards if he was in an OK mood. Ian was only somewhat interested (he watched for maybe 5 minutes), but I think us being at the hair cut place for the entire time my husband got his hair cut really helped acclimate Ian to the environment and show him that, “hey- this place isn’t so bad!”
2. Stay close by and always within sight
You never know when your toddler will suddenly think he’s been abandoned. For Ian, if he starts to look for me and doesn’t spot me immediately, he freaks out. He has a similar (though less intense) reaction regarding my husband. So I knew that I had to be right in front of the chair, as close by as possible without getting in the way. It definitely helped because I was able to smile at him, make faces, and praise his great behavior. I was also able to help distract and entertain him when needed, which leads us to my next point…
3. Sing songs or play games to keep your toddler’s mind occupied
Like most toddlers, Ian is fairly easy to distract. I was ready with an “I spy” game (“I see something blue, do you?”) and some of his favorite songs (ABCs, Wheels on the Bus, etc) for that moment when it all got to be a bit too much and Ian needed something to keep his mind off the fact he was stuck in a chair and some random lady was “attacking” him with scissors.
4. Bring a lollipop (or other candy)
The best distraction for Ian is always food! A lollipop (like a Dum-Dum) is great because it takes a while to eat and is a unique treat. I think Ian has had maybe 2 lollipops in his life, including the one he had while he was getting his hair cut. There was no doubt about it- he was thrilled to have it.
5. Relax, and take a breath
I think I was probably more nervous about the whole thing that Ian. I’m sure if I could have read his little mind I would have seen that he was taking it all in stride and I was stressing for nothing. But I’m a mom- I’m supposed to do that, right??
When did your little one go for his/her first hair cut? Were you excited? Nervous? How’d it go?