The toddler years are packed full of important milestones. However, not all of them are happy, joyous occasions. One particular milestone many parents struggle with is their toddler’s first haircut.
While some children are quite happy sitting down in the salon and having their hair hacked off, others are a lot more reluctant! Some find it a really scary experience, while others simply don’t like having their hair messed with by someone they don’t know.
So, if your little one finds the whole experience traumatic, here you’ll discover some of the top tips for surviving a toddler haircut.
1. Ensure Your Toddler Is Comfortable
Before heading to the salon, it’s a good idea to check whether your toddler is tired or hungry. If they are, there’s less chance they will sit there calm and patiently. If you make sure they’re fed and they’ve had plenty of rest before you go, it will make the world of difference.
So, try to book the appointment for when your little one is most likely to be in the best, laid back mood.
2. Take Snacks And Toys
Nothing works better than a good distraction! Take plenty of snacks and toys with you to ensure your toddler doesn’t get bored. It’s a good idea to check with the salon owner to see what toys are allowed. Some for example, may cause a distraction to the hairdresser so they may restrict which items your little one can take with them.
Similarly, a pacifier can also work wonders if they use one. This will help to ease the fear your toddler has over getting their hair cut.
3. Don’t Forget To Take Spare Clothes
After the haircut, your little one may end up feeling really uncomfortable due to the loose hair which can fall down the neck and back. So, taking a spare change of clothes will help your toddler to feel comfortable afterwards.
This is actually important as it’s not just the haircut itself which can be off-putting for your little one – it’s the uncomfortable feeling afterwards. If they itch and feel uncomfortable after the haircut, that’s what they’ll start associating it with and they’ll be more likely to play up the next time a haircut comes around.
4. Choose A Hairdresser That’s Child Friendly
It’s definitely worth taking your toddler to a salon that’s experienced with cutting children’s hair. Ideally, you’ll want one which solely cuts children’s hair as they have the experience and skills required to make sure the process is as hassle free as possible.
These types of salons also tend to have plenty of toys and distractions you can use to keep your little one happy.
5. Get Your Toddler Excited For A Haircut
There’s a right way and a wrong way to prepare your toddler for the salon. The trick is to turn it into an exciting adventure. It also helps to avoid the word “cut”. In your toddler’s mind this is a very scary word, so replacing it with something such as a “trim” is much better. Telling your child that they’re getting a new hairstyle can also be a less intimidating way of phrasing it.
You can also build it up as an activity big children do and how lucky your toddler is to be getting a grown-up treatment. Toddlers generally like to copy their parents and feel much more grown up than they actually are.
6. Don’t Force Them To Sit Through It
One of the biggest mistakes parents make when it comes to toddler haircuts, is making them go through with it. The trouble is, if your toddler is really upset and fearful of having their hair cut, it’s definitely not going to help them to overcome their fear if you force them to sit through it.
In fact, it’s more than likely going to make the situation worse. They’ll start to dread going to the salon and you’ll set yourself up for many more tantrums to come. A good tip is to start trying to cut their hair yourself. This will at least get them used to having their hair done in a comfortable, familiar setting.
7. Lead By Example
Another great tip is to have your own hair cut while you’re at the salon. That way, your toddler can see what it’s all about. Once they witness you having your hair cut, they’ll see it isn’t anything to be worried about. It also goes back to the point made earlier, about children loving to follow their parent’s example.
8. Don’t Leave Them
It’s tempting to see your toddler’s haircut as an excuse to enjoy a little “me time”. However, if you leave them, you increase the likelihood that they’ll throw a full-on tantrum.
Going to the salon is scary enough for your little one, so if you leave them alone you’re going to make that fear even worse. Instead stay with them and talk to them while they have their hair cut. Your presence alone will often be enough to settle them down.
9. Take Them To The Salon Before They Get Their Hair Cut
As part of the reason toddlers often freak out at the salon is because it’s new and daunting, it can be helpful to take them to the salon prior to their hair appointment. That way, they can simply sit and watch other people having their haircut and see what it’s all about.
The more familiar they are with the salon, the less anxious they will be. Most salons shouldn’t object to this kind of exposure technique, but it is helpful to ask first rather than just turning up.
10. If All Else Fails Consider Bribery
Sometimes, your toddler may flat out refuse to calm down. Each child is different and some will take a lot more persuading than others. In this instance, bribery can work wonders.
Let them know that once they’ve had their hair cut, they can have one of their favorite treats. This could be a food they love but don’t get to eat very often or it could be the bribery of a new toy. Whatever it is, you might just be surprised how well a little bribery works.
Overall, toddler haircuts can be a traumatic experience for both you and your little one. The tips above will really help to ensure you survive the experience with your sanity still intact.
Do you have any tips on how you survived your toddler’s haircuts? Let us know below!