Haircuts are something parents do NOT look forward to during the toddler years. I have been extremely fortunate to have two boys who are relatively well-behaved for their haircuts. They actually ask for them when their hair starts to get a little longer than they would like it to be.
But it hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows for my middle son, who just so happens to be the toddler of the house right now. When we first started getting his hair cut, he would cry, squirm, and do anything he could to get himself out of that salon chair.
So to help out my fellow moms, I’ve put together a few parent-tested and -approved tips for successfully making it through a toddler haircut. Trust me: they’ll actually work!
Bring on the Bribes
Promise some candy, a lollipop, or something else your toddler just simply cannot live without in exchange for sitting through the haircut. Oh, and be sure to remind them about the bribe 3,000 times during the haircut as well!
Don’t Forget Their Lovie
Does your toddler have a lovie of some type? A blankie or stuffed animal they hardly ever let go? Bring it! It will give them a little bit of comfort from home when they’re sitting in a strange chair, in a strange place, getting their hair cut by someone who isn’t mommy or daddy.
Pick a Child-Friendly Salon
Trust us: going to a salon with professionals who know how to work with children will make the experience so much smoother and more pleasant for everyone. A lot of children-only or children-focused hair salons also have all kinds of fun toys for your toddler to play with.
Do your kids love playing with your iPad or watching videos on your cell phone? Of course they do! Bring something they can use to watch cartoons — or play Angry Birds — to keep them distracted/busy.
Let Them Watch
Let your toddler watch someone else getting their hair cut before it’s their turn — ideally, another child around the same age who is well-behaved throughout the whole thing. This way, your little one will know what to expect in the chair and won’t be as scared or intimidated.
Make Sure They Nap Beforehand
We all know how meltdowns can happen when toddlers are over-tired! So make sure your toddler is well-rested before heading to the salon. Book an appointment for the first thing in the morning or right after they are up from a good nap.
Shower your toddler with compliments while they’re getting their hair cut. Telling them how good of a job they are doing really encourages them to sit still from start to finish. (Plus, we always should be praising our kids for the good they do!)
Congratulations, Mom! Have a Glass of Wine
Congratulations for actually making it through the entire experience of bringing your toddler to a hair salon! You deserve a nice, big glass of wine and an uninterrupted evening.