Some children are perfect little angels when they sit in the barber chair for the first time. The experience is great, there's no fuss and the child smiles the entire time. But for some toddlers, and their parents, the trip to the barber shop can be a complete nightmare.
The toddler cries, screams and won't sit still long enough for the barber to do anything.
Parents make a big deal out of the first haircut, too. Some parents will keep the baby's curls or lock of hair that was cut and save it. When hair goes into the child's eyes, it's often a good time for at least a trim.
You can wait until your child is out of the toddler range to cut his hair, but it's impractical for some toddlers born with thick, beautiful hair.
What can parents do to make a trip to the barber shop more pleasant?
Use the Art of Distraction, Not Restraint
Restraining a toddler that is not sure what's happening to him while he's sitting in the barber's chair isn't the best approach. Barbers find that when parents restrain their children, it often means more squirming around, which makes the haircut even harder to do.
Your best bet is to try and keep your child occupied.
If your child has a favorite toy, bring it to keep him occupied during the haircut. It's often best to try and get the child's mind off of what's happening in the chair rather than trying to hold them down. The force and restraint will only exacerbate the problem.
Toys that make noises when they shake are a great option, too. These toys will help eliminate the scary sounds that children hear in the shop.
Children that have a favorite pacifier that brings them comfort should have the pacifier with them.
Food is a Great Distraction, But Leave the Sticky Stuff at Home
Professionals that deal with toddlers and kids often are your best bet when bringing your child to the barber. These individuals often have a few tricks that they'll use to keep your child calm and behaved.
And when it comes time to bring a snack, these barbers know that a little food can lead to a well-behaved child.
Snacks will keep your child's hands busy, and he'll be less inclined to be fussy, too. Just remember that you're in a professional setting, so you don't want to bring snacks that will:
Leave sticky residue on anything
Leave crumbs anywhere
Apple slices or slices of other fruits are often a great option, and they're healthy, too.
Bring Their Favorite Person Along for the Fun
There's a reason that barber shops have son and father packages: close, favorite people calm a child's nerves. It's all about keeping your child happy just long enough to finish the haircut.
You'll need to take a few breaks along the way, or at least one when the child is halfway through the cut.
But aside from this, bring someone else along that can help. An older brother, other parents or a close friend that he enjoys spending time with can help him stay happy in the barber chair.