This week, we booked my toddler’s first haircut. It’s safe to say I’ve been quite anxious about it all week.
If you’ve been following my blog or Instagram, you’ve probably experienced the loveliness that is my son’s hair. It’s beautiful, and fast becoming part of his personality.
But it does seem a little untamed when he’s next to his peers with their neat haircuts.
I often ask myself, should we get his first haircut?
Then, my I berate myself. His locks are so precious, how can I contemplate getting them cut? They’re soft, slightly curly, and beautifully wild and natural.
I’m feeling hesitant about my toddler’s first haircut – especially since he’ll lose those beautiful first baby curls and may come out with a grown-up look.
My worries are that a haircut will somehow take something away from Jonah, and that changing his look might change how I feel about him.
It feels like cutting his hair means accepting he’s getting older.
So why am I even entertaining getting his hair cut?
My husband is 100% for my toddler’s first haircut. He thinks Jonah’s hair is becoming a nuisance to him.
And, despite my feelings of hesitancy, I want Jonah to look neat and be comfortable. I can’t cling on to his baby curls just because I’m scared of change!
Demonstrating body autonomy to Jonah is really important to us. I want him to grow up knowing that decisions about his body are for him alone to make.
He obviously can’t make choices about his body yet, and we’ve made choices for him – like making sure he’s vaccinated.
Jonah is too young to ask or even agree to a haircut, so this is another decision we’re making on his behalf. Once Jonah can agree or disagree to a haircut, we’ll let him decide how he wants his hair to be. It seems like a healthy compromise.
Meet Maria, our hairdresser
Maria owns and styles hair at the wonderful Mooi Hair in our village, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees. Maria has cut my hair for about two years.
She was the first person after my husband to know that I was pregnant with Jonah. We still hadn’t told our parents as we were doing a big reveal, but I couldn’t keep my news in.
That’s what hairdressers are for!
How to prepare for your toddler’s first haircut
Here’s what we learned from my toddler’s first visit to the hairdresser:
Pick a good salon
Depending on the nature of your toddler, choosing an intimate boutique salon rather than a busy fast-paced one can make all the difference.
If there’s lots going on it could get a little overwhelming for your toddler.
Ensure your toddler is familiar with the hairdresser they will be visiting. Jonah has been to Mooi several times and watched me have my hair cut. I breastfed Jonah while having my hair done, so he’s quite familiar with the salon and with Maria.
We visited Maria again before the big day to say hello. Hopefully he remembered her!
Talk about what will happen
We explained to Jonah why we were taking him for a haircut, and what would be happening during his haircut. We hoped that this helped him to feel included.
Take care of basic needs first
Making sure Jonah wasn’t hungry or wanting to breastfeed before leaving was really helpful. He’d also had a good sleep and wasn’t due a nap for a couple of hours.
It’s okay to use distractions if needed
As respectful parents, we’d prefer for Jonah to be present and aware of what is happening to him in the current moment.
We didn’t want to resort to distracting Jonah, but because he’s so young, it was hard to persuade him to keep still for the duration of his haircut.
So we were sure to take our charged phones with his favourite animations easily accessible.
Similarly, a snack or engaging toy might work well for your toddler.
During my toddler’s first haircut
When we arrived at Mooi, we were all warmly welcomed to the salon by Maria. She had put aside an IKEA highchair specially for Jonah. This was such a fab idea, as most kids have sat in one, and they’re quite snug and comfortable.
Maria asked us if Jonah would mind wearing a cape. It turned out he didn’t. He was now Superman!
We wanted Jonah to experience his haircut without distractions, and we got as far as we could, but he did get a little fidgety. At this point we watched some videos from the Little Baby Bum channel.
After my toddler’s first haircut
I can’t get over how different Jonah looks – so neat and tidy!
And even though I was worried about my toddler’s first haircut, my worries were needless.
I think it’s natural to go through all the emotions when faced with the reality that our babies are not immune to the passage of time, and are indeed growing up.
Jonah looks so good and we absolutely love his new look. He’s been quite happy all day and seemed to enjoy the experience.
Of course, we kept a couple of locks of his hair.
We’re going to add Jonah’s first curl to a beautiful breastmilk and first curl memento necklace from Mom’s Own Milk.
They’re offering 15% off orders placed via their new app. The sale runs from 29th to 31st October 2017, so be quick!
We’ve used MOM before to create a gorgeous breastmilk ring, which I absolutely love.
First curl memento necklace update!
I’ve received my gorgeous first curl necklace from Mom’s Own Milk, and I’m completely in love with it!
It’s a Christmas gift from my husband to me. How lovely is that? Such a beautiful way to treasure his first curl.
Has your toddler had their first haircut yet? How did it go? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
These two articles helped form my opinion on respectful haircuts:
- Haircuts, a lesson on body autonomy
- How respectful parenting led to an awesome first haircut