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Tips and tricks for surviving toddler haircuts

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

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When I had kids, I expected to change diapers, have midnight feedings and potty train. But it's what I didn't account for that really challenged me: the haircuts.

Toddler Getting Haircut
Newsflash: babies and children have hair. And that hair grows. And growing hair needs to be snipped once in a while so that it doesn't grow all wicky-wild.

I admit. I just wasn't prepared for having to have the kids' hair cut. And I certainly wasn't prepared for the cutting frequency. Me? I am a twice a year girl. My stylist expects to see me about every six months or so.

Stay away?

For Will's first few -- or six -- haircuts, I stayed as far away as possible. I paid for the cuts but sent my mother or my husband along. It was beyond my willingness. Then everyone else got busy. If he needed a cut, it needed to be me taking him. So I waited. And waited some more.

Unfortunately, the six-month rule doesn't work for little boys. He looked all ... messy. Then I thought about growing it long, but it didn't suit him.

Ultimately though, I was simply delaying the inevitable. Eventually, I really would have to buck up and take my own son for that haircut. I am the mommy, afterall. Still, I remember when my stepson was Will's age. Haircuts were major to-dos. He would scream and cry and whine. Bad. Experience.

Doing the deed

Finally, I caved and went -- with my mother -- for the much awaited haircut. Sometimes, just swallowing the worries and fear and just going helps. You kind of have to turn your worries off, hard as it may sound.

You know what? Ultimately, it wasn't that bad. At all. Apparently with his prior experience and all of my talking about the impending cut, he was ready and willing to sit still while the barber snipped, buzzed and tweaked his new shorter 'do. No tears, whines or otherwise. Just my happy boy getting a cool new 'do. And now, I am hooked. His cut transformed him from my little toddler into a little boy ready for preschool.

Planning a good haircut trip

Are you dreading your toddler's hair cutting? Fear not. Here are some simple tips to help make your trip to the beauty parlor a success.

1. Prepare them: One of the best things you can do is to talk with your child about what happens when they get their haircut. That way the scissors, clippers and razors won't be a surprise -- or scary -- to the littler people. Plus, if it's not a surprise, then they are less likely to freak about it.

2. Don't be afraid to bribe: There is a reason that little kids get lollypops after a trip to the beauty salon. It's bribery. The good kind of bribery that gets little boys and girls to behave and do as they are supposed to. See? Sometimes bribery is a good thing!

3. Stand firm with boundaries: Whatever rules of behavior you have need to apply everywhere -- at home, in the barber shop or wherever. Keeping things consistent is half the battle to having happy, well-behaved kids.

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