How to Groom a Baby

Hair Trimming

Baby's first haircut -- even if it's just to trim a few wisps out of her eyes -- is a milestone. Here's how to make the cut:

1. Seat baby on someone else's lap while you cut. If you don't have help, cut while baby's asleep.

2. If she's awake, begin by gently stroking her head all over to calm her.

3. First cut whichever section of baby's hair is most in need of a trim -- the bangs, perhaps, or the back.

4. Don't pull the hair; just hold it between your fingers and trim a quarter of an inch at a time, to avoid snipping too much.

Haircutting tips

  • Show baby the scissors before you begin so she feels less afraid. Don't let her hold them; just demonstrate how they open and close and pretend to cut your own hair. Smile, laugh, and emphasize that it's fun.
  • Cut baby's hair after a bath when it's still damp -- wet hair is more pliable. You can also spritz baby's hair to wet it, but if this upsets her, cut it while it's dry. Don't give a haircut while baby's in the bathtub.
  • Ignore baby's thin spots -- just concentrate on strands that have grown too long. Adult hair that grows evenly probably won't come in until your child is three or four.
  • If the cut is just not working, take baby to a professional!

Reviewed 11/00 by Jane Forester, MD

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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