Friday, June 29, 2012

Adventures in Baby Hair Day 2 WITH tips.... is our fun for today...It went much faster than yesterday's fun...(I remembered the spare comb today so she could chew on it...which, of course, kept her facing forward and far less fidgety...)

This one is pretty self-explanatory from looking at the picture

Gather a section at the top of the head in the middle and pull it into a piggy. Split the tail portion in half and  create a part with the remaining hair in the middle of the head. Add the two sections of tail to the two sections of hair to create two more piggy tails at the back of the head. 

top view

Comb chewing view....
I had some friends message me on Facebook the other day to ask some questions and for some tips. They were pretty much amazed that I could get my 8 month old to sit still for me to do her hair. So, here are the answers to those FAQ's for everyone that is wondering...

1) When did you start doing her hair?

I started doing the Little Diva's hair in pig tails at about 3 months. She had enough hair that I could have started at 2 months, but, being a preemie, she had some very prominent soft spots that made me nervous. I wanted to wait for them to close up a bit so that she wouldn't get a headache from her hair being pulled up into an elastic tightly.

2) Did it make you nervous?

Not really...I had opted to wait because of her soft spots, but when I noticed that they weren't as prominent and decided to do the piggies, I knew that I was going to be gentle as possible. The biggest advice I can give to anyone who wants to start doing their baby's hair is to not do it every day at first and get help where you can. Also, remember that there will be tears involved. Just be as gentle as possible and remember that as long as you're not tugging at the scalp, you're not hurting them, they are just uncomfortable with the new sensation.

3) How much crying is involved, really?
I won't lie, the first couple of times, there were many tears. You have to realize that its a new experience, and to feel you tugging at their hair (no matter how lightly you do it) isn't necessarily a pleasant experience for baby. You learn quickly how to distract baby while you do it.  For the first little bit, I only did piggies on weekends when my husband could be there to hold her and distract her with funny faces while I did it. Sometimes she was quiet as a lamb, others she screamed and thrashed, it really depended on the day and how patient she was being.  Once she hit about 6 months, she stopped crying when I did her hair all together- unless, of course, I was taking too long and her little tummy muscles were tired from sitting up.  I also learned of her fascination with the comb when she was 6 months old, and that helps a lot. I have an old red comb that is a full comb (not a rat tail like the one in the picture...I couldn't find it this morning) and I cleaned it up. I feel pretty comfortable letting her chew on that because she doesn't have as much of a chance of gagging herself as I'm doing her hair (she has a tendency to like to chew on things at the very back of her gums...she always gags on her fingers and happens about a million times a day, so I have to be careful about what I let her chew on...) She recently became fascinated with the spray bottle. Rarely do I have to spray her hair down twice, so I let her play with it. Its actually pretty amusing for me because you can watch her little brain work as she tries to figure out how the water comes out.

4) How do you get her to sit still? 
See the above comment. Until I discovered her fascination with the comb, when I was on my own and didn't have Daddy the Awesome Distractor to help me, I found a rattle or one of her favorite toys and let her hold it and play with it while I did it. When she was really little (early on at the 3-4 month age range) I usually only did the hair at the front in piggies (think of it as a half up do) and would lay over her and pull it up from the front as opposed to from behind. This would work too because I could be the one making silly faces or making funny sounds to keep her happy.  Again, being quick is the key. I would always opt for a side part at first and start with the larger section of hair in case she ran out of patience after the first piggy. Since it was pulled to the side, it always looked cute with a bow and looked like I meant to do it (even if I meant to give her double piggy tails that day.

5) How old was she when you were able to start doing more "extravagant" hairstyles?
I found that right around 6 months she started getting a little more patient...but again, it would vary from day to day...When you get ready to start trying more complicated hairstyles with more piggies, just be prepared to pull out a few of them and wait 10 or 20 minutes to start again on something less complicated if they aren't going to cooperate that day.

6) How long is her hair right now?
Faith's hair is just barely touching her shoulders at the tips at this point.  However, because its so curly, when it dries without being pulled up it looks much shorter (like it falls just to her ears) 

7) Why would you do that to your baby? Aren't you worried you'll hurt them?
This answer isn't very scientific...I will say this: My mom started doing my hair and all of my sisters' hair at around 2-3 months because we had enough hair.  I have a very tough head, and part of me wonders if it is a result of her being willing to take the time to do it. Its a personal choice. You don't have to do your baby's hair if she has enough early on- you can totally wait. I can honestly say that I am grateful I started at 3 months because now at 8 months she is trained pretty well to sit still and she doesn't think anything of having things in her hair so she doesn't constantly tug at the style or pull it out.  I'm not worried I'm hurting her. I haven't seen her hair falling out, in fact its been getting longer, thicker and stronger...I am always gentle and I never force her to do something that she doesn't want to do...if she isn't digging having her hair done in the style I'd like for the day, I have no problem going with a headband or just clipping a flower in it that day and scrunching the curls.  You know your baby...if you don't think your baby can handle it yet, then don't do it. 

In conclusion...(I feel like I'm writing a college paper...LOL) 

These tips will likely work no matter when you start doing baby's hair. I know some people who have baby girls older than Faith that are still pretty much bald...its okay. No need to panic. Hair grows when its ready and when genetics say its time. If you were bald until you were 2 and your baby is bald, its likely that your baby will be in the same boat. We are very lucky to live in a time when there are lots of options with headbands and clips to dress up any little girl! Just be prepared that there will be a learning curve for you and for baby whenever you choose to start- whether they are 2 months or 2 years old.  Be patient and try to have fun with it...If its ever not fun, then maybe that isn't the day to try that style...Just remember to try, try again if you really want something to work and eventually it will, it just takes time for baby to build up an attention span and patience with your light tugs. 

Happy Hair-doin'!
Hugs and Loves until next time darlings!

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