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6 tips for cutting your child’s hair at home, according to a stylist

Don't go for a dramatic change, just maintenance.

cutting your child’s hair

Families are stuck at home avoiding coronavirus and that means no stops to the salon. Typically, you would send your kid to your local hairstylist when their hair is too long, but with salons closing all over, you might need to cut it yourself. But don't worry—you can do this, mama.

Of course, we always suggest going to an expert (we would never advocate replacing a professional), but if your kid desperately needs a cut, consider only trimming an inch or two.

We caught up with Angela Soto, a hairstylist and owner of Baja Studio in New York City. Here, she shares on ways tips to trim your child's hair at home:

1. Gather the right tools


"The best tool you'll want to use are thinning shears or clippers," says Soto. "Clippers are best if the hair is already short." But we understand that may not be realistic now. Instead, use the sharpest pair of scissors you own. Dull scissors won't give you the precise cut you're aiming for, so avoid cutting with dull scissors as best as you can.

2. Offer entertainment

Getting little ones to sit still is hard—really hard, mama. This is the perfect time to use screen time to your advantage. Using an iPad or turning on their favorite show is a great way to get them to sit still while you cut. "When kids move a lot is often when a cut goes wrong, or they can cut themselves or you, especially around the ears," says Soto. If it helps, ask your partner to help you keep them straight by having your little one focus on something in the room.

3. Sit as straight as possible

Have you ever had a haircut and wondered if one side of your hair was longer than the other? "Avoid this by having your little one sit as straight as possible," says Soto. When cutting, make sure they are sitting upright in the chair, arms resting on their lap or arm rest and legs are flat on the ground. See how long they can sit still before you start cutting—this will give you an idea of how much time you have between breaks.

4. Dampen the hair + carefully cut

Make sure the hair is wet before you begin. First, separate the top of the head and create a parallel, vertical section along the head with scissors. Then switch to a thinning shear if you need to take more off. Or, just cut smaller chunks of hair if you don't own shears.

"It's important to keep the hair damp if you notice it starting to dry," says Soto. "Damp hair will let you see how the hair falls when you're done with each section."

5. Take your time

"Use a wide tooth comb to grab sections and take your time," says Soto. Start with a small amount of hair and cut more as needed. Generally speaking, keep the front a touch longer than the back.

6. Don't aim for perfection

We know you're not a professional stylist, so don't expect perfection. Instead of creating a new full blown cut, work with the cut that already exists and only cut a couple inches of hair. Think of this as a maintenance cut, not a new, layered look.

This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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What went viral this week: Pregnant Disney Princesses + an airline nightmare

Now, more than ever, we need to hear those good news stories.

Last week was a week.

We lost a legal and cultural icon with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and deadly wildfires continue to blaze on the West Coast. Now, more than ever, we need to see creativity, kindness and compassion in our world—we need to hear those "good news" stories, but we also need to see the headlines that show us how and why the world needs to change .

And right now both kinds of stories are going viral.

Here are the viral stories you need to read right now:

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