Greetings, Guitar-mums and Guitar- dads...

Buying a guitar does not have to be very expensive or stressing. Make sure your child has a real desire and connection with the guitar. If unsure, I would recommend the piano as an excellent pedagogical tool to learn music. If your child is very young, like  or under, consider the Ukulele. It is a small guitar after all. Everything learned on the Uke is transferable directly to the guitar. 3/4 guitars would be the next size or
those lovely First act guitars.

I know there is often the concern that your child will give up and waste your investment.
Though Guitar Center in Boston  rents guitars, I recommend, if the desire is there, setting up your child for success with buying a good guitar right away. The joy of a good sound can be very motivating. It does not have to be fancy, just comfortable, and plays in tune. It does not have to be very expensive.

Yet if you can afford it, a solid top (as opposed to laminated top, a fancy word for plywood) will be preferable, though not necessary. Some laminated top are fine for beginners. But to be an informed buyer, you should know that the sound of a solid top will likely be richer, and will improve with age.  
Resale is always an option and is likely to be cheaper than renting. Storage for a later change of heart or another sibling are also options worth considering.

There has never been a better time for decent, affordable guitars.
 
(You can find two basic styles of acoustic guitar:  -Classical, Spanish nylon string is great for classical music, flamenco, some folk and some Jazz and some pop Music.
-A steel string guitar  might be more satisfying since it is louder.  The sound also fits Folk, Blues, Pop, Rock, Jazz styles.
At first, steel string can be replace by softer
"Silk and Steel" string, to avoid a slight discomfort for the first few days or weeks. Most children grow past this very well.)

 
SIZES:
Note:
Ukulele is an option for littler people. A Ukulele  is in fact a little guitar.
Everything learned on it can later be transferred directly to the guitar.

The smallest guitar size is Half Size, then Quarter Size guitar.

Here are some suggestions about buying a guitar:

I would suggest buying a guitar at Guitar Stop, a local store, on Mass Ave. That way you can pick and try the guitar for size : http://www.guitarstop.com/kidguitars.htm
Either a classical "Cordoba Protege " is a very good 3/4 size for $160 or, for steel string, a parlor size guitar "Guitar stop" has one for $250 .

Click here for a 1/4 size classical
A steel string guitar might be more satisfying since it is louder.
The initial discomfort can be remedied with relaxed, proper ergonomics
 or nylon strings,  light steel or "Silk & Steel"
 The sound also fits Pop, Rock, Blues and Jazz styles:
Click here for half and 3/4 sizes steel strings.

Feel free to email with any questions. Thank you for your attention, Bertrand.

 bertlarrymusic@gmail.com,

PS:
Lessons can be for two and include a partner . A friend , or even a parent, though most children would prefer do their own thing. In any case, I encourage partnership and will write music for duets.