How To Get Your Baby To Wear A Hat
Summer is finally here (yesssss ). And with summer comes the sun and if you're a new mom odds are you're feeling a bit anxious about exposing your sweet baby's delicate skin to all those damaging UV rays. It's essential that your baby wear a hat as protection, and it can be pretty easy to encourage them to do this.
I've been lucky to have two boys who willingly and lovingly wear their hats nearly everywhere we go, but it took some amount of work, patience, and luck to get them to be the hat-loving boys that they are today.
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Choose a Variety of Hats for Your Baby
Start by building up an arsenal of options of hats. Some your baby may love, others they may hate. I have found the best luck with purchasing hats either through a local consignment shop, or Amazon, Old Navy, or the Gap. Please don’t spend a ton of money on hats. These things only last for a few months as your child grows. Get them on sale, or second hand when you can.
However, having a bunch of different hats can help you test the waters of which one they may be more apt to want to wear.
The Secret To Get Your Kid to Wear a Hat
As soon as our baby boys could hold their neck up without support, we started putting hats on them, both inside the house and outside. I love the page boy caps to serve as an excellent trainer hat. Girls look adorable in these too.
But that’s not the real secret trick… The idea is to put the hat on when they are distracted by something else. Anything else.
The most effective time to put on a hat was almost always the moment we pulled them from their car seat after we arrived anywhere. They were always bursting to take in the scenery and new location. They always seemed in awe of the colors or sounds, and boom. That's when the hat went on. And nine times out of ten it stayed on.
Use Peer Pressure to Get Your Child To Wear a Hat
I have a good friend who has a daughter Sam's age, and she was struggling to get her daughter to wear a hat. (She didn't know about my car trick at the time). We scheduled a play date, and Sam dutifully wore his favorite hat the whole time.
Thankfully my friend had brought her daughter’s hat along, stubbornly waiting for the moment she would get into it and hopingSammy's love of hats would rub off on her.
She was right! Something about seeing Sammy wearing his hat was all shedaughter needed, and she was entirely hat invested (and still is to this day over a year later)! She even spent several months insisting on napping in her hat!
Have Your Child Shop for Hats With You
If the idea of taking your child on a Target stroll to find a hat they will wear isn't going to stress you the fuck out, then please try this.
There's something about the idea of "getting to pick something out" that my boys love. It almost doesn't matter what it is. The only way this can get tricky is if you've been the mom who gives in nearly every time you go to Target to get something. (And sister, I've been there. No judgment.)
I took Jack to Target to find a new hat, and he couldn't be more thrilled at the adventure to pick out something specific! We walked around trying on all the hats Target had to offer (even some that were way too big for him). I told him that he can try on as many hats as he wants to, but he gets to take only one of the hat's home.
We ended up with a cute little straw hat that he loved and wore for months. Which was later replaced by the below hats that the boys found at a local consignment shop.
Persistence is Key
I believe that children need to feel that they have some choice in all things. And I also think that some choices are age-dependent. I love the idea of "freedom within limits" which is essentially the Montessori model of daycare. I let my 2-year-old pick between two shirts for example and not all of the shirts.
If getting your child to wear a hat is important to you, keep trying. There may come a point where it clicks and they love the hat. There may also come a point for you where it doesn't fucking matter anymore, and sunscreen will have to do...and that's fine too.
But, before you give up, try to give yourself (and your kid) a good college try with tons of different hats, different tactics and more.
Let me know if any of these tips worked in the comments below! Or send me a message on Instagram under one of the pics of the boy's hats.