Do Babies Need Hats in Summer?
There's no denying it - babies look adorable in hats - and they also serve a practical purpose. Babies heads are larger relative to their bodies than adults', so in chilly environments, they lose heat much faster than full-grown humans. That's why a hat is key to preventing heat transfer and keeping your little one comfortable, warm, and safe in colder months. But if the primary purpose of a baby hat is warmth, do babies need hats in summer?
When the weather is warm, there's no need for an insulated hat; in fact, a warm hat on a hot day can actually cause your baby to become overheated.
However, babies do need protection from the sun. Because their skin is so sensitive and vulnerable, doctors do not recommend using sunscreen on babies ages 0-6 months. Therefore, shielding your baby from the sun is key. One of the easiest ways to shield their head, face, and even neck and shoulders? A sun hat!
What Kind of Hats Should Babies Wear in Summer?
Whether you're headed to the beach, pool, playground, or even just a sunny patio for lunch, your babe's head should be covered. This could take the form of a sun shade on the stroller or a beach tent, but one of the easiest ways to ensure you're literally covered no matter where you go is to bring a hat for your baby.
Skip the knit, fleece, fuzzy, or any other type of insulated hat and opt instead for something breathable with a brim. Straw sun hats or woven sun hats are a great option for maximum coverage and shade. You can also try baseball caps or bucket hats - just be sure their clothing is covering their shoulders, neck, and any other areas not shaded by the hat.
The only other time a baby might need a hat in summer is if you're in an extremely air conditioned space, but an extra layer of clothes will usually suffice. A good rule of thumb is that if you're cold (or hot), chances are, your baby is too.
How to Keep a Baby Hat On
One of the biggest challenges of sun protection for babies is getting a hat to actually stay on. Between wiggling, exploring, and little hands that want to grab at everything, it can sometimes feel impossible to keep a hat on your babe's head.
Look for baby sun hats with an adjustable drawstring inside to get the perfect fit. These can also help extend the life of a baby sun hat so it can be worn several years as your baby grows. Chin straps and ties can also be helpful - just make sure they fit your little one well to avoid straps digging into their skin.
As your babe grows into the toddler stage, be consistent about hat wearing to help them get used to it. Many parents establish a "no hat, no play" rule to help their kiddos understand the importance of putting their hat on for protection before going out to play.