Shopping for baby clothes and accessories – tiny little hats, shoes, socks, dresses, pants, and shirts – can be so much fun. However, when picking out baby hats, these items often serve more as vital protective accessories than fun and games. Even when they are used exclusively for fashion, they are naturally going to provide some degree protection against the damaging UV rays.
Some of the factors you should consider before choosing a baby hat include size and the gender of your baby. Hats for warm or cold weather come with various features, although there are several different styles of hats, irrespective of the weather factor. The material for the baby hat will also play a major role in ensuring maximum comfort for the baby.
Baby hats can be grouped into two major categories: special occasion hats and everyday hats.
Everyday Baby Hats
These include baby hats that are meant to be worn indoors and all year round, especially for newborns, which are used mainly for temperature control, and those that can be worn outside during certain types of weather.
Preemie and Newborn Baby Caps
These are little beanie style caps that can be worn by preemies and full term newborns. Babies tend to have quite a big head to body ratio in terms of size, which means that a lot of heat is lost through their heads. The amount of heat the baby uses in a bid to keep warm can be easily reduced by putting on a cap or hat.
Seasonal Baby Hats
As said earlier, one of the main uses of baby hats is to protect the baby’s head and face from the weather elements. Winter baby hats (for cold weather) are mainly centred on warmth. They are usually thick and stylish, sometimes crocheted or knitted from a soft yarn, or sewn from fleece or flannel, and are typically unisex (although boys’ and girls’ styles can be distinguished through patterns or colourations). Examples include trappers, beanies, berets, toboggans, and other crocheted, knit, or woollen hats and caps.
When it is sunny, the main focus is to protect the baby’s head from the sun’s rays. Sun baby hats (or summer hats) usually come with a brim, like in adult warm weather hats. There are even special rain hats and some hats that are designed with SPF feature. Bonnet hats, for girls, are meant to protect them from the sun during warm weather. They are mostly made of thin cotton, with a flat or ruffled brim at the front, as well as strings to tie below the chin. Other options for baby girls include berets and feminine bucket hats. Baby boys can wear baseball caps and bucket or fishing hats during summer.
Special Occasion Hats
These are more decorative than the everyday baby hats, and are primarily intended for special days and holidays.
These include the popular Christmas hats and Easter bonnets, as well as Halloween hats that allow the baby to dress up without having to wear an irritating or insecure costume. These can be found in the form of traditional ghoulies and ghosties, little devils or angels, or even animals.
Other Special Occasions
Both boys and girls can wear christening bonnets, which is probably the only case where a bonnet is acceptable on a boy. These bonnets are normally pure white to symbolise the innocence of the little one.
Other white hat alternatives for boys include newsboy-style hats, berets, and sailor hats. Girls normally tend to stick to the bonnet custom.
Baby Hat Materials
Since babies normally have delicate skin, everything they come into contact with should be as soft and natural as possible. From this end, cotton is perfect for babies, whether organic or not. While wool is not a bad option, some people tend to be allergic to lanolin. When you choose this option, ensure your baby does not develop a rash, pull at the cap, or become fussy while wearing the woollen cap.