9 ways to get kids to keep their hats on - without superglue

By Belinda Graham, Bedhead Hats

Some kids are born loving all thing hats, masks, bows, blankets and tiaras on their heads. Others have a highly sophisticated invisible alarm system that alerts them to fact it’s hat time before you’ve even picked it up and will do the runner. If your child is of the latter variety, give these tips a whirl.

1. Choose the right style for your child
There are 3 hat styles that kids can work their way through as they grow. Some will overlap a little and you really need to work with your child’s preferences during that overlap stage.

Legionnaire/Baby Flap Hat style: Best suited to newborn and young babies and is ideal for wearing in prams and carriers as the flap lies flat as baby does.
Toddler/baby buckets: Once they’re up and about on their own exploring, they need that extra protection all around their head and shoulders that the brim of a bucket hat will provide.
Kids buckets/broadbrims: Bigger kids get to graduate to the larger bucket hats with the foam insert in the brim that is slightly stiffer. The broadbrims have more upright and deeper brims which provide more coverage to shoulders and chests.


2. Start them early, whatever the season
When babies wear hats, headbands or beanies from a very young age, they’re more inclined to be happy-hat-wearers throughout their childhood.

3. Be persistent + consistent
Don’t take no for an answer – let them know they HAVE to wear a hat whenever they go outdoors. Keep putting it back on every time they take it off and adopt the “no hat, no play” rule. They’ll eventually either learn to love it - or just give up on fighting with you about it!

4. Be a good role model
Just like when they blurt out those swear words, kids copy. Everything! So if you make it a habit to put a hat on when you go outside, your mini me will too. Role models extend to other close family members, so ask grandparents to wear their hats when minding your children and get older siblings to show littler ones the ropes too.

5. Make it fun
Put their hat on your head. Put your hat on their head. Put it on backwards. Or inside out or back-to-front. Put undies on your head and ask if they like your hat before asking for their help to find the real hat. Make it a game and make hat time = fun time so they can associate wearing a hat with good things. Maybe it means they’re going to the park or for a walk to get an ice cream.
"One of Everly's favourite games has been "Baby Koala” - she tells me she's a baby koala and climbs up on my back when I'm sitting down. Those times she might be fussing about wearing her hat, I pull out the koala print hat and ask if she wants to play "Baby Koala". It works every time!" Jess, @allabouteverly

6. Trick them with good old-fashioned distraction
Pop it on while they’re snacking, playing their favourite game, or deep in conversation with their dolls. Or, tell them if they can keep the hat on for the count of 20 they get to do x, y or z. By the time you get to that number they might be so excited by what they get to do, they’ll just not bother taking the hat off!

7. Make sure it fits (and sits) correctly
Measure your child’s head before purchasing a hat to ensure the right fit. Too big can impede their vision; too small will slide off the top of their head. Ponytails can also be an issue – our ponytail bucket and broadbrim hats take care of that!

8. Include them in picking the hat
As well as the initial purchase, give them a choice of what hat to wear each day. Let them choose the swim hat even if you’re not going to the beach! And let them pick their outfit the night before – hat included. That way it’s part of their outfit and there is no harm in them wearing a hat inside.

If all else fails, there’s the way Inuit's teach their children to keep their hats on in winter: they tell them that if they go out without wearing a hat, the northern lights will take their head off and use it as a soccer ball!

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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