We are all are super conscious about protecting our babies from the sun, and a sun hat is the first place to start. It can however be quite daunting choosing the right hat, so here are a few great tips. Remember the earlier you start the quicker your baby will get used to having a hat on every time you go out.
Many brands make their babies’ hats in more than one size and many suggest an age that each size should fit. However, babies’ heads are all different shapes and sizes. The best way to ensure a hat will fit is to know your baby’s head circumference. In general if your baby’s head is within the median range, the age recommendations should be a good guide. To be really sure you should look for a circumference measurement listed on the label of the hat. Choose the measurement that is closest to your baby’s with a little room for growth.
Style & Features
As you know babies sun hats come in a range of styles including caps, legionnaire hats and bucket hats. I found with my kids that starting them with a soft cotton cap was a great idea. It was not too intrusive and got them used to wearing something on their head. I also found that caps and legionnaire hats were great in the pram as they are flat on the back of the head. When playing in the sun, I preferred a wide brim bucket or floppy hat!
If your baby loves to constantly pull off their hat, an adjustable chin strap might be the answer. Some hats have detachable chin straps giving you both options.
There is also a large variation in the material used to make babies hats. There is 100% cotton, polyester, lycra and canvas cotton. At the end of the day, if the hat is comfortable your baby is less likely to try to pull it off. Light weight cotton is always a good idea in hot humid weather. Polyester hats are usually made from the same material as board shorts. This makes them great for water play and at the beach as they dry super quick. I have not found lycra hats very useful. They are often thick and hot. They are designed for the water, but they tend to hold the water when wet making them heavy and uncomfortable. Hats made from canvas cotton are great for kindy as they can take the wear and tear.
According to the Cancer Council of Victoria, you should be wearing a hat whenever the UV index is 3 or above. This is quite often the case in many areas of Australia during the winter months as well. Download the Free SunSmart app for your phone to check the UV levels in your area. Think UV levels not heat!
My last tip is that you can never have too many sun hats for your kids. I always had a spare in the car and tucked away in the pram.