Teaching A Baby To Wear A Hat

Hat Training for infants teaches babies to wear hats, barrettes, and ponytails, even as newborns! Tips and tricks for teaching your baby at an early age to happily wear hats and hair decorations.

Why is it that some children will happily wear a hat all day, while others rip them off instantly? Why will one toddler wear barrettes without any evidence of caring, while another one shrieks if anything touches her hair? Is it all just personality, or is it possible to actually train your baby to tolerate hats and hair accessories?

We were first introduced to the concept of "hat training" by a young mother of two. Having numerous nieces and nephews, she had watched her sibling's struggles with hats and barrettes. So when her son arrived, she immediately began training him to tolerate hats. Years later, he will still patiently wear a hat without complaint.

Her trick? To "hat train" her son, she started putting hats on his bald head as an infant - even indoors. For at least one hour per day, from infancy, she had him in a hat or cap of some sort. He quickly grew accustomed to the feel of a hat on his head, and continued to wear hats without complaint through out his toddler, preschool and even school years. Compared to most of the boys his age, this is a minor miracle, and makes holidays and picture events a breeze. It's also a wonderful habit to have when your child is fair-skinned and spends a lot of time outdoors in the sun.

We also talked to a mother of three girls who trained her daughters in the same way. Starting as infants, she would put hats on their heads to get them used to the feel. As they grew older, she introduced barrettes and ponytail holders, even for a few minutes at a time, just to get them used to the feeling. She said that if they pulled them out, she patiently waited, and later would replace them. Her daughters all wore hats, barrettes and braids from an early age, without complaint, while their friends and schoolmates ran around with wild hair, having quickly dislodged their hats or barrettes as soon as possible.

The key to successful "Hat Training" is to introduce your child to hats early. As early as 2-3 months (when your child can hold his/her head up well), start putting a hat on your baby for 15-30 minutes at a time. Avoid any barrettes or hair decorations that could pose a choking hazard. Try to find hats without large brims or bills for early use, as these will have less tendency to obscure baby's view or kink their neck in the swing or bouncy seat. Finally, don't make it a battle of wills - if baby resists or cries, remove the hat and try again later, for only short periods at a time.

Hat training is, in general, a purely cosmetic choice. However, for those instances when you wish to have your little one wear a hat (e.g., to protect his little face from the hot sun) or a hair decoration (e.g., for a special event or party) it is nice to know that they will do so willingly, without a major battle of wills. It doesn't take a lot to "hat train" your child, and you never know when this might come in handy! So grab that hat, those barrettes, or whatever is appropriate - and safe, for your child's age - and give it a shot. You'll be amazed at the results"¦ now, if only potty training could be this easy!

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