Many parents go through the problem of their child go through the phase of getting fussy about wearing a hat. Many times it’s only an accessory to compliment an outfit, there are other times where one is necessary. Having your child wear a sun hat in the summer and fall reduces sunburn. It also keeps the sun out of your child’s eyes, prevents overheating, and reduces heavy sweating and discomfort. Wearing hats in the winter not only keeps your toddler’s head warm but also prevents common cold and frostbite. These physical benefits are the obvious reasons why it is important for your toddler to keep their hat on. Parents also have to consider their toddler’s temperament and personality when determining the best way to keep their hats on.
Toddlers are sensitive to discomfort and will instantly discard something at the slightest sense of being uncomfortable. Ideally for the solution to be effective, there needs to be a combination of comfort and a plan specifically for your toddler. Every toddler is different so not every solution is universal, what may work for one child will be ineffective on another. So it up to the parent to determine what will and won’t work with their child. At that point would behoove them to find something that works for their child’s development. It also needs to complement their parenting style as well although there is nothing wrong with making adjustments to that style. Here are a few tips on how to keep your toddler’s hat on and things to consider trying.
1. Make or purchase hats to come with straps
The easiest way to remedy this scenario is to apply a strap to your child’s hat simply. The strap should be too strong for a toddler to remove. They may be a little upset at first, but they will adjust to it pretty quickly. Securing their hat will keep their head warm in the winter and the sun out of their eyes in the summer. Your child’s best interest is always a priority even when they don’t realize it. Fortunately, many companies are aware of this issue and have many hats specifically designed for toddlers. Many of these hats are provided with straps in order to make things easier for parents. If a particular hat does not come with a strap, there are numerous DIY recipes online that show how to make one.
2. Allow your child to pick their own hat
There are many benefits from this route, including allow your child a sense of individuality and expression. Take your toddler hat shopping and show them how many fun shapes, sizes, and colors available. Allowing them a hands-on experience when it comes to hats can open up a new and enjoyable experience. It has been consistently proven that giving a toddler limited freedom of selection is seen as fun. This perceived power will make your toddler more cooperative and turn to have to wear a hat into a fun activity. Add in another child whether its an older sibling or a friend, making this a group activity. Your child seeing this peer-pressure of sorts in addition to it becoming a group activity increases their odds of cooperation. This also makes them far less likely to remove the hat.
3. Lead by example
Young children often enjoy imitating the adults around them and setting an example by wearing a hat yourself goes far. When you wear a hat yourself, you reinforce to your toddler why it is important to keep the sun out of your eyes or keep your head warm. Adults often underestimate a child’s observational intelligence and are often taken aback when a child points out their hypocrisy. If you are draconian on your child wearing a hat, don’t be upset if they mention your lack of one. So averting this by wearing one in the first place is a great idea that deserves consideration. Also, talk to having grandma and grandpa wear hats around your toddler as well. If you have other children, having them set an example for their younger sibling also helps. The more people your child sees wearing hats, the more likely they will wear it.
4. Help your child understand why hats are important
Sometimes it’s best to just explain to your child in a way they can understand why a hat is important. Tell them how the sun will hurt their eyes and skin if they don’t wear a hat. This alone is often enough for a child to realize why it is imperative to wear a hat. In the case of freezing temperatures, tell your child that they will get sick and won’t be able to play outside. Tell them that without a hat their now and ears will feel funny and that is also often enough. Children often understand when something hurts and try to avoid it however possible. Of course, remain mindful that you do not want to frighten your child, so it is best to keep the explanations simple. This is a mistake parents make when explaining to their children by unintentionally scaring them which in turn does more harm than good. There is nothing wrong with explaining things to a child since that is an effective way to learn why things are the way they are. Once they realize that you are not there to ruin the fun, but save the fun they will eventually enjoy wearing a hat.
5. Consistency is key
Even if your toddler is resistant at first, have them put a hat on every time you go outside to where it is instilled in them that hats are important. Remain patient but stay firm with wearing a sunhat or winter hat when appropriate. Set up a no hat, no play rule, and set a boundary that sets a requirement for your child to meet. Combine this consistency with a hat that includes a strap and within weeks your child will put on the hat without you having to ask.