Parenting Page - Wear a Hat
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Why are infants supposed to wear a hat all the time?

Whatever season, whether it is summer, winter, autumn or spring, wearing a hat belongs to the finest fashion these days. On the other hand, for infants, wearing a hat is not just about the trend. Generally, it is a way for parents to protect their infants by helping to regulate their temperature. 

An infant hat balances the hot and cold extremities your little angel experiences from tip to toe.

The human brain is amazingly complex, and even newborns have a brain jam packed for their growth and development. Now that big brain requires a large head, so infants have a larger head than their body, and most of the heat they produce is in that head area. Without a full head of hair, or even with hair, the heat can escape through the skull before it gets to circulate through to Baby’s hands, legs and feet. When they have a hat on, it traps the head in their head and results in better heat transfer through the infant’s body. 

Should parents keep baby hats on their baby?

It is normal for an infant in hospital to be clothed by the nurses. Typically a snug fitting hat will be one of these baby items your little one will have first photos in. This will help the baby stay warm all over, especially in a hospital situation where the room might be air conditioned. When you get back home, you can remove the baby hat if the room temperature is suitable. If your home is cold, especially during the winter, you will need to leave the hat on so that the baby doesn’t lose too much heat from their head.

What are common signs that your baby needs a hat?

Infants are very sensitive to their environment. In the womb they were given a consistent home with an exact temperature and unchanging surroundings. Now that they are experiencing different temperatures and wind and sun, they will be very attuned to how this feels. As a parent, if you step outside of your house and you feel cold or hot, most likely your baby is feeling the same way, even more so. You can use your hands to feel your baby’s temperature, especially at the back of the neck and shoulders and trunk. If they feel cool to touch here you’ll need to bundle them into a hat. A newborn may also need a hat if she seems fussy for no reason.

It is hard to tell by sight alone whether your baby feels cold or not. Check their temperature under their clothes. 

In addition, other signs that your baby is chilled include weak cry, poor nursing and heart arrhythmias.  Take note that newborns don’t shiver like adults, they just stay still and silent when they feel cold. To prevent experiencing neonatal cold syndrome, please do not wait until your baby becomes very cold. Check on them frequently and take action if they need any assistance in keeping warm. 

In most cases, babies are usually kept too warm, rather than too cold. Most babies are well swaddled, clothed and cuddled, keeping them warm, maybe even too warm.

Take preventative measures so your baby doesn’t become too hot. 

This is one of the common mistakes of parents. You can tell that your baby feels hot when she looks confused, has a rapid heartbeat, is vomiting or is restless, even without sweating.

Should parents put a hat on their baby when sleeping?

No. It is best not to have any loose items, including clothing that can become loose in a baby’s bed. Wherever possible keep the room warm using gentle heating equipment and your home’s temperature control. According to professionals, loose items like hats and blankets increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Look for other ways to keep your infant warm while she is sleeping like a specially made sleep sack or swaddle.

Is it necessary to put a baby hat on when going outside?

Parents should consider lots of factors when deciding whether to take off a hat or not. Protecting your baby from sunlight (UV) and heat loss are some of the few things that need to be considered when going outside your house. To make your baby warm, make sure that the outside temperature is not less than 18 degrees C (65 degrees F). And if the temperature is over 23 degrees C (75 degrees F), consider wearing a hat for sun protection as well as shading their delicate eyes.

How do I keep my baby warm indoors?

If you want to take off a baby’s hat indoors, cuddling her is one of the best alternatives if you want to and keep her warm. Aside from regulating a baby’s temperature it creates a good bond between carer and infant. Generally, it is not necessary to make your baby wear a hat since room temperature is the perfect temperature for infants, between 20- 23 degrees C (between 68 to 72 degrees F).

What’s the perfect hat for an infant during hot and cold seasons?

The weight and material are what counts. If you buy a hat with a wide brim made from a blend of natural materials, it will be light enough to secure your infant from sun rays and keep her warm and comfortable during the winter or if the weather is cold and windy.

Exposing your infant in sunlight is quite unsafe as they have not developed immunity to harmful UV rays. Adult and older children can tolerate some sun, which is what helps sunscreens work, however, babies do not have any ability for self protection and they are too young for sunscreens. Keep your infant in the shade to avoid any skin complications. Wide brimmed sun hats provide additional protection to your infant’s ears, face and neck. A natural blend fabric hat is perfect as it will allow the skin to breathe and regulate temperature, hot or cold.

Are hats dangerous for a baby to wear?

Try not to purchase hats with animal hair and vinyl. It may look fashionable and cute but actually these kinds of clothes are a choking hazard. Always keep an eye on your baby when they wear a hat, while sleeping or even when they are awake.

Is it better to cover my infant’s head with a hat during the night?

It is best not to have any loose items in a baby’s bed, that includes hats. You should also avoid anything with ties, straps and ribbons. Especially made sleep bags are the best way to keep a baby warm at night. A baby is zipped into these tight sacks to keep them snug all night. You can also swaddle your baby to keep her warm and feelings secure all night long. These are effective ways to keep your baby warm without a hat up until they are old enough to roll over.

It is safe to wrap your baby for a night’s sleep. 

Stop wrapping your baby with a swaddle once she has learned to roll over.

Final words

For infants there is no need to wear a hat all the time. You don’t have to stick with it as everyday attire, but once nature calls for it be ready to dress your bub to suit. It’s always handy to have a spare hat in the nappy bag or pusher carrier as well. 

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