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Baby Sun Hat.
So...How Do You Get Her to Wear the Darn Thing?

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Yes, this angelic hat-wearing face is possible.
Four easy steps and it's all yours...

After three children who all hated to wear their baby sun hat, I'm happy to report a 100% success rate. They wore them. Here's my cheat sheet to happy (well...eventually) hat wearing all summer long.

All babies (girls and boys) need to wear sun hats when they are outdoors. No matter how much hair they have on their heads (if any) their precious scalp and neck is prime-time real estate for burns.

Unless you are going to smear suntan lotion on their heads and neck (something I do not recommend...what a mess!), a baby sun hat is an essential.

So it's your baby's first summer and you're excited to check off "responsible" on the list your mother-in-law is keeping. Unfortunately, there's a screaming baby pooping all over your dream of getting Conscientious Mother of the Year.

While you're baby screams and rips that hat off again, you take a moment to fake-smile and wave at a frowning mom-in-law before she can come over and show you do it...REALLY.

How do you get him to wear the %#&@*!% thing?

Never you worry. Here are a few secrets I've learned with my babies.

Wait! I must digress! You may have an imposter in your midst! Brush up on my 3 basic rules of baby sun hat hunting to find a REAL winner.
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Ignorance is Bliss...So Start Young

Babies come into this world completely helpless and pretty clueless. Use this to your advantage by putting a hat on your baby as early and as often as possible. Every time you go outdoors, put on a hat. If he's used to it, he won't know to fight it.

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Be a Trend Setter...Wear One Yourself

Repeat after me. Hats are cool. Again. Hats are cool. Picture a gardening Audrey Hepburn. That's you.

Just imagine how sexy you'll look working in the garden when your husband gets home. Give him the classic one-eye hat-slant and before you know it he'll be dropping the kids off for an overnight at Grandma's. smiley
baby sun hat 9
{Photo by admiral b}

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Size Matters...Measure That Cranium

Ever wear a hat that's too small, and ends up giving you a headache? Ever wear a hat that's too big and keeps blocking your vision? Your baby will be just as annoyed.

Break out the "cranium size" measured at the last well baby checkup, or use a measuring tape to make sure your baby sun hat is a good fit. Always order a little larger than his head so there's room to grow, but it's not sliding over his eyes.

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Be a Sore Loser...ALWAYS WIN

When my second, Elena was about 9 months old my whole family went to visit Living History Farms in Des Moines, Iowa. It was a hot day, and there was little shade. A baby sun hat was a must. Elena and I had a disagreement.

She did not want to wear the hat. Mommy wanted her to wear the hat.

Guess who won.

As a parent, it's my job to keep her safe. This means preventing a bad sunburn on her scalp. I used sunscreen, but obviously I didn't want to smear sunscreen all over her downy hair. She was going to wear that hat. I took her aside, to an area that wouldn't be disruptive to others, and the battle began.

She'd take off the hat. I'd put it on, holding it on her head for a second. She would scream, wiggle, kick. I would calmly tell her "No, Elena. Hat, on." She'd manage to rip it off, I would calmly put it back on.

Since I was 100% confident I was going to win in the end (no matter how long it took), I was able to patiently endure the temper-tantrum without getting angry. (Often anger is related to feeling out of control. I was in control, since I knew I would outlast her.)

No, she didn't give in after 5 minutes.

She didn't give in after 10 minutes. (She's my child, after all.)

15 minutes after we started (Cameron timed it), she got the picture. She was exhausted, and all her fussing wasn't giving her what she wanted. Mom won. Not only did the hat stay on for the rest of the day, but the next time a hat was required (the next day, in fact). She looked at my grumpily when I put it on...but there was no epic battle.

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Parenting Achieved

I'm sure some people were perturbed at the screaming (even though I was outside in the ditch, away from the crowds, and it was obvious she was just mad, nothing physical was being done).

Yes, I could have let her scream it out in the minivan...but sometimes it's better for people to see that a screaming child is just MAD, and not being hurt inside a tinted van.

Here are the more important lessons:

  • My little girl learned that Mommy is in charge and will win EVERY time, so she might as well submit and wear the stupid baby sun hat anyway.
  • My little girl's head was protected from a nasty sunburn that could have serious consequences in the years to come. (The Skin Cancer Foundation says just one early sunburn can double the chances of skin cancer later in life!)
Parenting achieved.

Be persistent. Persevere and win. The benefits far outweigh the momentary discomfort. That baby sun hat is a vital part of protecting your baby's tender, sensitive skin from the harsh rays of the sun.
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You meticulously babyproof inside.
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attention for your Little Explorer.

Return to the Main Summer Section from Baby Sun Hat Secrets

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